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Sometimes I have a problem with taking my own advice. I tell my coaching gals to blog and openly proclaim their CRAZY dreams and yet I have NEVER done a post about what I envision for my business. HYPOCRITE! There is SO much value in sharing what you are hoping for and striving for but there is also a great risk. If I tell you some of the goals I have for my business and openly share my dreams….what happens if they NEVER come true. How embarrassing right? I think it’s that fear of failure and not meeting my own standards that I have set for myself that has kept me from writing this post. After my first year in business

I was responding to a thread in a forum that I used to be a part of and the question was “What are your goals for this year?”.  Mine were a little bit extreme. I wanted to shoot 30 weddings my second year in business AND get my work published in print! Yes, at 20 years old I was a little naive… but I was a dreaming BIG! Someone responded to that post about shooting 30+ weddings in my second year and said “Yea, good luck with that”.  I ignored it…. but when I only shot 20+ weddings my second year,  I felt a little bit embarrassed that I hadn’t met my own goal. So from that moment on, I think I subconsciously refrained from openly sharing my hopes for the future because it was SAFE that way. If I never posted about what I was secretly hoping for, I would never be embarrassed if those things never happened! There are two problems with this:

1. Secretly holding on to your dreams often leads to insecurity. When you’re the only one that knows about your dreams it allows for self doubt to creep in and talk you out of the crazy big plans that you have for yourself. (This is especially true for women)

2. We need PEOPLE to make our dreams happen. If you keep your dreams to yourself, you’re crushing your chances of any opportunity to make those dreams come true!! For example, I have a dear friend that was bold enough to blog about wanting to shoot in London. She just happened to post that dream at just the right time because a friend from high school emailed her and asked her to shoot her European wedding!!

We need to TALK about our dreams because bottom line, we can’t make them happen by ourselves.  So today I’m overcoming the fear of failure and I’m just blurting out some crazy ideas I have for Michael and I and our business!! Some of these things may NEVER happen. I may even CHANGE MY MIND about some of these things and you know what, that’s OK… it’s not the end of the world. I would rather share my dreams openly than just sit on them for many years to come and grow resentful that I was never given an opportunity.  A very wise friend of mine told me recently that if I don’t reach out and make things happen, the only opportunities I’m going to receive are the through the connections I already have. Basically, I’ll stay in the same place if I’m just waiting for something to fall in my lap! Yikes! Sometimes the truth is hard to hear but I’m so thankful for Jasmine’s advice and that’s part of the reason I’m making myself share this post!!

So what are some of our dreams?! Welp, here we go!! :

1. I want to shoot a wedding in Italy!!! More specifically, VENICE! Can you imagine a bride walking around the streets of this amazing city?! GAH! Michael and I honeymooned in Venice and I remember walking the streets for the very first time and thinking “This is my dream wedding location!”.  My images are full of color and every time I saw an amazing old door, I wished that I had a bride there to stand in front of it!  I would love the opportunity to shoot anywhere overseas but Italy is very high on my list!!!

2. We want to pay off our house as quickly as possible. This desire stems from our Dave Ramsey training! How amazing would it be to mortgage-free right when our kids are reaching the high school age when they’re starting to cost us more money! We’d REALLY love to pay it off before we have kids but I feel like my mother is cringing at the idea of us waiting 7+ years for grandkids! So maybe that’s a little too far fetched. But basically, we want to be smart with our money and use it wisely so that we’re setting ourselves up for success in the future.

3. I want to take coaching on the road. There it is… I said it. We would love to do this before we start thinking about starting a family. There are already some plans in the works to offer something that we’re calling “Coaching Huddles” around the country and we’re still praying about when and where to offer these sessions!!

