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Student Spotlight

April 2021

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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 still feels surreal to tell people about what we do for a living. We photograph weddings and we teach other people how to photograph weddings. It’s quite literally a dream job for a creative like myself who loves people! Every month when we do these Student Spotlights, I’m reminded all over again how much of a privilege it is to be a part of these photographer’s lives and play a small role in their stories.

 

MEET NHI:

We’re starting April’s Student Spotlight by introducing Nhi!! Nhi’s work is calming, peaceful and her edits are beautiful!! Also, she’s a portrait photographer!! So often we have people ask “can portrait photographers learn from your courses” and Nhi is proof that they can! One of my favorite parts of her interview was when she said “When you know your why, you can bear any how.” How powerful and how true! When you’re doing something for the right reason, your ability to fight through the unknowns and the obstacles is stronger!! Nhi has completed multiple KJ Courses and uses several of the staple KJ resource products such a the KJ Bridal Guide and Grooms Guide, KJ Preset Process (you may have seen me show off her before and afters in the past!!) and the KJ Email Templates! Enjoy getting to know this amazing photographer! It’s an honor to be a part of her life!

What has recently happened in your business that has made you step back and go “Oh my gosh! That just happened?!”

I really wanted to create an impact in my local community. Recently, my work was featured in our town’s magazine. In April 2021, my “innocence in the time of pandemic” portrait of my sons will be on display at our local art museum. Finally, I am so thrilled to have begun a scholarship program for High School juniors. Each year, I will award $2000 to a junior who inspires joy in others. I hope this scholarship will help them achieve higher education and become leaders of the world.

What part of your KJ Education experience has impacted you the most?

While I love learning photography techniques from you (and the Light & Location course is PERFECTION!), I think the biggest impact has been witnessing how you lead your business and your life. Running a business isn’t simply trying to find the most leads or making six figures. It’s about finding purpose and creating impact. It’s about having that drive and passion even on the hardest days. I love that you embody this exact spirit and I love how your personal branding is so effective.

If you could sit down with a photographer that feels incredibly defeated and discouraged, what would you say to help them? Is there a story of overcoming and victory in your own story that you could share?

When you know your why, you can bear any how. Think back to when you started your photography journey, why did you? Are your actions in alignment with your why? If so, you are succeeding. Keep going and don’t give up. And surround yourself with mentors who can guide and cheer you on!

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

KJ Business Collection, KJ Lighting and Location Course, KJ Posing Course, KJ All Access, KJ Preset Process, KJ Bridal Guide, KJ Groom’s Guide, KJ Bridal Details Mini-Course, Mini Guide Bundle, KJ Email Templates + Sticky Solutions Guide

FOLLOW NHI: Website, Instagram

 

MEET SARA:

Sara is also a portrait photographer!!! I love her recent “win”! She’s selling out mini-sessions like it’s nothing!! I’m so happy for her! She’s thriving and pursuing her dream. Her work is gorgeous and I’m so proud of the hard work that she’s put into her education. Sara saw incredibly shifts in her work after taking the KJ Lighting and Locations Course. My favorite thing that Sara shared was this : “If you told me a few years ago that I would have a photography business, I would not have believed you. I double majored in psychology and economics in college” …. These type of stories are the BEST! I personally never saw myself as a photographer either but photography seems to have a sneaky way of finding its way into people’s lives!! :) Enjoy getting to know Sara and hearing more from her!

What has recently happened in your business that has made you step back and go “Oh my gosh! That just happened?!”

I sent out an email about spring mini sessions and within a few hours all the spots had been filled.  Just two years ago I only had two families sign up for spring mini sessions and that was after lots of posting about it.  

What part of your KJ Education experience has impacted you the most?

It has ALL changed my photography skills and my business.  I love KJ’s teaching style.  I love how honest and down to earth she is.  I don’t photograph weddings but still get All Access and find watching her photograph so helpful to see her thinking behind her decision making.  I look back at some of my photos before taking the lighting and location class and cringe.  I am so much more confident in lighting and composition now. I often find myself thinking what would KJ do?

If you could sit down with a photographer that feels incredibly defeated and discouraged, what would you say to help them? Is there a story of overcoming and victory in your own story that you could share?

