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Student Spotlight

June 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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Oh you guys…. you’re in for a TREAT! Seriously! I can’t wait for you to read about these amazing students and what they’re doing in their businesses!! I’m SO proud. It’s one thing to take a course and signup and it’s another to actually CHANGE YOUR LIFE and transform your financial situation. I could read stories of quitting jobs, finding ideal clients, booking high-end packages all. day. long!!!! Enjoy getting to know these amazing students of ours!!

MEET HILLARY:

Hillary’s submission just blew me away!!! First of all, don’t miss her response to question #1! They are doing it! They are truly making it happen in the most amazing way!!!! We’re talking an $8000 booking, quitting jobs, launching a new side to their business, etc! It’s amazing and I’m thrilled for them!!!! Even when you’re just getting your bearings straight and you’re in the midst of new growth and big changes, you have to take time to celebrate what you’re accomplishing!! I’m so glad we’re highlighting this sweet couple because they deserve the recognition! I’m so proud of them for fighting for their dream!!

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

Two things. But #1 is we just booked our biggest package ever with photo and video at just over $8000 and after only being in business for less than 4 years! :D My husband and I are completely blown away!! What’s even crazier is that this couple loved and valued us so much from our website and initial email that they waited nearly a month for us to return from a mission trip to Kenya so that we could have a zoom call together and they could tell us in then that they wanted to hire us!

#2 is that after editing for another photographer last year, I realized how much fun it is and have decided to add that onto our business! And because of that, my husband and I just quit our main job of 12 years of working in EMS (I know, total change in careers!) and we’re taking our photography/videography and now editing FULL TIME!! God is so crazy good and I’m so thankful He created people like you, Katelyn, in teaching us your ways and being always so real and genuine!! You are making a real and lasting impact and I’m so thankful I found you so close to the beginning of our business!

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

All of it! But I feel like the L&L course helped me as a newer beginner who didn’t have a good understanding how to use lighting to my advantage and not getting freaked out in difficult lighting situations. The consistency course helped so much and has greatly impacted on how quickly I edit and how I’m able to now edit for other photographers confidently and consistently! The business course was huge in knowing how to create an experience for our couples! And KJ All Access gave me confidence as a new wedding photographer to walk in on wedding days with barely any second shooting experience and feel like I knew what to do and how to handle even the hard things. Ok, maybe there was, and still is, a lot of “What would KJ do?!” going on…. ;-) But I feel like all of your courses have had a huge impact on our business being where it is today!

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?

We’ve all been there and everything takes time. Also look to see if you’re comparing yourself to others and change your perspective if you can. Grant and I are from a small town and all of our weddings are 90 minutes (minimum) away. Getting our name out there has proved way more difficult than we ever would have thought, and discouraging when we felt like nothing we did made it better. But, it’s because we weren’t booking 20 weddings like other photographers and I was comparing us and our work/brand to them. We’ve never had a “fully booked year” as other photographers may have, but we have had the best couples who have made us love doing weddings! Changing my perspective and not comparing our business, has helped so much!

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

KJ Business Collection, KJ Lighting and Location Course, KJ Consistency 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, KJ Pricing Kit

FOLLOW HILLARY: Website, Instagram

 

MEET MARQUETTE:

I’ve known sweet Marquette for quite some time now!! It feels like it was just last month that she was in our home with a group of incredible business owners for one of our in-person workshops! Now, I know I’m going to get this question…. are we opening up in-person workshops any time soon? And the answer is still “Not right now” simply because we’re in such a demanding season of life with three kids 4 and under. However, it’s friendships like Marquette’s that make me so thankful for the amazing photographers that have joined us for workshops in the past. Marquette has sent us sweet gifts, Christmas cards and letters of encouragement for many many years and we’re so grateful for her!! Enjoy getting to know her and her business journey!

