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  • A Big Change

is such a strange and exciting post to write. It’s exciting because there are HUGE changes happening for KJP… but it’s also strange because 3 years ago, I never saw this coming….ever.  Michael worked full time at CNU while I was finishing my senior year and running the business. We were engaged and Michael was looking for a job in youth ministry because he loves ministry and he loves working with teenagers. We were connected with Gayton Baptist Church and we immediately fell in LOVE with the staff, the kids, the location, the people, etc. We love this place and we are so lucky to have found a church home so quickly!!

 

Michael worked full time as the high school youth pastor for a year and half and then our lives started to change. It was a hard change. My business was booming… and I’m so thankful… but what that meant was that I was gone… A LOT. Our first year of marriage, I spent over 25 weekends away from my husband…. that’s half a year!  In 2011 I shot 30+ weddings and really started to launch the teaching side of my business. Most photography businesses that do a large amount of teaching AND shoot over 30 weddings a year are not run by one person… but I’ve been doing it by myself and it’s not easy. So while I was struggling with my business, Michael had his own struggles. Last spring he was completely overwhelmed. He was juggling so much and on top of that, he was still taking seminary classes!! It got to the point that we had to cut something out in order to just survive…. and so he went to part time. Throughout the spring and summer we started praying and seeking wisdom from people who are older and wiser than us because we were really unsure of where we were headed. We love ministry… we LOVE these kids… like, REALLY love them…. but we were so confused about what God was doing with Michael’s job.

 

While we were trying to figure out what Michael’s next step was going to be…. I was having mini meltdowns because I needed to hire someone… ANYONE! I needed help…. big time. I needed someone who loved to serve people… who enjoyed second shooting….someone who would love to travel with me on the weekends and someone who believed in my dreams for this crazy business. I needed an office manager, an organizer and someone that would help me accomplish BIG goals. This person needed to have a flexible schedule, they needed to understand that my business is also my ministry and the needed to be permanent because I didn’t want to retrain a new college intern every 6 months.  As Michael and I stayed up one night on a marriage retreat… crying and praying about what the next phase of life was going to look like for us, it hit us…. like a ton of bricks! I needed HIM. I needed a partner and the most ideal partner in the whole world would be my husband. Here I was trying to figure out how I was going to pay someone to work with me and how I was going to find the PERFECT person and the answer was right in front of me. We didn’t decide on this decision immediately…. we took 6 full months to pray about this, seek wise counsel and talk to those that have done this and have done it well. The Lord is so incredibly faithful because over those 6 months, we had the opportunity to sit down and receive advice from the three husband/wife teams we look up to the most…. JD & Jasmine, Justin & Mary, and Zach & Jody. I don’t even know how that happened… but it did…. and it was so encouraging. It was encouraging because we realized 3 things:

 

1. Ministry isn’t determined by a paycheck…. Ministry is about how you give your life away for the sake of Christ. That can be done as volunteer youth leaders AND as small business owners. How silly of us to worry that we would have LESS impact in our teen’s lives just because we weren’t on the payroll. God doesn’t work like that.

 

2. We were created for this. Michael’s gifts and his passions are much different than we thought they were 3 years ago. He loves to serve, he loves to equip leaders and he loves to manage things behind the scenes.

 

3. Life changes…. and that’s ok. Things change… and sometimes our plans are not God’s plans. This is not what we envisioned 3 years ago…. it’s far from it actually!! We were so set in our own vision for our life that when God started to move us into a new direction… it completely and totally rocked our world.

 

So after almost a full year of discerning and praying and seeking out what our next step is…. Michael is officially my business partner. We’re a husband and wife team…. a package deal if you will. :) We’re excited…. and scared…. and PUMPED…. and intimidated…. and yet so ready for this.  We’ve been trying this out in 2012. Michael shot 14 weddings with me this year and we’re about to shoot two back to back weddings this weekend… one in DC and the next in NYC (see why I need help?!!). We’re excited to spend weekends TOGETHER and to take this business to the next level. Someone asked me what’s in store for KJP in 2013 and I couldn’t give them an answer…. because I have no idea what we’re capable of together! I’m not by myself anymore…. and that’s SO empowering!!

