MY ACCOUNT
Checkout
photographers
SHOP

Education

The NECESSITY of mixing business and kids! | Guest Post : Matt & Carissa Kennedy

Ask Anything

filed in:

I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.

WELCOME

Top Categories

Browse All

read more

WEDDINGS

Browse All

EDUCATION

Browse All

PERSONAL

A wintery boston wedding

w/ inside, dark ceremony

KJ ALL ACCESS

WATCH ME SHOOT weddings
Come join over 3,000 other photographers from around the world & become my virtual third shooter! 
FREE TRIAL
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ

Browse Series

 Baby James Story

Our Home

Our Kids

Ask Anything

These two. Where do I start? Matt and Carissa are some of the first industry friends who showed us how awesome it can be to have a family and still love your business. We only get to see them at conferences and when they are paying the east coast a visit! We can’t wait to make a trip to Vancouver one day to visit them and meet their two oldest kiddos one day! We met Gracie when she was just a baby, and we’ve watched them parent and raise their children while they still dream big and run an incredible business!! They have graciously offered to GUEST BLOG for us today!! ENJOY! :

We started our wedding photography business 10 years ago on top of working our “day jobs”. We would be a teacher and financial planner by day and run a photography business (and work at our church) on the evenings and weekends.  Coincidentally, the year we started our business was the same year we decided to start a family. Fast forward a few years, we had our 3rd kid, moved into a new house, and we were both working full-time in our business. We quickly became those people with no life…but there was one problem…

We liked our jobs!

OK, this may not sound like a serious problem, but we loved our jobs so much that it completely consumed us. Almost every hour of every day, every conversation, revolved around new business ideas and our clients. Our friends stopped calling us because we were always “busy”. We missed out on connections and important moments with our kids. Our priority was our checklist (OK let’s be honest, it was my priority…..I haven’t been able to get Matt to follow a list in the 12.5 years we’ve been married). We were saying YES to every opportunity with our business because we saw potential for growth.

Then we realized that there was a better way to do things. A better way to do business. Family. Marriage. We made some changes in our calendars, our systems and our mindsets that have allowed us to find a better balance in life, and more success in our business than we would have found had we stayed on the path we were on. The path to burnout. When we made these important changes to our business, not only did we see an increase in our profits, but we added a richness to our family and a deeper connection with our kids that is priceless!

DO LESS.

“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.” ― John C. Maxwell

We’ve been hanging on to this quote this last year as it reminds us that even when good opportunities come our way, it may be preventing us from saying YES to even better opportunities or experiences. Time is your only asset that you cannot add on to or buy more of. We live in a world where our closets are overflowing and our schedules are way too crazy, which lead to more stress and less connections. Matt and I try to limit our kids to one activity per season as we find that the more we involve ourselves in, the more it takes us away from our time at home together. Set your priorities and be sure to be careful with your YES’s. You will always disappoint someone…don’t let it be the ones you love most.

What can you get rid of in your list or responsibilities or in your schedule?

OUTSOURCE.

This was a game changer for us and we know a lot of photographers and business owners do this already, but especially if you are a parent, you NEED to outsource. I know it can seem like a big investment (Trust me, I’m as frugal as they come), but when we handed over our editing, administrative tasks, cleaning and even lawn care, it freed up our schedule to actually become more focused business owners and way better parents. There needs to be a bit of sacrifice of both money and control, in order to live a better life and focus on what matters, even more so if you are parents!

I encourage you to choose one thing that is taking up a lot of time and try outsourcing that for 2-3 months to try it out! What could you outsource? What would you do with that extra time to make your business more money, or to invest in your family?

SCHEDULE YOUR PERSONAL PRIORITIES.

There are always things to do for your business: improve your branding, post on social media more, network more, edit more, the list goes on and on and on. In the past 10 years, I’ve never felt like I was “caught up”! Because there are always so many tasks to do as a business owner, it can be hard to allow yourself to play and be present with your family. For us, it helps us to make concrete plans on a personal level.

Every Wednesday night in our house is family night where we sit around the table for dinner and then play games or do a fun family activity together. This is marked on the calendar and our kids won’t let us forget it! We also prioritize individual dates. This means that we purposefully spend one-on-one time with each person in our family, including each other as a couple. I can’t tell you how much our kids value this! Our oldest daughter has already planned out her dates with daddy for the year and when it is date night with him, she is all dressed up with her purse on her shoulder ready to go trying to hold her smile in! What type of traditions or plans do you want for your family?

BE THE BEST YOU.

Juggling everything from marketing, blogs, clients, and editing to field trips, dance recitals, and sleepless nights can be exhausting. You don’t need to spend even one second thinking about what others are doing and how you compare. They don’t have your life, and you don’t have theirs. Your priorities may be different, and if you want to find true fulfillment in your work and personal life, you need to focus on YOUR priorities. If you find yourself playing the comparison game, striving for things that you don’t need to strive for, buying things your don’t need to buy, just stop and take a look around. Cherish the people that you love, and be the best you that you can be for them and for yourself. They need you, not the Jones’.

Let’s take it one day at a time and remember to say NO to the good things, so we can say YES to the BEST!

including kids in business_415 including kids in business_414

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Behind the Image: Family Session

Average vs. Epic Family Portrait Subtle changes you can make!

When I’m scrolling on Instagram or looking through images after a shoot, some images just stand out and capture my attention more than others! 

READ MORE
Youtube

I don’t know if I have ever photographed a more gracious bride in the most horrendous heat! Seriously, Kelsey is a literal angel on earth. She brought her entire family to Virginia from South Dakota for this portrait session and was so incredibly kind even in the midst of 100 degree heat and humidity!

READ MORE

Tom + Kelsey A Mountainside Vow Renewal

Weddings
Portrait Lens Comparison

Portrait Lens Competition Which one is best?!

Lenses are NOT cheap, so when you invest, you want to make sure you’re choosing the best option! 

READ MORE
Youtube
Wedding Day 101: Groom Prep

Wedding Day 101: Groom Prep How to win over the Groomsmen!

If you think about a wedding day and the part that makes you cringe is having to interact and direct the groomsmen, I get it.

READ MORE
Youtube

This was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I have ever seen, but the timeline didn’t quite pan out like we had planned.. The rings got lost, hair & makeup went long, storms were rolling in and there were some stressful moments!

Dark & Stormy Wedding Portraits
READ MORE

Dark & Stormy Wedding Portraits 3 Tips for Amazing Images!

Youtube

Kevin + Emily | Engaged A Constitution Gardens Engagement Session

You’re not going to believe this but this session was probably our easiest DC engagement session to date! We had glow, no crowed, a beautiful setting and the most wonderful couple!

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
must-reads

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! 
don't miss the
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ

YOUTUBE

Join 55,000+ others and learn, grow and get connected via our Youtube Channel! This is where I'm constantly sharing new content, talking all things gear, business, tips, tricks and letting you into the behind-the-scenes of our everyday life! 
MORE FREE EDUCATION + CUTE BABIES ON
WATCH NOW

"I have invested in all of KJ’s education!

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

- Renee Nicolo

"KJ education has been life-changing

 It has elevated my work so I could quit my day job and work from home with our baby boy!"

- joanna k.

"I'VE INVESTED IN SO MANY RESOURCES... 

and none compare to what I get from KJ!"

- LAUREN M.