The Workshop Experience

August 2017 | Behind the Scenes

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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’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!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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