 

Michael and I are still really involved with our youth group.  We’re the annoying volunteers that show up to EVERYTHING!! :) We just adore these kids and while Michael isn’t on staff, we know that right now, as a young married couple with no kids, the youth group is where we want to give our free time and it’s where our heart is. These teenagers are our FRIENDS! We love them and we’re so excited that we’re staying in this same community.  If you didn’t see before, we’re building a house right outside of shortpump and we’re pumped to have BIGGER Tuesday night dinners, sleepovers where girls aren’t crammed 4 to a couch and parties galore! (To our future neighbors, we’ll have sound proof walls, I promise:).

 

Michael and I are incredibly blessed with awesome mentors, amazing parents, really cool siblings and an unbelievable church family both here in Richmond and at home. We’re so thankful for all of you… especially those that have been so supportive as we’ve fought through this whole process this past year.  We know we have a lot to learn but we also have A LOT to look forward to in 2013!!! Thanks Jodi and Kurt for the image!

xoxo, Katelyn
86 Comments Personal
  1. ALI W reply

    Katelyn – that is so awesome. Michael, welcome to the team! I love your point #1. Not defined by a paycheck. Those kids are going to benefit from your uninhibited service and the Lord will be glorified! Thanks for reminding ALL of us that success looks SO different for everyone, and different depending on the season you’re in!

  2. Nikki reply

    I absolutely love your work, Katelyn! You are so inspiring! I love this blog post especially because I am also the owner of my company but my husband is now co-shooting with me as my partner. It’s so rewarding to do something you love and to do it WITH someone you love. I wish you both the best! :)

  3. Tiffany Farley reply

    SO past excited for you guys! Can’t wait to see everything God unfolds for you both this year!

  4. Holly reply

    Yay!!! Congrats!!! What a fun concept – spending time with your husband and doing what you love! I vote for Michael to do some guest blog posts in the future! Ya’ll are the best and I wish you the best!

  5. Carly Fuller | Carly Fuller Photography reply

    Soo excited to see where you two head!! What an inspirational story of taking things one day at a time. Best wishes for 2013. You two are going to ROCK I can feel it!

  6. Anna K. reply

    Ah I love this! I am so excited for you two and all that is in store for your future!

  7. Kat reply

    I am so excited for you Katelyn! When you mentioned this at Matt & I’s e-session I got pumped to meet your husband!! Plus I keep seeing all these awesome shots he takes at weddings :) definitely can’t wait for 7.20.13!

  8. Laura M reply

    May the Lord continued to be glorified through your ministry, and may you and Michael be blessed a thousand-fold for your faithfulness, obedience and trust!

  9. Melissa Manzione reply

    SO happy for you both. This will be such a great change for you, Katelyn. It’s great that you recognized your need for help, many people have a hard time doing that. Good luck with all the new task and challenges this year brings!!! I’m excited to follow your amazing journey!

  10. Nina reply

    this is so great…..I look forward to watching the 2 of you grow in your business!

  11. Liz and Ryan reply

    Congratulations on this AMAZING step! You both will be an awesome team…well you already are but you know what I mean ;). This will be huge for you both in photography and in your ministry. Having Michael as your business partner will provide a whole new level of experience to your clients that you never thought possible. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for you! Can’t wait to see you soon!

  12. Kristin reply

    So excited for y’all. I might be a bit biased but being a husband and wife team is the best. Being full time together has its challenges, but it is amazing and I honestly can’t imagine life any other way!

  13. Jackie Gannon reply

    “because I have no idea what we’re capable of together!” That sentence hit me like a freight train 2 months ago when you two said it in a room of our peers. You two are lights. I appreciate you both beyond words. God’s plan is perfect and amazing. I know he has the best things in store for you. CHEERS!!!!!!!

  14. Jen Jar reply

    YAYYYY!!! So incredibly happy for you both! This is so exciting :)

  15. Rebekah Hoyt reply

    Congratulations Katelyn and Michael! God is doing big things through your lives and it is such a privilege to get to sit back and watch and learn from you both. I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for you two! :)

  16. Deborah Zoe reply

    this is so so so SO exciting!!! I can’t wait to see what 2013 holds in store for you two:)!!

