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Student Spotlight

July 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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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!!!

MEET DAKOTA:

Goodness! I feel like it was yesterday that she was sitting in my living room talking about her dreams and pursing this little thing called a photography business and now look at her!! She’s making SIX FIGURES you guys! Incredible!!!!! She’s bringing in over $100,000 in income as a photographer. Ever heard people say “Oh there just isn’t room for another photographer, it’s too saturated!” ???? Well let Dakota be your proof that that is a lie. It’s true, if you believe there isn’t room for you, there won’t be. If you believe you have something to offer the world and you’re going to fight to make your dream happen, you will MAKE ROOM for yourself!!! Dakota has done JUST that! What an amazing success story she has!!! So proud of her!

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

Honestly, my business has changed SO much since my first two years really diving into KJ Education (all of the courses + the last live workshop). In just the last three years I’ve been able to leave my full time job, fully create a life I love, shoot 18-22 weddings a year on top of senior portraits, and I hit 6 figures in my second year full time!!!

More specifically I’ve been so proud of the clients that have found me and how much they trust me. Almost every wedding I will ask a question and the response is “Whatever you think, we trust you!” It makes my heart so happy. My absolute favorite part of the wedding day is showing off my same-day slideshow to my couples, their parents, and guests. The reactions are priceless!!

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

Of course the in-person workshop was one of the best experiences of all time. The friends I made are still so involved in my business today and being able to hear Katelyn talk specifically about our struggles and successes was priceless.

But honestly, having such easy access to KJ content has made the biggest impact. My biggest strides were made when I prioritized the courses over Netflix and was able to take bit-sized pieces of knowledge and implement them immediately rather than getting overwhelmed with a book full of notes. Even as I’m shooting 20-22 weddings a year and feel like I have a system down, I love watching All Access and picking up just a few minor changes that will make my wedding experience and my LIFE better.

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?

I would say “don’t wait.” There’s a perception that those who are “more successful” have access to a lot more than you – better equipment, more time, more money, more education, more ideal clients, etc. But no one started off that way. We all started with saving up for just ONE course and watching it over and over, until we gained enough money to buy the ONE next piece of equipment. It’s easy to feel intimidated by all that you have to learn, but enjoy this season of learning and exploring and take the time to really develop each skill. It’s not all done in a day.

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

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

FOLLOW DAKOTA: Website, Instagram

MEET JEN:

I just love Jen! I love seeing her sweet face pop up on Business Collection Zoom calls, I’m so thankful for her engagement in our KJ Education FB group, and I’m THRILLED to feature her on this last Student Spotlight!!! She’s already surpassed her income of all of last year in just the last four months and that is SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE!!!!! She’s fighting for her dream and for her business and it’s inspiring! Her work is beautiful and I can’t wait for you to get to know her!!!!

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

Just this year, 2021, I realized my gross revenue, just in the first 4 months, is already half of what I made last year! And I’m just super excited, it feels like more opportunities are opening up this year and it’s exciting to see what God’s going to do next in this new season of my business.

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

I would have to say, the continuing education aspect! I have taken every single course you offer and have gleaned so much value from each one. KJ All Access has helped so much in being able to see you put everything you teach into practice on your own wedding days. I am a very visual learner, so getting to watch you helps those skills stick! :)

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?

I would definitely try to just sit and listen and get a good understanding of why they feel so discouraged. Sometimes just letting someone talk through their frustrations will help them find clarity. But then I would go a step further and offer encouragement. EVERYONE goes through seasons of feelings of defeat, but we don’t have to stay there! And the KJ Community is such a great way to find support and encouragement for photographers. It’s truly a community over competition environment and it’s invaluable!

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

KJ Business Collection, KJ Lighting and Location Course, KJ Posing Course, KJ Consistency Course, KJ All Access, KJ Preset Process, KJ Bridal Guide, KJ Groom’s Guide, KJ Bridal Details Mini-Course

FOLLOW JEN: Website, Instagram

MEET ALAINA:

Alaina has a story EVERY photographer needs to hear! During the pandemic… instead of catering to the threat of losing bookings, she decided to RAISE her prices… and guess what happened?! SHE STARTED BOOKING MORE CLIENTS! It’s incredible what happens when you start charging in your sweet spot! I’m THRILLED for her!!! She’s doing what so many long to do and she says it was possible because has finally set herself free of the comparison game that she played for far too long! Join me in celebrating Alaina!!!!!

