MY ACCOUNT
cart
cart
photographers
SHOP

Education

Three C’s of Professionalism

Ask Anything

filed in:

Sometimes people ask me what it means to be a PROFESSIONAL photographer. Like, when do you go from being a young person that knows how to shoot manually and who gets paid for work to a PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER. Is there a program to do or a badge you can wear?! haha I have no CLUE when I became a “professional”… and to be honest, I don’t think this is a title that you obtain at one moment. I think there could be a dozen blog posts written about what makes one a “professional” shooter. Today I’m just going to offer a few thoughts on the subject!

To me, there are three qualities that every professional photographer has or is at least striving towards. And in true Katelyn fashion, they all start with the letter “C”. So here you have it… “The Three C’s of Professionalism”:

  1. Consistency
  2. Credibility
  3. Composure

Consistency: The more photographers I work with, coach, or start following online, the more I realize that I judge their skill level by how consistent their work is. I’m not sure if that’s an accurate way to judge skill but I am just naturally drawn to consistent blog posts and galleries. I have also realized that the photographers that I follow continually have a fluid style and consistent editing. I honestly think that consistent work is a sign that the photographer is becoming comfortable with their camera and lighting. So this is one way that I judge professionalism! Next is Credibility!

Credibility: You can have the prettiest website and the most amazing equipment in the industry and still be lacking one key aspect to your business… and that’s credibility. When you first start out, you won’t have this yet… and that’s ok. It’s going to take some time for people to start talking. The best thing for your business is people TALKING about you in a positive light! When someone says “Oh my gosh, you’ve got to check out Katelyn’s blog!”… that builds my credibility. The trick about building credibility is that you can’t just complete jobs… you have to complete them in a way that exceeds expectations and shocks your clients (in a good way!).  I think having people who will vouch for your awesome-ness is one step to professionalism. That means you’re making a name for yourself and you’re doing work that is worth remembering!

Composure: This may seem like it doesn’t fit in this category… but I think it does… especially in WEDDING photography. Nothing distinguishes a professional more than the way a photographer acts under pressure. When a ceremony ends at the time you’re supposed to be done with family formals and you have 20 minutes of sunlight left, professionals become bold and brilliant. You have to think on your feet while hiding your fear and anxiety. I’m not saying you can’t freak out… oh, I FREAK OUT! But I never show it. If I need clients, planners or other vendors to know I mean business, I do it in a way that doesn’t cause panic. There is a difference between being firm because you need to stick to a timeline and causing sheer PANIC!! And you can be BOLD without being rude, pushy and coming across as annoyed. You wouldn’t believe how many people come up to us during weddings and say “You guys didn’t seem stressed at all! You handled everything very well!”. That makes be think “How are other photographers acting on wedding days?!” because I don’t think we do anything extraordinary when it comes to handling stress… we just try not to show it!!

So this post may have been encouraging for some of you or it may have made you aware of an area that you may need to work on. Again, this is just my opinion. This didn’t come from a book or podcast or business blog. These three C’s are honestly just what I notice most in the professionals I follow!!! Have an AMAZING 4th of July everyone! We’ll be camping, boating and hoping that the hurricane goes out to sea!!! :)

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Samantha + Evan Private Estate, Backyard Wedding

I’m so excited to share this final 2020 Wedding with you all!! It’s a special one! We photographed this beautiful wedding day on our own 10 year anniversary! Ten years ago on this day, we were celebrating in my parent’s backyard under a massive white tent too! This was my brother-in-law’s baby sister’s wedding day and celebrating with the Malizia family was such a treat! They are a family MADE for weddings!

READ MORE
Blog

Well, I realize this isn’t normal for KJ! I don’t shoot portraits these days but this session was my first non-wedding shoot with my new Canon R6 and I’m obsessed with how these images turned out! It was the most perfect evening for this early fall shoot and the light was incredible!

READ MORE

Nick + Katherine | Maternity Oatlands Historic Home and Gardens Portrait Session

Portraits

KJ Student Spotlight October 2020

I’m so excited to share another addition of Student Spotlights from our KJ Education community! It’s so funny to us, but quite often, we find that our friends who know us in everyday life but aren’t in our industry really have no clue what we do! They think we shoot 10 weddings a year and that’s the extent of our work these days but oh… that couldn’t be further from the truth!

READ MORE
Blog

Jesse + Hope | Engaged A Fan District Engagement Shoot

When we first decide if we’re a good fit with our potential KJ Couples, we’re looking for a few things…. one of those things is that this couple keeps joyful! We’ve found over the years that couples what take themselves super seriously aren’t always the best fit for us! We love it when couples let their guard down and allow us to get to know them during their engagement session.

READ MORE
Blog

For some photographers, bridal details seem like a fun part of the wedding day… but for many others, it’s stressful. It’s the part of the day that throws them off, makes them wonder if they’re actually artistic and leaves them feeling flustered and panicked because they never get everything done in the time they have allotted for detail shooting. In my opinion, this is a REALLY tough way to start a wedding day.

READ MORE

How To Photograph Bridal Details KJ Bridal Details Mini-Course

Ask Anything

Jonathan+Melanie Grand Ivory Wedding

Oh, this wedding day!! What a beautiful Texan dream! I met Melanie when she attended one of our workshops years ago in our home. She had the sweetest spirit and such a kindness about her. I remember loving how she made personal marketing her own and did headshots in a pile of Skinny Pop!! I loved her creativity and her ability to envision what she wanted in her brand.

READ MORE
Blog

READER FAVORITES

KJ ALL-ACCESS

THE VISUAL - LEARNER'S DREAM
Unedited, unfiltered, real-life behind-the-scenes education delivered monthly! Come be our Virtual Third Shooter for FREE!
GET YOUR FREE 30 day TRIAL

A wintery boston wedding

w/ inside, dark ceremony

"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 10,000+ 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.