  17. Paulina reply

    aww Katelyn this is so great! Congrats to you and Michael! It’s so crazy how we imagine one thing and God has a complete other thing in store…and we’re not even meant to put the pieces together until His perfect time. He’s always faithful. =). Wishing you a wonderful 2013! Hope I get to meet you both at the What’s Next Tour!! =)

  18. Jill Powers reply

    YAY!!!! I’m so happy for you two…I got a little teary reading this! love you both! xoxoxo

  19. Tori Watson reply

    SO excited for you and Michael and this new step in your business AND personal journey, together! you guys are going to ROCK working side by side and i can’t wait to see all of the blessings that will come from your obedience to God’s vision for your life! :)

  20. rachel reply

    AHHH!!! YAY CONGRATS!!!! you guys are going to be AWESOME! and many prayers as you head into 2013!

  21. Katie Nesbitt reply

    So exciting!!!!!!!!! 2013 is going to be such a great year for you guys!!! Can’t wait to see where this new adventure takes you both:)

  22. Alexandra {Heart Love Weddings} reply

    That’s AMAZING, Katelyn!!!! Congratulations!!!

  23. Kendra reply

    I love this post! Being a HW Wedding team is the best ever. Really. I know that our business could have never, ever succeeded without both of us in it together. I have NO idea how all these talented solo women photographers do it alone. Can’t wait to see how your business grows in 2013 with this awesome change!

  24. Sabrina reply

    YAY!!! I was so excited to read the title of the post and then read the words, the heart, and the meaning behind it :-) SOOO excited for you guys and what God has in store. Ben shooting with me at weddings this past year (our first year of marriage) was amazing and we love it… so I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. Congrats on this step, you guys!!

  25. Rachel reply

    Congratulations!! That is so great! You are such an inspiration and I love following your work! Best of luck!

  26. Christy Tyler reply

    I always thought this was a natural step for you guys given how much Michael has done for you through this whole crazy ride! I’m SO happy for you two and so excited for what you’ll be able to accomplish TOGETHER! I brought my husband on to my business almost 2 years ago and I’m so thankful I have him by my side and that my dreams for the business turned into OUR dreams. I’m so excited for you guys!

  27. Sara B. reply

    So exciting! I am so glad I get to benefit from this new partnership in June!

  28. Lauren Hammond reply

    I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU GUYS!!! Yay!!!!!

  29. Lana Tyler reply

    Congrats to you and Michael and best wishes for the business journey together. Y’all will be in my prayers. I hope to meet you soon! I’m looking into attending your mentoring and couldn’t be more excited about the possibility of meeting such am amazing woman founded in faith!!!! :)

  30. Shelley Hohe reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us! Being a wife, a mom, a partner in my husbands successful auto business and the owner of my small photography business. I know exactly how you feel. I used to think that I was doing something wrong because my business hasn’t grown much in 4 years…maybe because that’s the way God wants it so i don’t get overwhelmed! You truly inspired me today and made me step back to take a look at my family’s situation. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  31. Shelley Hohe reply

    …and congratulations to you both…I am so excited to see what the Lord will do in both your business and personal lives in 2013!!

  32. Kristina W. reply

    I knew it! I knew this was going to happen soon enough. I think it’s a great choice and I just know it’s going to work out. Congratulations Michael for officially becoming what you’ve always been – Katelyn’s best partner. :) P.S. You two look so good in that photo!

  33. Julie reply

    this is so exciting!! i’m so excited for you and Michael to embark on this business journey TOGETHER!! might be a little selfish in saying this – BUT – i’m thrilled you both will be at my wedding next April! ;) xoxo

  34. molly stillman reply

    oh my gosh. this is amazing news!! congratulations you two!! i seriously can’t wait to see what is in store for you both and to see what God is going to do in and through you!

  35. Abby Grace reply

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!! I am so so stinkin excited for you!! I’m hoping Matt & I will be there one day because I know he’d be perfect, and seeing y’alls story evolve has only encouraged me. Congratulations on this huge step- you’re going to do amazing things!!

  36. Ashley Link reply

    Oh my goodness!!! How awesome!!!!!! That is such an amazing plan! God is pretty cool isn’t He? I’m so excited that you and Michael get to experience all of this together now! I will be praying for y’all and know God will do amazing things through this!!! :)

  37. caroline reply

    BEYOND excited for you guys!!! love it. Continue to be faithful :) love you!

