I’m not going to lie, writing this post was really tough… mostly because my time at Katelyn’s workshop last week still doesn’t feel real! I still don’t really feel like I have the words to describe just how much this whole entire experience meant to me both personally and professionally.
I wanted to keep today’s post short… and then my words and photos just kind of threw up on the page.
Attending the Katelyn James Workshop has been a huge dream of mine for a long time, and the fact that it happened still doesn’t even feel one bit real. I can’t even remember the first time I found Katelyn’s work (she’s just kind of always been there!), but I know it was definitely when I was still in high school! Crazy, I know!! I’ve followed and learned from KJ for longer than I can even remember, have watched their family walk through seasons of celebration and grief, grew attached to her daughter and nephew through Instagram Stories, wished that I had a chance to snuggle her adorable little fluff of a pup, and let me tell you, sitting down to learn from her in her living room really felt beyond surreal.
Back in July, I was walking to teach class at the studio when I received a text from my sweet friend, Savannah, saying something along the lines of “HELP DID YOU SEE THIS IS KJ’S LAST ROUND OF WORKSHOPS?!” We both look up to KJ, so this was really big news. Instantly, I totally freaked out because I was so hopeful that I would get to meet and learn from this woman in her home one day. I had been saving here and there to attend sometime in the future— most likely next year! When I realized that wouldn’t be possible next year, I asked Savannah if she was planning on going and she had already made peace with the fact that she wouldn’t be attending. I booted up my email on my phone and realized that there were only TWO seats left in the workshop that I could attend. Without thinking, I fired up the registration form and got the confirmation screen: You’re in! EEEP! What did I get myself into?! Now… I have to remind you that this all happened while I was walking down U Street in sweaty spandex, juggling water bottles, phones and wallets. I’m just so grateful that I didn’t drop my card on the sidewalk when I got the confirmation screen on my phone!
I’m not going to lie, I have struggled a little bit with the fact that I was one of the ones that was able to go because the of the circumstances that opened up the seats. The workshop had to be postponed because of a really really hard season that Katelyn and Michael have been walking through. Because of that, a few people were no longer able to attend, and they had to give up their seats. I do know that I was supposed to be there, but it still makes my heart hurt to know that Katelyn and Michael had to experience that season and that I was there and had such an amazing time and someone else didn’t get to experience it too.
Attending Katelyn’s last in person workshop of this style was such an honor. I am so proud of her for walking into a new and exciting season with new ways to teach and can’t wait to see what they’ll be offering in the future! It was so amazing to see just how grateful each and every person was to be there, and it was so much fun to learn from someone that we all really look up to. I have spent a ton of time watching courses and educational resources that this woman has created, and to have the courses come to life right in front of me was seriously incredible. I got to ask all of the questions I wanted answered and learned so much along the way.
Because I had such an amazing time and really hold education closet to my heart, I wanted to take a moment to encourage you with sharing THREE of the biggest reasons I believe in investing in my education. Now, these aren’t the ONLY three reasons I love investing in my education, but they are three really big reasons! Investing in my education is something that I have been doing for a while now, and it has made all the difference in my business! If you have been on the fence about attending a workshop, going to a creative meet-up or investing in an online course, I want you to encourage you with this:
Workshops and educational events are an amazing place to meet like-minded people in a similar season
Learning from Katelyn was pretty stinking amazing! But what was almost even better was the sweet and incredibly smart group of gals that I got to meet and learn with! I can’t tell you how important it is to have people in your corner, especially when you work alone most days! Each woman that attended the workshop is so incredibly talented and serves their clients so well. I loved meeting and learning from each of them as much as I did meeting and learning from KJ!
Reset your motivation and drive
When you work for yourself, I’ve found that it can be really hard to stay motivated on what it is you need to do to move you forward. I tend to be really good at doing the daily to-do’s, but I have a really hard time looking forward to the big picture to see what it is I need to do to grow! This workshop was such an amazing way to help me reset in the middle of what has been both an amazing but very strenuous year of work. I’ve been hinting at it on Insta for a few days now, but the start of a very BIG project was born in KJ’s living room! It is very much in the works, and you get to find out about it SO soon!
Both you and your business need to continue growing
As a creative, you deserve the opportunity to grow. Your clients deserve a photographer that wants to serve them the best way that they can. Learning new and better ways to do things you do almost every day is so humbling but so, so important! You’ll never be able to increase your prices or grow as a photographer and business owner if you are not willing to put in the work. Education is such an amazing and fundamental piece for growth!
Bonus: Let’s face it… learning about what you love is really fun
I don’t even care that this is the world’s most cheesiest statement. Learning about something that you really love is A LOT of fun! I left KJ’s feeling more fired up than I have been in a while, and that means so much to me!
Now for some fun photos of #TheWorkshopExperience! Longest blog post ever?! OOPS!
This sounds so totally cheesy, but I have seen these workshop attendee packets on Katelyn’s story for years now! Seeing my own name on a packet felt super surreal!
HA! When you get photographers together, you know that there will be about a million cameras laying around too!
We spent all morning doing lots of good learning, and then it was time for the styled shoot! Give photographers something pretty, and we WILL become paparazzi!
So thankful for this woman, and the one below!
Day two… we started with all the snacks and some head shots!
Headshot preview! Like I said, I’m working on something super exciting and you can bet these are all peppered throughout! I still can’t believe that I got to be in front of KJ’s camera!
While head shots went on inside, we snapped a few of our own outside!
Pretty sure this is how we looked almost the entire weekend…. also if you didn’t know I was real tall before, now you know! Sweet Rachael was my driving buddy and roommate all throughout the workshop, and I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am for this girl and her sweet soul.
Feeling so fall!
Thankful for this crew! Can we do it all over again?!
A blog recap of the amazing styled shoot is coming soon, friends!
Select images in this post are from:
A huge thank you to:
Katelyn and Michael for opening up their home to us for two whole days
Katelyn’s sister, Emily, for feeding us so well for and for making some of the most delicious GF food for me
Little miss Evy for sharing her amazing mama with us for two days
The incredible women I got to meet that shared so much of their heart with our crew
A little phone dump from the weekend:
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