Two Weeks in the Highlands

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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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I have to admit… there is part of me that is still so surprised that I’m even writing this blog post. I’m still in shock that this trip even happened! We have never come so close to cancelling a trip before! Four days before we were supposed to leave, we found out that Evy would be getting into her “Hip harness” early! We were excited and thankful to have another alternative to the Spica Cast but starting in the harness early made for sleepless nights and a frustrated baby!

We honestly prayed for wisdom about what to do about the trip. The night before we were supposed to fly out was the night that Evy slept through the night again and so we decided to go for it! Whew! What a risk!!!

Buddy and Jill mentioned going to Scotland with their families over a year and a 1/2 ago and we knew we wanted to go!! We love traveling with them and we’ve done so many trips with them in the past. However, this year was different because we BOTH have babies now! So that 11 hour layover in JFK? Well, we just stuck together and made it work! All things considered, the babies were angels! Seriously. They both MAYBE cried twice on both flights and were so sweet during our time in Scotland! We were proud parents!!!

So who went on this trip? A whole bunch of people! Some people came and joined us late but there was a core group of us that were together from the beginning and that was us, Buddy, Jill, Knox, Buddy’s dad, stepmom and step-brother, Buddy’s Aunt Bonnie, Uncle Jim, Cousin Jane and Uncle Steven. And Jill’s mom and dad were with us of course! Jill’s mom was born and raised in Scotland and so once we got over there, we got to meet all of Jill’s extended Scottish family! Then our friends from college (Dave and his wife Grace) joined us! A few days later John and Kaylie (Buddy’s brother and wife!) joined us and so did our sweet friends Anna and Ryan!! What a crew, right?! It was so much fun!

Jill planned the whole thing and we stayed at the most epic old mansion in Ardgour (the tiny town where Jill’s mom grew up!). This house…. oh my gosh. It was a work in progress but the fact that it wasn’t perfect was actually pretty cool. The toilets were old fashioned, the floors slanted a little, there was still original molding and paintings on the walls. It was so impressive!! When we pulled up, it didn’t even seem REAL! We loved “playing house” there for the week! Everyone had plenty of space and we loved our hangout time in the upstairs living room every night (when the babies cooperated for bed time!).

So what did we do and where did we go?! We went to Oban, Isle of Mull, Iona, stayed in Ardgour, visited Fort William, Glencoe and so many other cute towns. We ate amazing food (Seriously… probably the best we’ve ever had in Europe!) and we went to some “Highland Games” and felt like we were locals! We joined in on the Friday night “Kaylee” and took long drives to see the prettiest views!!!!

So what’s the consensus on Scotland? It wins the award for the most impressive and jaw-dropping scenery! We’ve been to a lot of different beautiful places around the world and I’ve never seen so many stunning views over and over and OVER again! We LOVED it and we’d love to go back one day!!!! Enjoy our trip in pictures!

Ps. If you’re wondering how it went traveling with two babies… here’s a little blog post for you!  

ALSO… we have a video!!!! Jill made it! I can’t take ANY credit for it!!! She’s amazing! She makes it on her phone as we go and I’m so thankful for these sweet memories!!:

Just to avoid some emails… her arms were swaddled… it was freezing. She’s also in a hip brace… she literally CAN’T move the blanket! haha

It doesn’t even look real!

Oh this beautiful Abbey…. we’ll never forget it. This is where Evy threw up all over the floor and we had to ask a nun to clean it up. OH my gosh.

Jill does video… I do the pictures. It’s a great trade-off!!!!

Jill’s family reunion!!! That we crashed! :) But seriously… you know you’re good friends with someone when you go on vacation with like half of their family!

We flew to NYC and stayed one day in Brooklyn!

Why not end with a cute baby face! We love you Knox!

Oh and Ps….. get excited because I have portraits to share from Scotland too!! And they are GORGEOUS!! Look at these sneak peeks!


Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Student Spotlight July 2021

Ah! It’s our FINAL STUDENT SPOTLIGHT!!! This July post has been a long time coming but it’s HERE and it’s LIVE and I want you to help me celebrate these amazing photographers who are making their dreams happen!!!


This six month update feels like it’s weirdly disproportionate compared to other monthly updates! Why is that? Well, last month I posted a couple of sets of images that were actually at the beginning of his sixth month and THEN we photographed multiple weddings, had several trips away from home for a few days and the dads were for several days!


Rhett’s Sixth Month


Hope + Jesse A Gillbrook Farms Wedding

Hope and Jesse are the sweetest couple. You can just feel it when you’re with them! You can see it when you watch them interact. You can hear it in the stories that their family members and best friends shared about them. They are truly soulmates and best friends. They have an undeniable love for one another and that is why even a rainy, misty wedding day could be incredibly vibrant, warm and joyful!!


Rhett’s Fifth Month

Rhett’s fifth month was full of fun. It’s crazy to me that I know I only take my big camera to about 10% of the things we do in a month and yet each month is SO full.


This beautiful wedding day took place in the rolling hills of West Virginia, just past the Virginia state line. Wild Goose Farm is a venue that I’ve never photographed before and let me tell you, it was a treat! We didn’t even have the sun join us for most of the day and yet we were able to capture beautiful portraits! Between the horses, old fences, stunning estate home, lily pad covered pond, old stone walls, rustic barn, open fields and a historic stone arch, I was in photographer heaven!


Brian + Shannon A Wild Goose Farm Wedding


Tim + Megan | Engaged Countryside Engagement Portraits | Harrisonburg

This session was just as sweet as it looks. We spent the evening with Megan and Tim in the country outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia. We were tucked away in the rolling hills in between beautiful fields and family farms. It reminded me all over again why I just love Virginia. We really have it all… beaches, mountains, history, and great schools! JMU, while it did play a role in Tim and Megan’s story, isn’t actually where it started!



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