  38. jamie reply

    this is really exciting, katelyn. happy for you and michael and this hard decision! pumped you’re still being a leader/volunteering with the youth. so important :)

  39. Kimber Wassenberg reply

    Yay!!!!!! I was waiting for this to happen! :)

  40. Jessica Hunt reply

    So proud of you for making this huge step! I cannot wait to see what God does through your business and this next step in your partnership!

  41. Stephanie Messick reply

    SOOOO wonderful to see how God is working your lives!!! You two are the cutest team! So happy for you! :)

  42. Sarah Adams reply

    I am so encouraged by your trust and faith in Christ- and your willingness to move where He leads! Congrats to you and Michael- you are an unstoppable pair! Can’t wait to see what 2013 brings for this amazing team!

  43. Emily reply

    this is SO awesome :) Blessings on you both!!!!

  44. Kim reply

    This is amazing! Congratulations!!

  45. Annamarie reply

    YAY!! CONGRATULATIONS Katelyn and Michael!! It’s so empowering to see you following hard after God and His will for your lives and giving up your plans for his…I can’t wait to see where He takes the two of you as a team!!:)

  46. Sarah reply

    YAY! Congrats Katelyn and Michael! I know this will be an awesome journey for you guys! I’ll be praying for you guys as you begin your new journey! Good luck! You guys will be awesome!

  47. Annetta reply

    What a wonderful change!!! Congrats and I hope everything goes well for you both.

  48. Emy reply

    WOO HOO!!!! So glad and excited it’s officially official now. I’m pumped for you and Michael, you’re like the ultimate dream team fo sho!!! Loooovvvvveee you!!!!

  49. Sydni Jackson reply

    congratulations katelyn and michael!! you will make such a great team!! i’m glad you’re figuring out what the Lord has in store for you – His plans are greater than ours!!

  50. Rhonda reply

    It’s an amazing to have such a partner in life and in work. You two are lucky to have each other!! Congratulations and bring on 2013

  51. Michele Read reply

    Congratulations to both of you. Sounds like the Lord has set all this before you. Hannah and I love following your blog. I should start saving now for her wedding photos since I know she would only want you and Michael. God bless both of you and I know God has great things ahead and will use you in a mighty way.

  52. Anna Grace reply

    CONGRATS!! That is such a huge blessing to be able to spend everyday in business and life with your best friend and husband. I am SO excited for you and hopefully I will be one of your BRIDE’s of 2013!!!! SO awesome writing about Jesus too – He is the reason for everything we do! So pumped for you!

  53. jamie reply

    So excited for you two! You two do make an amazing team…thank you for your example of being open to change in plans that God has for your life. there will be blessing in following his ways. Looking forward to what 2013 brings!

  54. Tara Peddicord reply

    Woo! God is good!! So excited for you both.

  55. Jasmine Star reply

    Sooooooo excited for you!!!!

  56. Holly reply

    I follow your work because it inspires me as a photographer, yet I also follow your work because your heart for Jesus is such a comfort to me as a Christian. I wish you both every success…I actually can’t think of anything more exciting than taking this on with your life partner and best friend. Every blessing from Australia!

  57. ashley barnett reply

    YAAAY! SO happy for you guys! You totally deserve this and you’re going to rock it out! I have no doubt! CONGRATS- We love you guys!!! xoxo Ashley + Jeremy

  58. Sophia Jordan reply

    WOW! First of all, awesome post. It is really cool to see how faithful you and Michael were in praying, especially about a huge thing for your marriage and your lives as Christ’s children. This is so excitingly what a blessing! Glad to see God doing things in your lives and business. Keep up the fantastic work.

  59. Eryn Kesler reply

    SO exciting!! You guys will do awesome!! Eryn

  60. Kacey Wolters reply

    Omg I’m so excited for you and Michael. I believe that a husband and wife team is just what you two were meant to be and Michael’s eye is fantastic. This is going to take your business to a whole new level and I can’t wait to see what 2013 has to offer you two. Welcome to the world of photography, Michael :-)

  61. karen allen reply

    SOOOO awesome!! I always love being able to look back and see how God has opened and closed doors, and led you down paths that you didn’t even realize at the time! But that you can see His hand in every step of the way. SOOO excited for ya’ll!!

