This post…. I don’t even know where to begin. In August of 2019, we hosted a pool party/cookout for AND of our KJ Couples who were available to come and it was incredible. It was HOT, but it was amazing. Honestly, we were blown away by the turnout. The amount of clients-turned-friends that showed up to our front door shocked us. We loved every minute of it and we were constantly reminded of how many incredible people God has put into our lives through our business over the past 12 years. KJP isn’t just a photography company, it’s how we use the passion and gifts we were given to live out part of our purpose in life.
I’m blogging this a bit late…. actually, over a year late! However, it makes me extra thankful to see these pictures of over 110 of our brides and grooms at our home, not worried about wearing masks, not scared over a virus…. we were just together and it was a blast. I remember saying a few words from our back deck to everyone before we gathered under the tent for dinner. This was only a little over a year from when we lost Baby James and I knew several of our couples had lived through similar loss. Besides our season of loss, Michael and I have walked through hard seasons of learning how to love each other and believe the best in one another, even when it’s hard. I shared this with our couples because, while I don’t know how everyone is doing in their marriage, statistically, there would be several couples in this group having a tough time and there is power in knowing they aren’t alone and that there are resources that can help.
Back in 2015, Michael and I decided to try transformational relationship coaching and it has been, by far, one of the healthiest decisions we ever made for our marriage. It’s not counseling, it’s not therapy, it’s approaches affecting change through owning your own responsibilities in what you contribute to your marriage and it’s powerful. (Our brother in law, Joe Malizia, is a certified Transformational Relationship Coach for anyone interested.) The truth is, marriage, and relationships in general, are hard for everyone…. and if they aren’t, it’s normally because there is a whole lot of a stuff that is being avoided, one person is submissive to the point of suppressing their own feelings or a couple has settled for a certain level of complacency and has decided that’s as good as it’s going to get for them. We were designed for so much more in our marriages but it’s hard to work through the mess to get to place where we are thriving relationally. Our hope is that through our transparency, we can allow others to feel empowered to not stay stuck where they are.
Ok, back to the cookout!
This idea came from the desire to do host an in-person event for our KJ Community. We have never approached our business the way that most businesses do. We desire to have community over clients and we believe that our role on a wedding day isn’t just to capture images but to provide a joyful and comfortable experience for these couples that we consider friends! Most photographers book their clients, provide a service and then deliver a final gallery and that’s it. We believe that these relationships could be intentional, purposeful and so much more than just a passing interaction!
Seeing over a decade’s worth of past friends and clients walk through our doors was absolutely amazing. Kids were everywhere, the bounce house was hopping, the pool was full and so were our hearts. I can’t explain what it felt like to look out and know that Michael and I had been with every single one of these couples on one of the most important days of their lives! If you’re reading this and you’re a photographer, I can’t express how amazing it is to be more than just a hired hand but a FRIEND to your brides. As I greeted everyone through the front door, I had SIX brides tell me they had just found out that they were pregnant!!! I also had a chance to talk to several brides of ours who have suffered stories similar to ours and connect them with one another. How amazing is that? No one would expect to find that kind of community from their wedding photographer! And yet we have found that our tribe is the most life-giving part of what we do!
I have so many people to thank…. but I want to start by thanking our KJ Couples for allowing us to be a part of their lives. Our time with you all was such a gift to us and we will cherish these memories forever.
I’m pretty sure this was one pregnant announcement interaction! Babies everywhere!!!! Oh how I love these girls!
This beautiful day way unlike any wedding I have ever photographed before. It’s hard to put into words how powerful and inspiring it was.
If you’ve been following my updates since I got the R6 two years ago, you know I LOVE it!! It has been a game changer for me! But there is ONE mistake that I’ve made that cannot be fixed afterwards!
There are things that EVERY photographer should have on their website! We will walk through some students’ websites to see how small changes can impact their perceived value, and for you to see if what they’re missing is something that you are too!
You know what I’m realizing? I’m realizing I am loving getting to see people I love and miss in this very busy season of our life.
We’re gearing up for wedding season and there are so many ways to market yourself DURING a wedding to keep new clients coming in! I have been a wedding photographer for 13 years, and I have never paid for ‘traditional’ advertising!
I am eating my words again! For years, I have used InDesign for everything… but Canva had a HUGE update last year which changed everything!!