 

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

At the beginning of 2021, after a crazy 2020 #COVID19, I took a leap and raised my prices. Fairly quickly I was receiving several inquiries a week. I instantly started second guessing my bump as I had so many wedding leads and didn’t want to lose them because of my price jump. The opposite happened and I reached my max bookings for the first time in 5 years. I am consistently booking ideal clients at a price I never thought would be possible in my area!

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

I would say KJ’s teaching that this business is much more than transactional relationships. Before KJ I was thinking of all the cool ways to “wow” clients (bridal guide, gifts, surprises) as a means to book more clients. Now I can see that being able to love on clients is truly a way to build community and find bigger purpose in my work and ultimately my life!

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?

First, I would want them to know that they aren’t alone. Being a small business owner is hard work but can be so so rewarding. I think the best thing I could tell them and share with them is that each person defines success differently. For one person it may mean huge homes and new cars and charging 5 digits for their services. For another it may mean being able to make a little extra to go on vacations or buy new shoes for their kids. The point being that you can’t judge your success by another person’s definition. You have to be able to define it for yourself and then go for that version of success! I spent the first 4 years on my photography journey playing the comparison game and it never led to anything more than discouragement, pain and ultimately resentment. Katelyn has helped me grow past that and into my own!

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

KJ Business Collection, KJ Lighting and Location Course, KJ Posing Course, KJ Consistency Course, KJ All Access, KJ Preset Process, KJ Bridal GuideKJ Email Templates + Sticky Solutions Guide, KJ Pricing Kit

FOLLOW ALAINA: Website, Instagram

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Ryan + Danielle | Engaged A Classic Maymont Engagement Session | Richmond, Va

It’s been a while since I’ve photographed an engagement session at beautiful Maymont Park. Meeting Ryan and Danielle there was perfect even though I totally forgot that Maymont closes so early! We heard a reminder that the park would be closing soon and just as I started to feel a bit panicked, the clouds cleared, the sun started to shine and I was able to capture the most beautiful light before we unexpectedly had to leave the park!

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This beautiful day began in the historic manor house at Belmont Country Club. Abby was showing me her details and then she gave me a gift and told me to open it. I questioned her because it just didn’t seem right for the photographer to be opening a gift on the bride’s wedding day but she insisted! Abby had made me a custom cross-stitch of Michael and I with cameras in our hands! It looks JUST like us and I was just amazed at her talent and thoughtfulness!

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Abby + Tyler A Timeless Wedding | Belmont Historic Manor House & Country Club

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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!!!

READ MORE
Education

Rhett’s Sixth Month

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!

READ MORE
Blog

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!!

READ MORE

Hope + Jesse A Gillbrook Farms Wedding

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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.

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Personal

READER FAVORITES

"Best money I have EVER spent on education! ... and I've spent a lot!”

- Kara Abbey, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"I love all the lessons I'm learning from KJ All Access! Thanks Katelyn!”

- Shannon Drummond, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"I find very few educational resources worth it ... this one is!”

- Kate gansneder, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Being able to see behind-the-scenes of Katelyn interacting with her clients has been SO impactful!”

- Angie mcpherson, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"SO worth it! It's amazing the amount of knowledge you get out of them!”

- Brittany Lowe, ALl ACCESS MEMBER

"I learned just as much in one All Access as I did in a whole course! SO GOOD!"

- Joanna Krueger, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER
10 Steps to Starting Your Photography Business
Helping a friend survive a season of Infant Loss
How to photograph a first look in Harsh Light
OUR KJ COUPLES REUNION
A Lake Como Destination Wedding - Greg and Kate
A Letter to the Go-Getters fearful of Motherhood

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The KJ Blog is where you get to know me, where you meet our KJ Couples and see their beautiful wedding days, where I have been building an archive of education for over a decade and where I let you see a peek into our life, our home, and hear about our purpose! 
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