4. We have an unwritten bucket list of places we would love to travel to before we have kids! One of those places is HAWAII! … and we’ll be vacationing there this December!! We’re SO excited!! So the other half of that dream is to shoot a bride and groom IN HAWAII! So if you and your hubby are interested in getting back into your wedding attire for a shoot on the amazing beaches of Hawaii on January 3rd, email Michael for pricing and more info!! Michael@katelynjames.com

5. Australia. Oh gosh this is hard to post. It’s hard to post because this is a BIG dream that would take A LOT of coordination and planning to bring to life. Everything we do, we pray about… and we’re definitely still praying about this one. We have received inquiries in the past about taking workshops and education to Australia.  The reality is that those that follow us in Australia will probably never have the chance to attend a workshop or coaching session unless we come to THEM. So! We’re putting feelers out there for potentially teaching in Australia within the next year. We’ve had several friends do this in the past and I know it’s so much work but if it happened, it would be worth it! If you’re interested, email Michael! Michael@katelynjames.com 

Whew!! There it is! Those are some of our BIG dreams that I have been privately hoping for and dreaming about for quite some time.  If I don’t accomplish ANY of them, that’s ok! But I’m 100x more likely to accomplish at least some of them because I simply SHARED about them! That’s a huge weight off of my chest and a great way to start off a new week! Happy Monday everyone!!

xoxo, Katelyn
56 Comments Personal
  1. Julia reply

    PLEASE TAKE YOUR COACHING TO CANADA :) :) IT WOULD MAKE ME SO HAPPY TO LEARN FROM YOU IN PERSON!

    MUCH LOVE,
    JULIA

  2. Kristin reply

    Darn it! We will be in Hawaii at the end of February! :Please wait another month?! ;)

  3. Sarah Chain reply

    So sad you are going to hawaii in december…my husband and I are going in april for our 10th anniversary. Sigh. but still…aren’t you sooooo excited?!?! It will be our first hawaiian vacation! :)

  4. Rebekah Hoyt reply

    I’m so proud of you for sharing your dreams! You’re continually an inspiration to me! :)

  5. Nicole reply

    I second that!! Come to Toronto!!

  6. Katie reply

    Thanks so much for this post. I’ve been in business for a little over a year and a half and also have big dreams. I feel stuck sometimes. The biggest thing I struggle with in this business is networking and reaching out to other professionals…I don’t know where to begin!! So that is one of my goals for next year…along with a million others! Good luck with all of your adventures!

  7. Kendal reply

    Katelyn, I have no doubt you will accomplish all of your goals, because your simply awesome!! If you brought coaching to Boston I would be there in a heartbeat!!!

  8. Diana Gordon reply

    Thank you for sharing ! Dreaming big and letting people know is a really hard thing to do! (that I haven’t done yet!) but after reading this, I just might!

  9. Daddy reply

    Dream big and Pray Bigger and god does amazing things! That sounds so much like something a preacher would say. Its really just a proud daddy. Luv Ya

  10. Kathryn Grace reply

    I’m sure you’d love coaching in Chicago… ;-) Shooting a wedding in Italy would be amazing… actually just GOING to Italy would be amazing!

  11. Alicia White reply

    How funny – when I was in venice i was swooning every other second! the hardest part would be all the people everywhere – but I could make a good street blocker if you’d like a third shooter ;-) Loved reading your dreams and thank you for the reminder that it’s ok to not always play it safe and tell the world your big dreams!

  12. Mary Marantz reply

    Love you!! So SO proud of you for this & I have NOOO doubts that you guys will hit every single one of them! If you do Sydney for the Australia workshop, let me know & I’ll put you in touch with our contacts who helped us with our workshop over there! xo

  13. Caitlin King reply

    Nothing but prayers and encourage my for you! God has big things in store for you guys for sure. And Boston! Please!

  14. Samantha reply

    I’m glad you posted this! It is always nice to read other peoples dreams and goals.

    ps. Come to NY! :)

  15. Lisa Lazzari reply

    Hawaii in December/January is the best! I went two years ago and attended an underwater wedding (yes, underwater)! Incredible opportunity and experience. You do bring up some great ideas – perhaps I should move my wedding to Italy – wonder how my mother would react. :)

  16. Kat reply

    I LOVE the idea of dreaming big!! It’s TERRIFYING but we ALL have dreams and it’s so refreshing to see yours so publically. And, I would LOVE to visit Italy AND Hawaii so I’m a bit jealous, ha! :)

  17. Johane reply

    Young lady, I see a kid in the near future – you are starting to write more and more on that over the last months! This might be your real dream! sincerely Johane (an old mom!)

