The 15 Minute Disaster

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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 was my first year in business and I didn’t know that it was up to me to educate my brides about creating a timeline that included an ample amount of time for portraits! If you’re a wedding photographer then you know that this story is heading nowhere good! The beginning of the day was just fine, but like most wedding days there were a few things that popped up and made the bride run late. So, because the bride was concerned about getting into the church and hiding before any guests arrived, we had to forego all of the first look portraits.

I thought to myself “Oh, that’s fine… we’ll do portraits during the reception!”  Well, the reception came and so did some dark gray clouds.  The radar was showing that there was a massive band of rain heading our way and I had about 15 minutes to get ALL of the bride and groom’s portraits accomplished!!


This was a NIGHTMARE! What made it worse was that they were the most photogenic couple, and I desperately wanted to leave that wedding with a ton of portraits that I was proud of! I remember frantically trying to get the “must have” shots while simultaneously trying to be creative and capture shots that I could use in my portfolio! It ended up being a HOT MESS!!! The clouds rolled in and the bride got worried and cut our portrait time even SHORTER!!! AHHHH!!!!!!

I vowed to never end in that same situation ever again!

The thing is, I can’t ALWAYS protect the entire timeline and ensure that EVERY wedding day will have hours of portrait time, and I DEFINITELY can’t manage and control the weather!  However, the one thing that I can DEFINITELY control is my ability to respond and take control in stressful situations!

Over the last 9 years I’ve learned that the way I create my client’s experience through posing is the MOST IMPORTANT interaction that I have with them!! That’s when they become comfortable with me, learn how to feel genuinely confident and like themselves in front of the camera, and most importantly, that’s when they learn to TRUST ME!!

So I can honestly say that I have never had to live through that kind of horrible experience ever again! I’ve never panicked and missed the opportunity to create gorgeous portraits on a time-crunched wedding day! Sure, we’ve had our fair share of wedding days that don’t go as planned, but because of the systems we have in place, we can ALWAYS capture ample portraits that we’re proud of!

If you’ve been in a similar place, here are some tips for overcoming that overwhelming feeling that creeps in when you feel rushed and you’re drawing a blank!!!! 


  1. MAKE SURE THEY TRUST YOU : Establish a sense a TRUST with your clients early on in your experience with them so that when the wedding day gets crazy, they naturally come to you for help. This happens to us all of the time! The bride will be freaking out over the timeline being off and she’ll come to me and say “Oh gosh…  how are we going to make up this time!? We’re 30 mins behind schedule!!!” and I get to reassure her that we’re going to get what we need.  When your clients trust you, you get to call the shots and it puts you in control!! For us, this means that we can start rolling with our “Posing Evolution” and we’ll have a gallery of portraits in no time! You can start ensuring that your clients trust you by preparing them well! We do this through our 70+ page bridal guide!
  2. GET THE “MUST HAVES” DONE FIRST! : No matter what, there are always photos that are what we call “Must-have” shots on a wedding day! We make a point to get those shots done EARLY in the day so that we can focus on being creative the rest of the day!! Some of those “Must Have” shots include…. The groom portrait, the bridal portrait, the B&G both smiling at the camera, the B&G sharing a kiss, the bridal bouquet shot, etc! If you make it a point to get the standard and expected shots done first, then you can have fun later and this relieves some of that pressure in the midst of a time crunch!
  3. DOWNLOAD THIS FREE GUIDE! : This guide will be a huge help when you find yourself in a time crunch!!! It will walk you through how to transition from one pose to the next while also showing you how to use one location to the max!!! CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD!!!! 


Ps. If you want the full posing educational experience, we have exciting news! Our 19 Lesson KJ Posing Course is now open for enrollment after over 8 months of being closed!!! We are so excited to welcome our new class of students!!!!! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!!!!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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