If you told me a few years ago that I would have a photography business, I would not have believed you. I double majored in psychology and economics in college, went on to get my masters in education, and started working as a board certified behavior analyst. When I went back to work after having my second daughter, I felt like I needed to be home more with my family. After a few weeks of being home, I started taking online photography classes. Photographing my children, and even before that my friends’ children, has always been a love of mine. Children change so quickly and I love how looking at photos can bring us back to that season of life for a moment. My husband encouraged me to take the leap and start my own business.  I would tell someone feeling defeated, to just keep trying and keep learning. I often doubt myself and fall into the trap of comparing myself to others.  When I stop though and look back at how far I have come and compare myself to my past self I am proud of all the hard work I have put into my education and my business.

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

KJ Business Collection, KJ Lighting and Location Course, KJ All Access, KJ Preset Process

FOLLOW SARA: Website, Instagram

MEET DANIELLE:

Danielle is killing it!! She’s been growing her business since 2012 but in 2019 she decided to really kick it up a notch and WOW!!! She’s THRIVING! She just went full time THIS MONTH and she’s booked up for not only this year but next year as well! How amazing?! She’s taken her education and put it into action… not only in technical ways but also in the ways she runs her business and gives back to her clients! We’re celebrating with you, Danielle!!! What an incredible accomplishment of going full time!!!!!

What has recently happened in your business that has made you step back and go “Oh my gosh! That just happened?!”

I’ve gone full time in my photography and videography business as of March 2021!! I’ve been in business since 2012, but it wasn’t until the past 3 years that I’ve been pouring more education into myself and growing/hustling. I had 1 wedding in 2019 that I photographed….and then I did 15 in 2020, 40 booked for 2021, and already 20 booked for 2022! And almost all of these bookings happened within the last year, only 2 of them were COVID postponements. So that’s from 1 wedding to 75 weddings booked in about 1 year. I literally did have a “OMG did that just happen!?” And it’s allowed me some financial security to allow myself to jump into the business full time! I should note that I also do videography weddings, and a big part of my success in getting more clients for videography had a lot to do with how I used all of my KJ photography learning and implemented it into my videography.

What part of your KJ Education experience has impacted you the most?

The biggest thing was the “three Ps of posing” and the lighting/locations. I used to really struggle with posing and now that I have that down, I feel like couples trust me, and their bridal parties and family love me because I make the experience of taking pictures enjoyable. Also, reserving a portion of my couple’s retainer for surprises or gifting has been super helpful in WOWing the client. Monthly duty day is now also a thing in my household, haha.

If you could sit down with a photographer that feels incredibly defeated and discouraged, what would you say to help them? Is there a story of overcoming and victory in your own story that you could share?

Dreams don’t work unless you do. You have to put in the long hours, make sacrifices, and see the growth OVER TIME. It’s not instant. If I went back to myself in 2019 who only had ONE wedding on the books for that season (after being in business for 7 years at that point, ouch) and say that I was going to be booking 75+ weddings over the course of the next year, I’d say you were nuts! But I knew I had the potential to do it. I couldn’t compare myself to others. I put my nose down, and got to work. And it’s eventually all paid off because now I get to live out my dreams full time and I have no regrets with how much time and effort it’s taken me because it’s all paid off, BIG TIME!

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

KJ Business Collection, KJ Lighting and Location Course, KJ Posing Course, KJ All Access, KJ Bridal Guide, KJ Bridal Details Mini-Course, KJ Email Templates + Sticky Solutions Guide

FOLLOW DANIELLE: Website, Instagram

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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Have you ever showed up for a wedding or a portrait session and took one look at the location and thought…. “You’ve got to be kidding me!!! How am I going to make this work?!” I have. I have had so many scenarios in my career where I have thought….“Ok, how in the world am I going to make this lousy location work as a great portrait location!!?”.

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Student Spotlight April 2021

It still feels surreal to tell people about what we do for a living. We photograph weddings and we teach other people how to photograph weddings. It’s quite literally a dream job for a creative like myself who loves people! Every month when we do these Student Spotlights, I’m reminded all over again how much of a privilege it is to be a part of these photographer’s lives and play a small role in their stories.

READ MORE
Blog

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