It’s hard to believe that we have only ONE more workshop left in 2017!! 3 down and 1 to go! I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but I’m proud of our KJP team! Between Me, Michael, Emy and Momma, life has changed drastically in 2017. We moved, had surgeries, had babies and have ventured into new areas of business. It would have been very easy to say “Ya know… lets put off workshops until 2018 after we have some more time to get used to this new season”. But we didn’t! We moved forward full force in April and haven’t slowed down since!
Now the truth is that we couldn’t have done ANY of these workshops if we hadn’t had the help of our EXTENDED team! Our families swoop in to help with our workshops in such an amazing way that our attendees constantly comment about how lucky we are to have them. They’re right! Here’s a little behind the scenes peek into what it takes to prep for a workshop! :
Emy lives 6 hours away and so she drives down Thursday night or Friday to help momma clean and buy groceries. We believe that having home-cooked meals is a huge part of why our workshops feel so inviting. My sister LOVES to cook, and she’s amazing at it. So, we do the hard work of meal planning, making massive grocery store runs, cooking three meals each day, PLUS surprise snacks and desserts! For those thinking about coming to a Workshop Experience in the future… don’t come on a diet!
So Momma and Emy prep Friday and Saturday. Sunday is when Michael’s mom comes to help with prepping attendee gift boxes, watching the babies, and helping in the kitchen. This time my brother and dad were there to help cut grass and wash windows. My sister-in-law, Morgan, and our family friend, Claire, also came to help in the kitchen and with the babies throughout the whole workshop!
It takes a village. Wow. We are so thankful for everyone who helped! Their willingness to help allows me to just focus on prepping, teaching, getting to know attendee’s names, what their story is, why they are here, and feeding my baby. Workshops while nursing are definitely different, but they are doable thanks to all of our helpers!!!! I can’t thank them enough for helping us out of the goodness of their hearts!!
I actually think that one of my favorite parts of our workshops is seeing our home used for the purpose that we built it for! Our kitchen is used to mass capacity. Our pantry is packed with stacks of bottled waters and food for the workshop meals. Our living room couch is filled with photographers from all different states. Our bonus room is where the babies hangout, and you can’t even hear them from the living room! It’s amazing! Our bedrooms are full of all of our family who spend the night and help us! Our bedroom is where our KJ Couple is getting their hair and makeup done for the shoot. Our keeping room gets transformed into a gorgeous styled shoot, and our yard is the perfect location for teaching and demonstrating my shooting style. Our long country driveway is lined with rental cars of our attendees, and our foyer is perfectly wide enough to great all 12 attendees as they arrive in clusters each morning.
Literally EVERYTHING that we hoped our house could be used for becomes a reality when these photographers arrive, and it blesses my soul!
Speaking of 12 attendees…. this was our first workshop with 12 attendees instead of 16, and it was awesome! We like the more intimate group, and that will definitely be something that we continue!!!
These photographers were the sweetest group! They opened up… they shared about their situations… they got to know one another… they learned together. It was a privilege to spend two days with them!!!
So on Day One we talk about lighting and posing, then do a styled shoot, and we end the day with Off Camera Flash. It was jam-packed, but I loved it!!! And I have some VERY special people to thank! :
Amanda Veronee is the lovely lady responsible for the gorgeous florals!
Ashlee from Ashlee Virginia Events is 34+ weeks pregnant and still styled our shoot to perfection, and I’m so grateful for her!!!! She’s a dream to work with!
Paisley and Jade : Morgan from Paisley and Jade has been one of our SWEETEST supporters over the last several years, and we just love this company!!
Other vendors that are so amazing to us:
Attendee Calligraphy Pieces: Steph Neal Calligraphy
Hair & Makeup: Hello Darling Beauty
Dress: Sweet Caroline Styles
Rentals: Party Rental LTD
Calligraphy: Leah Letters
Paper Goods: Page Stationery
Cake: Haute Cakes
Here are some pictures that will give you a little peek into what a workshop day looks like! Again, I can’t thank these amazing vendors, attendees, and our family members enough! They are truly the VIPS!!!!!
This cracks me up Jenny! Don’t ask! ha! I had a picture of Micah but believe it or not, I didn’t take one of EVY?! oh my gosh! I think that’s because I was holding her every time I had a break and got to see her!
The day started with bubbly personalities and bubbly drinks in the historic Linden Row house in downtown Richmond. I walked in, found Leah and then one by one I met her amazing bridesmaids. From the moment I met them all, I knew this was going to be a fun day, not lacking any energy! I loved the way this day started…. however, it got even better the moment dad walked in.
It’s an exciting day in Youtube land! We have just launched a brand new series that we’re really excited about!!!! So often when I’m going through KJ All Access episodes and editing our behind the scenes coverage of our wedding days, I find myself noticing a lot of scenarios that require a lot of thought and problem solving in order to create a FINAL image that I love!!
Gosh it feels good to do what I love to do again! This was my first shoot back since maternity leave ended and I loved every minute of it! I have known Matt and Abby for years and years and so while this was a true portrait session with paying clients and outfit changes, etc…. it was also a shoot with dear friends and it was wonderful to spend some time with them!
First of all, let me just say, I do NOT endorse not hiring a professional birth photographer! As you read this, keep in mind that I desperately wanted to have my friend and fellow photographer Jill with me during my fourth birth. I was heartbroken that she wasn’t allowed to be there!
Have you ever showed up for a wedding or a portrait session and took one look at the location and thought…. “You’ve got to be kidding me!!! How am I going to make this work?!” I have. I have had so many scenarios in my career where I have thought….“Ok, how in the world am I going to make this lousy location work as a great portrait location!!?”.
It still feels surreal to tell people about what we do for a living. We photograph weddings and we teach other people how to photograph weddings. It’s quite literally a dream job for a creative like myself who loves people! Every month when we do these Student Spotlights, I’m reminded all over again how much of a privilege it is to be a part of these photographer’s lives and play a small role in their stories.