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It's Been a Crazy One!

  • 2014 Life Highlights

I’ve actually never done this before! I’ve always done recaps of our images and of our year professionally but I have never taken the time to gather the personal highlights. After doing this, I’ve realized that I need to make this a “thing” each year! I got a little choked up last night when I was pulling these images. This year was INSANE….. in a good way. I honestly didn’t realize just how much we had accomplished…. how many dreams came to life…. how many places we had traveled too… how many incredible memories we made with sweet friends….. how much my family had changed!

I’m honestly just blown away. This was a GOOD year for us. It wasn’t just a good year because of what WE did… it was a good year because of what GOD did. If it was totally fine to share all about other’s personal stories, I would write out all of the things that God has done in 2014 and it would honestly blow your mind. Obviously, I’m not going to tell other people’s stories and but I will say this, I have seen God work more in this ONE YEAR than I have in all of our 6 years in business. I know He’s always been present and doing His thing but this year He allowed us to see what He was up to… right in front of us… annnnd now I’m crying. I don’t care how many places we mark off our bucket lists…. or how many beautiful weddings we shoot… or how many business projects we crank out… if God isn’t getting the glory, this is all worthless. It’s all HIS anyway. I’m SO thankful that 2014 wasn’t just a year about US. When I think back and try to remember 2014 memories, I hope I’m always reminded first of the people that came to know the Lord, the amazing conversations that I have been praying for for YEARS and the amazing relationships that God pieced together. After I remember all of that… THEN I can relive the trip to Alaska, Australia, and Hawaii. It’s only after I realize how God has used us that I can truly consider myself successful… and I mean that wholeheartedly. Everything else will pass away eventually…. what He has done will not…. and that gives me such hope!!!!

So, looking back on this year…. on a much light note…. we have some crazy statistics to share! In 2014, we really stepped up our traveling game. We covered over 61,000 miles in the air over the course of 44 flights!! whoa!! We also spent over 30 nights in Hampton Inns all over the country! That’s a MONTH! When Michael told me that, I cringed! But ya know what, they do have good little breakfast stations in the morning! :)

I think this year had an pretty equal amount of personal and professional memories and I’m feeling so sentimental going through this post! I’ll try to explain each memory so that you can follow along!!! Here’s to an incredible 2015!!!!!!

We started off our year in HAWAII with Josh and Mandy! Trip of a LIFETIME!!! 

Our friends Buddy and Jill came to us in spring 2013 and asked us to pray with them about a potential move to Big Spring Farm! Well, it happened!! And we did our “couples retreat” there at the beginning of the year! The place has been a blessing to us in SO many crazy ways! 

A freezing WORKSHOP EXPERIENCE in February!!! Loved this group!!

Our first big snow at the new house!!! 

A random, snow getaway to Big Spring Farm was one for the books… mainly because of our sledding ramp video that Jill made!!! Hilarious! 

I spoke at UNITED 2014 in Santa Barbara, California about Blogging! 

It’s there that we met Jordan and Amy Demos for the first time! …. Yes, we haven’t even known them for a year yet! HOW is that possible?! They definitely win the “Best relationship surprise of 2014” award!!! We are so thankful that they walked up to us after the 5 minute fuel and introduced themselves! The rest is history!!! Oh and ps… that top left picture?! I will NEVER forget the amazing stuff that happened with that group of girls!!!! Love them all!!!

On a much lighter and less important note…. I met Harry Conick Jr. in the LAX airport… and I had a random burst of confidence and asked him to take a selfie. He looks thrilled right? haha Also! Abby Grace took some AMAZING shots of us in Santa Barbara during that trip and I love them!!! (left)

Abby, this will always be a fav!!!! 

Then, I did something I NEVER thought I would do…. ever. I spoke at WPPI…. the large wedding and portrait photography conference in the country! 

Thanks to Matt Kennedy for these!!!!! 

The best part of that trip? Our friend Bud and Jill flew in to support us…. and they came bearing “KJ KREW” tshirts!! hahahaha!!!!!

We snuck out of the conference one day, rented a convertible and drove to the Hoover Dam!

I had the opportunity to speak at the “Shoot and Share” both at the WPPI Tradeshow!!

And Jill and Bud made the promo pass galleries!!!!

It’s still surreal to see my images almost lifesize! 

