I can’t believe it has been almost a year later and I am finally writing about my coaching session with Katelyn James. I wanted to write about it last year when it actually happened, but instead I decided to wait a little bit to work on the some of the things she suggested I should do so I can tell you exactly how awesome our session really was. And plus, last summer was just nuts with Steve and I starting this whole new way of life with him pursuing the ministry.
First, I wanted to give a little background. The thing about photography is that many people in the industry don’t have a degree and are self-taught. I am one of those people and I am not ashamed of that. I am proud of the amount of time I have spent practicing photography and the amount of time I have spent studying about the business and marketing, but the time I have put in is only a dent to what I could be putting in. I really love this industry because there is absolutely no getting bored. It was super easy for me to get bored in the corporate world, but when you run your own artistic business, you don’t have time to become stagnant. I have been doing this for almost five years and every year I learn something new. AND, I still have SO much to learn. If it were up to me, I’d invest in education every year, and after last year I plan to. There will always be someone I can learn from. Someone who I can be inspired from. If there wasn’t, I’d be sad.
Last year was the start of making education a priority. I promised myself I would make it the “year of education” so I invested some of my income into three coaching sessions with three different photographers who I admired. I had been following Katelyn James for about three and a half years and I loved her business, her work, and her heart for people and The Lord, so naturally it made sense for me to purchase a coaching session with her.
I remember driving to Richmond last June being super nervous and emotional. Steve just has quit his job and I literally felt the Holy Spirit doing something big in my heart dealing with our family and our future ministry. It was one of the hottest days of the month – super humid and my hair was doing that crazy frizz thing that only us curly hair gals get to put up with each sticky east coast summer. I couldn’t find anything to wear and I even forgot to dress like my brand colors for the head shots she would be taking of me (while I love navy blue and gold, they don’t match my site). I felt like a hot mess inside and out. And I was. But when I met up with her at the restaurant for lunch and she gave me a big hug all that anxiety went away. The thing about Katelyn that I love is that she is SO real. She is genuinely kind and lovable, and nothing about her attentiveness felt fake or transactional. She really cares about our businesses.
I spent lunch through early evening with her and learned so, SO much that I was able to take home and things I am still using to this day in my business. I created a list below of what her mentor session has helped me with in my business. But this mentor session was more than just taking home a bunch of info for my business to succeed. It gave me hope in one of the hardest moments in my life when the weight of my business success was weighing on my shoulders. Her support, openess, and non-judgment of my hot-messedness (yep, a word) was just what I needed on that hot summer day almost a year ago.
If you are looking to do a coaching session this year, I highly recommend her. I only hope that one day I can be such a huge inspiration to so many others in the industry.
And if you can’t book a coaching session, that is okay! I have good news for you! Katelyn has an online resource shop called the KJ Collection that offers a TON of good info. In fact, I just purchased her first video tutorial she has in her shop of her and Michael at a real wedding posing a couple in a busy part of Richmond. You need to check her shop out here!
Things Katelyn helped with my business:
- Consistent workflow for each client
- Organized workflow for better quality of life with my family
- Quick editing tips
- Online Presence: The importance of getting Steve more involved in the business and making him more part on social media
- Blogging tips on how to blog in advance to have more consistency. I am still about 75% with this, but I am way better than the year before. Also, I am able to blog most, if not all wedding and family sessions now.
- Pricing and Pricing Guide Layout inspiration
- She was the inspiration behind Walking on Wednesday become a series about our spiritual walk and our walk in our own marriage journey.
- Organizing my emails
- Giving Steve a better job description
- Improved editing workflow so I can return images faster for Clients and get albums ordered faster.
- Tips on posing in the lighting conditions and tips on posing couples.