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and I was just a little freshman. We were best friends but I knew he would never like me…. the freckled redhead that seemed like his little sister. I mean, that’s just gross right? Who “likes” the girl that seems like their little sister. Nobody. And so even though I liked Michael when I entered high school…. I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  I remember journaling that “If he just took me to prom… ya know, just as friends…. that would be enough”.  Michael was friends with a lot of girls in high school and even though I knew him better than ANY of them….. the thought of us “dating” seemed to be out of the question.

When we were little, our families went on vacations together, he lived at our house in the summer time and we basically grew up together. We were never a part and I don’t remember there ever being a time when I wasn’t close to him.  In fact, we were SO CLOSE that started telling people we were COUSINS in middle school! Yea. EVERYONE believed that our moms were sisters…. even though they look nothing alike! Everyone in Caroline County is related to SOMEBODY, but not us… we didn’t have any cousins at school with us so we made up our own! When my mom would pick Michael and me up from school, the secretary would get on the intercom and say “Michael… your aunt is here to pick you up”.  We had EVERYONE fooled….. and then we went to high school……..and started dating. You should have heard the rumors! “Did you know that redhead and Michael are going out and they’re RELATED?!!”…. We immediately set them straight.
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Looking back on those first few years of our relationship…. I didn’t know if I was going to MARRY Michael. I mean, I hoped for it…but as a 15 year old girl, I was just excited to be dating the boy voted “Best all Around” in his senior class!! Lucky for me, he wasn’t a normal high school crush… he loved the Lord and he really cared about me.  He cared enough about me to deal with my breakdowns when he left for college… he cared enough to drive all the way home from Newport News just to watch the Notebook with me on Valentines day and he cared enough to wait for me.  He waited for me to get to college, then he waited another two years for me to finish college….. and then he married me.  Until the past 7 months, we had NEVER been in the same place.  He was always two steps ahead of me… but he waited…. and I’m so thankful! Being married and sharing my life with him has made EVERYTHING so much easier and I’m loving it! This past weekend we celebrated not only Mothers day, but Michael’s 25th Birthday!! He keeps saying he’s 1/2 way to 50 and I hate that!! However, I am so so thankful that for almost all of those 25 years…. I have been a part of his life. Michael I love you so much….I’m so thankful for you and the way you love me.  If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t eat dinner, our house would never get vacuumed and I would have quit my business a long time ago. Thank you for being my #1 fan, my encourager and my best friend. Happy 25th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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And let me just say…… it takes a lot of NERVE to post such AWFUL pictures of myself!! I was only in Middle school…… everyone knows the Middle School years are tough!! Don’t judge!

No idea WHAT we were doing……we were even weird way back then. Thank you Lord that I grew out of braces and the extra thick “Bangs” phase!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Samantha + Evan Private Estate, Backyard Wedding

I’m so excited to share this final 2020 Wedding with you all!! It’s a special one! We photographed this beautiful wedding day on our own 10 year anniversary! Ten years ago on this day, we were celebrating in my parent’s backyard under a massive white tent too! This was my brother-in-law’s baby sister’s wedding day and celebrating with the Malizia family was such a treat! They are a family MADE for weddings!

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Well, I realize this isn’t normal for KJ! I don’t shoot portraits these days but this session was my first non-wedding shoot with my new Canon R6 and I’m obsessed with how these images turned out! It was the most perfect evening for this early fall shoot and the light was incredible!

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Nick + Katherine | Maternity Oatlands Historic Home and Gardens Portrait Session

Portraits

KJ Student Spotlight October 2020

I’m so excited to share another addition of Student Spotlights from our KJ Education community! It’s so funny to us, but quite often, we find that our friends who know us in everyday life but aren’t in our industry really have no clue what we do! They think we shoot 10 weddings a year and that’s the extent of our work these days but oh… that couldn’t be further from the truth!

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Jesse + Hope | Engaged A Fan District Engagement Shoot

When we first decide if we’re a good fit with our potential KJ Couples, we’re looking for a few things…. one of those things is that this couple keeps joyful! We’ve found over the years that couples what take themselves super seriously aren’t always the best fit for us! We love it when couples let their guard down and allow us to get to know them during their engagement session.

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For some photographers, bridal details seem like a fun part of the wedding day… but for many others, it’s stressful. It’s the part of the day that throws them off, makes them wonder if they’re actually artistic and leaves them feeling flustered and panicked because they never get everything done in the time they have allotted for detail shooting. In my opinion, this is a REALLY tough way to start a wedding day.

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How To Photograph Bridal Details KJ Bridal Details Mini-Course

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Jonathan+Melanie Grand Ivory Wedding

Oh, this wedding day!! What a beautiful Texan dream! I met Melanie when she attended one of our workshops years ago in our home. She had the sweetest spirit and such a kindness about her. I remember loving how she made personal marketing her own and did headshots in a pile of Skinny Pop!! I loved her creativity and her ability to envision what she wanted in her brand.

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