Then we got home from that big trip and drove to New Jersey with Michael’s mom and picked up Molly girl!!! I’m happy to say that these two have become friends!!!! YAY!!!

Then the CONNECT retreat happened!!! And it was amazing! Michael and I spoke together for the first time ever!!

And we made some very entertaining memories with some incredible people! 

The April Workshop Experience!!! Love this group! 

Then we were Bermuda Bound with Michael’s parents!! 

We loved this cruise with them! 

Then….. things REALLLLLY got crazy! My little sister got MARRIED to the most amazing guy!!!!! And I had the privilege (along with Jill and Annamarie) of shooting her wedding day. These will ALWAYS be my favorite images. Always.

Emy and our Gran Gran! :) 

Emy and Daddy’s first look! 

Right after Emy and Joe’s wedding, we flew to Sarasota and shot a wedding! Then we came home and hosted our first “Small Business Social” for small business owners!! 

Then…. this happened. We launched The Collection! This was supposed to be a 2015 project but we actually had two weddings cancel in 2014 so we made it happen sooner!! And we’re SO thankful we did!!!!! We love having this resource for photographers! 

Fourth of July weekend was our first Camping trip with Bokeh boy in a real campground!!! He did great! :)

Then we did a 4 day family vacation to Smith Mountain Lake and it was so much fun! I think the BEST part of this trip was that it was our first trip with Joe OFFICIALLY a part of the family!!! 

Then we randomly went on a sailing trip with Buddy’s family!! Best last minute trip ever! 

Bokeh boy even went!!!

Then things just got crazy! We planned a workshop in Australia! One of the BEST things that came from that trip was our relationship with this sweet girl! Gabrielle styled our shoot and we just LOVE her!!!!!! So amazing to have friends on the other side of the WORLD! 

Our Australian workshop will probably always be our favorite workshop… I know we shouldn’t have favorites, but we just adored this guy, this setting and this shoot!!! 

THEN, we went to visit friends in Alaska and shot Tyler and Katie’s engagement session on a glacier! And I could have stopped shooting right then because I felt like I hit the pinnacle of my shooting locations… literally! :)

Then we headed to Seattle for a wedding and had a day to spend with some of the sweetest people on the plant! Ike and Tash spent the entire day with us at the fair and we loved every minute of it!!! …. And little Wisdom is such a precious ball of joy!! I wish we lived closer so that we could babysit! 

Workshop #3!!!! 

Loved speaking in DC and also at two CLIC conferences as well! 

This was such an upexpected highlight! My brother decided to SING with me…. in public!!! People, this is a MIRACLE!!! He doesn’t do stuff like this! We sang at my dad’s 25th anniversary at our home church and it was a shocker! My momma cried and cried! 

Then we had a cookout with some sweet friends! 

Workshop #4!!! It included TWO proposals! What the heck?! amazing!!!

Our last trip of the year was Party Barge 2014 and it was perfect! I wouldn’t have changed a thing!!! We loved our time with these friends! 

Then I sang at Jazz Nativity 2014 and it was my favorite year to date!!

THEN Matt and Carissa Kennedy came to visit and we worked on a special project… and met their new puppy! 

This special filming project was a two day affair but we rolled through it!!! 

Then I went to a retreat… not to lead anything… not to teach anything… I just went to NC to gather with these amazing ladies. We built each other up, prayed together, shared our stories and encouraged one another. It was something I didn’t know that I needed… but OH did I need it. What a gift! Thank you so much Lara and Nancy!!!

Then I flew with my brother for the first time ever!!!! 

Then we hosted a Christmas Part for college students and loved every minute of it! 

And then I turned 27 on the side of a ski slope with great friends… and 2015 begin the next day! WHEW!!!!!! What a YEAR!!! I’m so very thankful that you have all been a part of it! I know I’ve taken a little break from blogging… but watch out world! When the new blog is live, you’re going to love it!!!!!!!! woohoo!!!!! Happy 2015!!!!!

xoxo, Katelyn
25 Comments Personal
  1. Lisa Price reply

    Loved this post. I cried too! God’s gonna do great things in 2015!

  2. Kimber reply

    What a beautiful blog post! God has blessed you and your photography in so many ways. He chooses to bless you because He loves you and you give Him the glory! Can’t wait to see what God will do with KJP in 2015!!

  3. Kristie reply

    What an amazing year! So many memories to fill a lifetime in such a short time. Happy 2015!