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

I started 2018 with the goal to be shooting high end Phoenix weddings by 2020, and I pursued that. I raised prices systematically, connected with vendors and worked to attract a higher paying couple. And it was exhausting and drained the joy out of the business for me. After hitting major burn out and with family health issues that needed to be taken care of I decided to shut down the business for 1-2 years. After 18 months of having the business shut down I was able to do a soft reopen a year ago and officially relaunch 9 months ago. I expected to have to ease back in and rebuild so much of what I’d worked for before shutting down, yet I had more business clarity than ever before. During the 18 months off I reviewed past education I bought and got VERY clear about who I want to work with, how I want to approach business, and why I even want to be a photographer. Logically it seemed like a crazy time to reopen, but I could feel that this was the right time and path. Within a month of my official relaunch I had two ideal couples booked. In the last 12 months I have shot 11 couple’s sessions, 7 weddings, 8 portrait sessions, and 5 commercial sessions for businesses, and have 8 more weddings on the books for this year (putting me two away from my maximum I’ll take on for the year). While I am excited about the numbers, what is more exciting to me is that I’ve been able to hone in and attract exactly my ideal client. My price point is not impressive to most, but it allows me to work with and serve the clientele who have my heart: Arizona teachers and small town/rural families & businesses. In fact, even though I lowered prices for the relaunch to match my ideal client, 2020 was one of my most profitable years yet. Last night I had a consultation with a couple, both of whom are teachers here in Arizona and it made me so excited that I get to take this skill that I have learned and support two heroes in the community and give back to them (especially after so much has been asked of them this past year).

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

When it comes to my shooting it’s a tie between the Lighting and Location course and KJ All Access episodes. Seeing KJ’s flash techniques in action and understanding better how light works has elevated my work and consistency in huge ways! It’s allowed me to be more creative, but also to fight with my surroundings less which has let me connect with my clients more during their session. And then of course the photos are just better! Personally. though, the part of the KJ Education experience that has impacted me the most personally has been the Workshop Experience and KJ’s social media. As new parents Katelyn and Michael invited 17 strangers into their home. It didn’t feel like other business workshops, retreats, or events…it felt like being invited into a friends home. As she has shared her story and worked with students on all levels, the genuine interest and care is evident. It has only reinforced again and again how I want my clients to feel.

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?

*Sits next to you on the kitchen floor and hands over a tissue, Ben & Jerry’s, and a spoon* Hey. I’ve been here before. Well, not on your kitchen floor but on mine in a single-wide trailer with two kids wanting a snack and husband working 90 minutes away at his 2nd year of teaching at an alternative high school. It felt like where I wanted to be and where I was were separated by the Grand Canyon. Our stories may be different, but I know that you are doing hard things, you are juggling a lot, and you are tired. I also know that you have what it takes to move forward. You can make something good happen in your life and in the lives of others. I won’t pretend that I have the advice that will launch you into viral success by this time next year. I do know though that if you celebrate the little wins and keep taking baby steps that one day you’ll find that you are paying the last piece of your student loan, finding joy in your work, and taking that final step across the chasm that seems so impossible right now.

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

KJ Lighting and Location Course, KJ All Access, KJ Preset Process, KJ Bridal Guide, KJ Groom’s Guide, Mini Guide Bundle, KJ Email Templates + Sticky Solutions Guide, KJ Pricing Kit

FOLLOW MARQUETTE: Website, Instagram

 

MEET MICHELLE:

I’m so excited for you all to meet Michelle! She’s growing, thriving and truly beginning to see the rewards of all of her hard work! I just love her images and how she’s beginning to attract the clients that she’s always wanted to work with! Her work is crisp, clean and has such rich true-to-life colors (which I obviously love because that’s what I prefer in my own work!!!!). She’s incredibly talented and I’m so honored that she’s a KJ Student!!! Enjoy getting to know her and viewing some of her best work!!!!

 

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

I booked a wedding at a stunning venue! I’ve shot so so many in ugly gyms…that a couple who is booking a venue like that trusts me to capture their day for them is just humbling.

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

The Consistency course has helped me SO MUCH with editing! And the Preset Process took that even further and made it easier for me to get the look I want.  But it’s the All Access I keep coming back to, even rewatching old episodes because seeing how Katelyn handles situations has given me so much confidence! I find myself thinking “what would Katelyn do here?” as I’m shooting in challenging light.

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?

To the photographer who feels like giving up … don’t! There is no substitute for practice and hard work. When I was at that stage (and I still have moments like that), I hated when more experienced photographers told me that- but it’s the truth! Invest in education for your weak spots. Do free shoots to practice what you’ve learned. Hard work always pays off!

Which KJ Education Products or Courses have you invested in?

KJ Consistency Course, KJ All Access, KJ Preset Process

FOLLOW MICHELLE:  Website, Instagram

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!!!

READ MORE
Education

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

Rhett’s Sixth Month

Blog

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!!

READ MORE
Blog

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.

READ MORE
Personal

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!

READ MORE

Brian + Shannon A Wild Goose Farm Wedding

Weddings

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!

READ MORE
Engaged

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

The KJ blog
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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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The way she teaches makes so much sense and I’m so grateful for her! My business will be forever changed!"

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