  18. Ashley reply

    Love that you shared this Katelyn! You both are such an inspiration to us and I hope that all your dreams come true and many more!

  19. Bethany Mitchell reply

    Thank you so much for sharing!! I am so guilty of feeling the same way. my Fear of Failing often gets in the way.

  20. Sydni Jackson reply

    Australia is AMAZING!! Hope you can work it out to go there!!

  21. Matoli Keely reply

    Oh this post is just perfect! i am queen of holding on to my dreams and desires…i basically hide them in a little corner in my mind, fearing what others would think, and also shame if i never reach them. well i just might share a dream or two…soon lol

  22. Abby Grace reply

    Italy is one of my dreams as well! I’ve been fantasizing about shooting there for years now, but my dreams begin in Tuscany instead of Venice :).

  23. Elizabeth reply

    keep the dreams near and dear to your heart they can and do come true!!

  24. Rhema faith reply

    Reading through this I just kept thinking “all of those things are totally doable for them” I have no doubt you will get to accomplish all of these things! I would love to attend a coaching session if you came to Colorado!! ;)

  25. Anna D reply

    It is good to dream :) I would definitely say that it is OKAY to voice your dreams and be not afraid! Remember that sometimes life takes us in slightly different directions of our dreams so we just need to realign them. The fact that you didn’t do 30 weddings in year 2 doesn’t mean you COULDN’T do it, it just means that it wasn’t mean to be. Can you imagine the stress on that second year of shooting over 30 weddings? At that moment you may have given up and said “screw it! weddings aren’t for me! Its TOO much!”. Instead you have learned from your weddings and how to be more efficient in your process to shoot 30+ weddings NOW. Technically you STILL met your goal, just a little later. Keep dreaming big, the universe will align all the people and resources that you need to get there :D always remember to re-visit your big dreams for slight tweaks as new things happen in your lives :D

  26. Ashleigh reply

    Australia is an amazing place not just sydney or melbourne but everywhere there is so photogenic from fraser island, sailing in the great barrier reef, to walking the streets of sydney….some of the best sunsets….. O how I love that place

  27. Shaina Koren reply

    Thanks for sharing! We all need a little encouragement to put our dreams out there. I need to do this as well – at least for myself! If you have interest in Florida for coaching, my michael and I would love to help you coordinate!

  28. Kimber Wassenberg reply

    I think #2 is the most important one on that list! Being debt-free is not only wise stewardship but it’s following the Bible (“Owe no man anything but love”). What could be better?! So excited for you and these dreams you have!

  29. Rachel reply

    OHHH workshop huddles, yes please! my heart gets so excited every time you post a new workshop experience, and then i realize that i’m on the other side of the country.

    Please please pleeeeease come to washington!
    :)

    xoxo

  30. Christy Tyler reply

    Why can’t you guys be in Hawaii when we’re there in November/Early December?! We’d love to get back into our wedding gear for you!!! Shoot!

  31. Kristin U. reply

    Those sound like great goals to me! I’ve been learning the same thing about sharing your dreams… shared some at a conference this past weekend to random people I met and already made some great connections with them about those dreams! Feels like one step closer! :) If you need an extra assistant to help you when you’re in Australia, please feel free to hit me up. LOL Seriously, though. ;)

  32. Amanda sloper reply

    You girl!! God is on your side and with hardworking and dedication I know you’ll cross all these off the list! Good luck!!!!!

  33. Loren reply

    You can come to cleveland, ohio, or even better, little ole massillon! Kaitlin from kaitlinnoelphotography recommended your blog when i was first starting out, and I haven’t looked back since!! You’re such an inspiration to our industry!!!