  62. Kate reply

    YOU guys are so empowering!!! i’ve never met you before, but love reading your blog and dream of you photographing my wedding one day. Best wishes in 2013, God will do many wonderful things for you guys and KJP!!

  63. Beth reply

    Oh my goodness, that is so exciting!!!!

  64. Gayle Driver reply

    Congratulations Katelyn & Michael!! I think this is awesome! God is good!

  65. Laura Hernandez reply

    You are an amazing example & roll model. Thank for keeping Jesus in your blog! Our true life purpose to spread the Word and be the light. Thank you!

  66. randy thomas reply

    Awesome and Congrats

  67. Meagan Buckingham reply

    you made me tear up/cry! at work! :) :) :)

  68. Sharon Elizabeth reply

    ahhhh — sooo exciting!!!! it was only a matter of time!!! i love it!

  69. Mary Davis reply

    Welcome to the world of working with your husband it’s awesome! Xoxoxo.

  70. Mallory reply

    SO excited for you! I can’t wait to see what you both accomplish through working together =)

  71. SP reply

    So encouraging to hear this and this is very exciting. WIth God on your side ALL things are possible and He is in the business of doing above and beyond what we could ever think or image Him ever doing. Praying nothing but success over your new adventure together with your hubby and that this will only unite the two of you close. Katelyn ~ you are a true inspiration and I thank God for your life and passion! Good luck!

  72. Josh Gooden reply

    I am so excited for you and Michael! :] I remember when you told me unofficially a few months ago and I knew this would work so well for both of you. Cannot wait to hang out with you both more in the future!

  73. LeolaK reply

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Such exciting news!!! So happy for you both!

  74. Ashlyn reply

    Oh my goodness! That is SO exciting!!! How neat- how neat to work side by side as husband and wife- photographing couples! That’s just…. Awesome. Seriously. I began reading this post and thought- she’s quitting? Ha. So relieved:)

  75. Meagan reply

    I am so blessed by your openness & authenticity. You two are an inspiration. Can’t wait to learn even more at Connect!

  76. Lydia reply

    Wow, that is amazing news, Katelyn! I’m so excited for you and Michael and all the great things this year will bring! Can’t wait to follow you along the journey!

  77. Julianna reply

    WOOOOO!!!!!!

  78. Carrie Logan reply

    ohhhh my did this post make me happy!!!! you two are going to do amazing things TOGETHER for the Lord (although you already have been ;) and i can’t wait to see how He uses it all for His glory! makes me inspired and excited! praying for you both in this new journey. xoxo

  79. Steph Snyder reply

    So excited for you two – will keep y’all in prayer as you take this next step! You’ll have to let me know the next time you’re in NYC!!

  80. Stephen reply

    If only I could convince my wife to pick up a camera :) CONGRATS!!!

  81. Gabrielle Corbin reply

    This is such exciting news! Can’t wait to see how God uses you and Michael not only in your marriage, but as a team in your business endeavors. You two are going to do great things this year!

  82. nikki kauzlarich reply

    Congrats! This is such an amazing opportunity! I know that God is going to bless you both! My husband and I desire this to happen in our lives as well. We are just waiting on God!

  83. Liz and Ryan reply

    Ahhhhhh! This is SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SOOOOOOO AMAZING!!! ;) YAY YAY YAY! Ok, I hope you read that as we are so pumped for you and Michael!! You are going to do even more AMAZING things together! So excited! Huge hugs!!!

  84. ashley reply

    Isn’t is so wonderful to be able to work with someone so close to you! It not only helps your relationship grow as a couple but it does wonders for your business and is a connection like no other to work with one in the same. I think the people who work together as a couple have some of the best business, relationships, and family life.

  85. Christy Jewell reply

    This is so so awesome! You guys are gonna do great!

  86. Nicole reply

    This is such a dream for my husband and I! Just this last month we’ve started discussing the possibility of becoming a husband/wife team and we both feel that’s what God is calling us to. I love looking up to couples such as yourself that are making it happen!

    Do you happen to have any behind the scenes posts on what michael’s “job description” looks like in terms of helping you? My husband and I are seeking out advice along those lines! :)

    xo,
    Nicole

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