The “I Can Do This” Moment

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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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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

RF Macro Lens

Should you buy the RF Macro?!

I bought the RF 100mm Macro because I wanted to compare it with my EF 100mm Macro! I’ve had the EF for YEARS but since I upgraded to the R6 last year, I’ve slowly been replacing my lenses with the RF models.


This Dover Hall Estate wedding was one for the books! Wow! Just incredible! From the planning to the florals to the dress and creative use of the property. It was just gorgeous!! We met Ryan and Danielle at their engagement session a few months back and we fell in love with them. They are truly as kind and thoughtful and sweet as they appear.


Danielle + Ryan A Luxury Dover Hall Estate Wedding


Rhett’s Eighth Month

Oh you are something!!!! We are starting to lose you around the house! You crawl under tables, behind couches and soon, I just know you’re going to discover the stairs! You will walk laps around the ottomans and you LOVE to pull up on everything. I’ve caught you multiple times trying to splash in the toilet and it’s just hilarious… your brother or sister NEVER attempted that!


Turner + Sharon An Ivy Rose Barn Wedding

This day was one for the record books. It was the first time we had photographed anything at the beautiful Ivy Rose Barn and let me tell you, it’s a dream! It was also the first time that I was able to meet Sharon and Turner in person!! This is SO rare for me!! Normally we’ve already met our KJ Couples beforehand but thanks to the pandemic, we never had a chance to!


We’re in a quite a new season. Rhett’s seventh month has been the month where he decided to start moving! No cord, cup, small choking sized object is safe anymore! This happened literally the week he turned seven months and he has been on the go ever since.


Rhett’s Seventh Month


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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