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The “I Can Do This” Moment

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started, there were moments of GREAT FEAR.  Actually, my first 10 weddings were actually filled with a lot of  FEAR. I was so nervous. I had no training, I didn’t have hardly ANY experience and I had no clue what I was doing. I shot through weddings just HOPING for a “Money Shot” or two. I cringed at the thought of using just a simple on-camera flash and family formals were the death of me.  It’s amazing that I decided to keep going because in my mind, I had only ever shot 2-3 images that gave me HOPE for a future in photography. How DREARY is this post so far?!! Don’t worry, it gets better.  After I made it through the fall of 2008,

I started looking towards the 2009 wedding season with both fear AND excitement.  Somewhere, deep down, I KNEW I could do this and so I kept going.


It was June 5th, 2009 and it was pouring rain. Why? Why was it raining on one of the wedding days that I had been looking forward to for MONTHS?!  It was Jared and Lauryn‘s big day.  I loved this couple and I ever since our meeting in the Aroma’s coffee shop in 2008, I had a good feeling about this day.  Maybe I had a good feeling because I knew Lauryn and Jared were super photogenic… or maybe I felt good about this wedding because I really CONNECTED with this couple or MAYBE I had a good feeling because I was about to shoot the wedding that would change my whole approach to photography in general!!


I walked away from that rainy wedding day with a smile on my face and a ton of CF cards full of images I was PROUD OF! The lighting, the posing, the composition… something just CLICKED for me on that day.  That was one of the days that I thought to myself… “I can DO this!”.  Were there mistakes made? Yes.  Were there imperfect images? YES… just ask Lauryn! …. But there was a HOPE that came from that day that I’ll NEVER forget. I had several weddings like this that summer of 2009 but this one will always remain a favorite.  Lauryn is now a photographer as well and she’s doing AMAZING things with her business… and the BEST part is that Michael and I have become great friends with these two.  Jared and Lauryn have meant more to my business than they will EVER know… and so today, on their 3 year anniversary…I just want to celebrate them and say a HUGE THANK YOU to the Galloways! Thank you for believing in a young, unexperienced redhead with a passion.  Thank you for taking a risk and I wish you decades and decades of happiness together!!!!!!


Maybe you’re a photographer that is in the SAME place I was 3 years ago. You’re waiting on that glimmer of HOPE and that one wedding where it all just CLICKS! Well, the good news is…. it will come. The hard news is that it takes WORK… a TON of work. Over the last several years I invested a lot of time, money and energy into learning the in’s and out’s of photography. I bought new equipment, I’ve attended workshops, I flew to conferences and I’ve read article after article about tips and tricks and business management. It’s a BIG world out there… and if I had to give a beginner just one piece of advice…it would be to INVEST in YOURSELF.  One of the greatest investments of my first two years in business was attending Justin and Mary’s Spread the Love tour two years ago. Learning from others in the industry is invaluable and if you can find more experienced photographers that have a heart for teaching beginner photographers… you should latch onto that!! It’s rare!


Justin and Mary have always been willing to GIVE and SHARE and TEACH… and they’re at it again!! They JUST announced today that they’ll be coming to RICHMOND and two other cities on a LIGHTING INTENSIVE tour!!!! Wowsers! Have you seen their new editorial shoots?!  Oh my GAHHH!!!   This intensive is well WORTH your time and money. If you’re at all interested… my advice would be to GO. Go and learn and soak up as much knowledge as you can because as you continue to GROW… you’ll continue to have those “glimmers of HOPE”! You’ll begin to have MORE and MORE shoots that leave you feeling ACCOMPLISHED and PROUD of what you have created!!! EVERY photographer deserves to experience that feeling!!


So if you’re reading this today and you’re ready to jump on board with J&M July 11th in Richmond VA… I have GREAT NEWS!!! If you enter “KatelynJames” in the checkout area, you’ll recieve a $50 discount!!!  Sign up HERE and get excited!!!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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