Wedding Wednesday

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Wedding Wednesday | Why I Shoot Them

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I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.


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it’s not Wednesday. I debated whether or not this would be frowned upon by all of my type “A” blog readers who cringe at the thought of a “Wedding Wednesday” post on TUESDAY!!! It’s strange… but let me explain. I’m blogging from the passenger seat on my way home from a Maryland engagement and a quick sibling reunion in PA (thank GOODNESS for iPhones and personal hotspots!). I have three beautiful engagement shoots to share and I’m so excited that the blog is going to be all lovey dovey and colorful for the rest of the week! However, I REALLY wanted to share this post because I’ve answered a lot of emails regarding this

question recently and it’s definitely catered towards brides. So Naturally, this needs to be a Wedding Wednesday post!!  As I continue to shoot and grow as a photographer AND business woman, I have realized more and more that the process of creating GREAT wedding images doesn’t start with the bride and the bridesmaids in the bridal suite the morning of the wedding… it starts with the FIRST email the bride sends me.  This “Wedding Experience” is a process and the wedding day is just one part of the journey.  In order to have GENUINE, natural images of my couples on their wedding day, I NEED for them to have a GREAT experience and that’s where  an engagement session comes into play. Sure, there are some cases where we meet on the wedding day because it was a destination wedding and we just couldn’t make an eshoot work before the big day but those are rare. I’ve already done a post about the importance of an engagement session… you can read that HERE!   Today I just simply want to emphasize that engagements should be done with your WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER. Except for VERY FEW exceptions, I don’t take engagements outside of a wedding package and there are several reasons for this:


1.  My free dates for engagement sessions need to be saved for MY wedding clients.  KJ brides take priority when it comes to the calendar and when I’m shooting 30+ weddings a year, that means I have to find time to shoot 30+ engagements. I want to make sure I balance LIFE and WORK and also save my availability for my clients who have invested in having me be a part of their big day.


2. By shooting JUST engagement sessions for couples, I’m actually taking away a VERY valuable session from another photographer.  I think every couple needs that time with their actual wedding photographer.  The engagement session is their trial run! It’s their time to really get to know the artist that will be capturing their wedding day and that’s a vital part of the process! When I show up to weddings, I feel like I’m meeting a FRIEND….. and if a photographer misses out on that feeling because I took their client’s engagement portraits, it’s just not fair. So I ALWAYS encourage brides to connect with THEIR wedding photographer for their engagement portraits if at all possible!


3. STYLE! I think photographers all have a different “look” to their images. I personally LOVE having engagement portraits to display in my house that are the same style as my wedding portraits. There’s a neat consistency in all of our images from Jstar and I love that!!



So basically, I’m a jealous photog…. and I think most photographers are too.  I want my wedding couples to be exclusively mine… and that’s not because I’m a jerk!…. It’s because I KNOW that will make for a much smoother experience overall and I want the BEST for my couples! Here are a few examples of my 2013 couples getting comfortable in front of the camera and practicing for their big day!!!


Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Behind the Image: Family Session

Average vs. Epic Family Portrait Subtle changes you can make!

When I’m scrolling on Instagram or looking through images after a shoot, some images just stand out and capture my attention more than others! 


I don’t know if I have ever photographed a more gracious bride in the most horrendous heat! Seriously, Kelsey is a literal angel on earth. She brought her entire family to Virginia from South Dakota for this portrait session and was so incredibly kind even in the midst of 100 degree heat and humidity!


Tom + Kelsey A Mountainside Vow Renewal

Portrait Lens Comparison

Portrait Lens Competition Which one is best?!

Lenses are NOT cheap, so when you invest, you want to make sure you’re choosing the best option! 

Wedding Day 101: Groom Prep

Wedding Day 101: Groom Prep How to win over the Groomsmen!

If you think about a wedding day and the part that makes you cringe is having to interact and direct the groomsmen, I get it.


This was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I have ever seen, but the timeline didn’t quite pan out like we had planned.. The rings got lost, hair & makeup went long, storms were rolling in and there were some stressful moments!

Dark & Stormy Wedding Portraits

Dark & Stormy Wedding Portraits 3 Tips for Amazing Images!


Kevin + Emily | Engaged A Constitution Gardens Engagement Session

You’re not going to believe this but this session was probably our easiest DC engagement session to date! We had glow, no crowed, a beautiful setting and the most wonderful couple!



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