  4. Candi reply

    A beautiful year! You are blessed!

  5. Anastasia reply

    Katelyn, you and your husband always manage to take beautiful photos of yourselves! I’ve read that you don’t always use a tripod, but when you do what kind is it? I’m in seach of something sturdy, but lightweight to take on vacations. Thanks and congratulations on your whirlwind year :)

  6. Katie reply

    AHHHH i love this post!!! This is the best one. Not because I love seeing all the AMAZING stuff you did (which I did) but because I’m so happy for you and Michael and everything you accomplished this year and how God moved and shaked it all!!!! Amazing!!! Can’t wait until March to give you a huge hug and make some more amazing memories!

  7. ashley reply

    when i read your blog, it has the same effect on me like going to the movies. i get lost in it and forget where i am for a second. it’s great! this is such a fun post! God is good all the time! it’s been so amazing to see Him working lately! Love you! :)

  8. Meghan reply

    God is good! What an amazing year!

  9. Amanda hedgepeth reply

    You are doing big things!! What a year full of so much adventure and I am especially happy that there is a balance of personal AND family time there!!!! So fulfilling!!!!:)

  10. Amanda hedgepeth reply

    I meant personal/family and business :)

  11. elizabeth. reply

    What an incredible year for you two! I mean, Alaska + Australia too?!! :) Blessings + happy 2015!

  12. Siri reply

    What am amazing year! I am realizing through seeing your year in review, how many people I have begun following on social media through you! You are the link…well actually, it is your love of god and your devotion to his purpose that links you all together. What a beautiful thing:) Cheers to 2014 and I can’t wait to see what amazing things 2015 holds for you!

  13. Tash reply

    We LOVE being a part of such an epic year! We love you guys so so so much and looking forward to so many incredible NEW MEMORIES!! love you!

  14. Amy demos reply

    Ahhhh!! You guys!! we are so thankful for 2014 because god brought us you!! I can’t believe it still hasn’t even been a year. Love you guys!!

  15. Alison reply

    So amazing! What a year! :)

  16. Debbie reply

    I love, love, love that you have so many “Big Camera” pictures throughout your year! I always get the run around from hubby when I want to bring the big camera out. And then I told him, “Well katelyn james brought it out on a boat and got these amazing tubing pictures!” (back when you posted that epic recap post of that adventure). Yet somehow that didn’t convince him! I’m going to work on that for 2015 though :-)

  17. JAcinthe reply

    1) I really, really, *really* enjoyed this “personal” recap of 2014!
    2) I loved the photos you shared.
    3) I LOVE all of your outfits! Can we move closer to one another so I can borrow clothes from you once in a while?? Pleeeease? :)
    3) I am absolutely in love with your house. It’s perfect! And SO great for welcoming friends! We’re in a small condo and I *cannot* wait until the day God allows us to find a more spacious home so we can host parties and get-togethers! Most definitely a dream of mine. :)
    4) I wish you and Michael the most perfect of new years! Thanks for being an example of truly Christian love. Hope we get to meet someday! Hugs.

  18. JAcinthe reply

    Oops! I apparently got lost somewhere in the number of paragraphs I was typing. ;) Apologies!

  19. Jessica Beale reply

    So so proud of you and Michael both! Love you so much!!

  20. Carissa Kennedy reply

    That is one CRAZY AMAZING year!!! So glad we got to be part of it! God is good!

  21. Christin reply

    God is good! What a great post!

  22. Shaina Koren reply

    What an amazing year! Cannot wait to spend more time with you guys in 2015 and make it into some of these photos :) Thank you for constantly inspiring and encouraging us :) Even your personal life inspires us to get more balanced! Love you guys!

  23. Mandy reply

    I LOVED this post!!! God is so good, and it’s so beautiful to see Him at work in your and Michaels lives! I love you lots, beautiful, talented friend!

  24. Sandy Powell reply

    Hi hope all is well. I emailed you this past spring about your dog and the breeder. Richard and I were able to get a puppy in August Bishop is 7months old. Looks very much like your baby. Same parents. We also have 2 small golden doodles . BISHOP WEIGHS ABOUT 14 ILS THE OTHER TWO ARE 30 ILS. I am the one who met your parents in West Chester. If you ever cone up would love to meet you and the puppy. Have a great weekend . Sandy Po

  25. burberry scarf reply

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any approach you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

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