  34. Mallory reply

    It was so exciting to read your dreams and I can’t wait to see where your business takes you with these dreams!!
    Thank you for sharing :)

  35. Julie reply

    I wish you the best of luck on all of your dreams! I know you have helped me make dreams come true with your advice and also you made my heart full when you had the contest and I won the lens for my yearbook editor Amanda. Fun memories have been had in my life because of you! Have a great day!

  36. Momma reply

    I like Johane’s comment!!! Hee Hee No really, I am excited for you and Michael . . . . that you are following God’s call as you work together as a team, using your gifts to minister to others through your business, loving people and life itself, and thoroughly enjoying marking fabulous things off your “bucket list before kids”; I can wait to be a Grandma! But only because I have Bokeh :) Love you!

  37. Kayla sellers reply

    Please come to texas… Please!

  38. Chels reply

    love it! So inspiring! thanks for sharing!

  39. GlamourEffekt reply

    nice doors. My girlfriend took so many photographs of them when we where in italy. of course shes not a professional photographer like you, but they turned out pretty good.. greets from berlin

  40. Robyn reply

    Thank you! You reminded me that it is important to pray about EVERYTHING… even our dreams and hopes.

  41. Kelly Green reply

    Come to the UK & host a workshop, I’ll help you out!!!!!

  42. Holly reply

    Have you read Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. Bold prayers and Bold Dreams! Thanks for sharing!

  43. Sharon reply

    I’ve been living in chicago for the last 9 years and now I am finally moving back home to australia. This is one goal I hope the two of you get to accomplish. gorgeous country and wonderful laid back people. oh, and the landscapes are pretty darn awesome too.

  44. Sharon reply

    Excuse my lack of capitals, I was typing this whilst eating breakfast and b/feeding my little one!

  45. Ally reply

    Yes Toronto, Canada please! Absolutely love your work and would love to learn from you, single mama of 3 means its impossible to get away for workshops but yours would be tops on my list :) you are very wise to take advantage of this time to travel and make these dreams come true now! wishing you the best,

  46. Natalie reply

    YES!!! So happy to see these dreams on the blog!!! When you plan your coaching on the road, let me know if you need help! :) I’m volunteering to be the Bokeh watcher // Cheerleader // Friend! :) Much love for you both!

  47. Rici reply

    This is sooo great Katelyn! I loved to read your list and Oh yes, it´s hard to put it out there…
    IF you come to Italia! Let me know, I´d soooo very much loove to help and translate or assist in any way possible!
    ~ Saluti!!!

  48. Carrie logan reply

    i love that you and michael are so open with us, AND open to what God has for you. thank you for that, friends!!

  49. EMily Gluntz reply

    So I was reading through the first part of your post going, “mmhmm, yep, right there where you were. i’m 20 and working on those goals!” and then i read your first Goal and my heart started beating really fast because i just got back from photographing my first international wedding and it was in none other than Venice, Italy!! gahhh!!! it was Phenomenal!!! I hope you get to fulfill that dream and cross that one off your own list someday soon!! xoxo

  50. It’s my birthday ~ Whelp…I’m 28 years old » Matoli Keely Blog reply

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  51. Solange reply

    Katelyn, you are so right in sharing your big plans. If you come to boston i’ll be one of the first ones to sign up!

  52. Colleen Gottlieb reply

    The doors are beautiful and this is so inspiring. Maybe I’ll proclaim some of my dreams out loud. One step cloer to making them come true right!

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  54. Meagan reply

    You know Katelyn…Erik and I might be able to help with that Australia dream in the next year or so! Being right next to Fiji, you could easily use us as a pitstop AND Erik’s aunt and uncle live there to possibly use as a homebase!

  55. Fairy dust in the classroom | Julie Mancini Photography reply

    […] Since I do a lot of wedding photography, I have a few photographers whose work I follow on social media. One of them is Katelyn James, a young wedding photographer out of Virginia whose work I probably follow more than any other. I clicked on her blog yesterday to find a nice piece about vocalizing your dreams. See her blog here: http://katelynjamesblog.com/our-dreams/ […]

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