And an Anniversary!

  • The "I Can Do This" Moment

started, there were moments of GREAT FEAR.  Actually, my first 10 weddings were actually filled with a lot of  FEAR. I was so nervous. I had no training, I didn’t have hardly ANY experience and I had no clue what I was doing. I shot through weddings just HOPING for a “Money Shot” or two. I cringed at the thought of using just a simple on-camera flash and family formals were the death of me.  It’s amazing that I decided to keep going because in my mind, I had only ever shot 2-3 images that gave me HOPE for a future in photography. How DREARY is this post so far?!! Don’t worry, it gets better.  After I made it through the fall of 2008,

I started looking towards the 2009 wedding season with both fear AND excitement.  Somewhere, deep down, I KNEW I could do this and so I kept going.


It was June 5th, 2009 and it was pouring rain. Why? Why was it raining on one of the wedding days that I had been looking forward to for MONTHS?!  It was Jared and Lauryn‘s big day.  I loved this couple and I ever since our meeting in the Aroma’s coffee shop in 2008, I had a good feeling about this day.  Maybe I had a good feeling because I knew Lauryn and Jared were super photogenic… or maybe I felt good about this wedding because I really CONNECTED with this couple or MAYBE I had a good feeling because I was about to shoot the wedding that would change my whole approach to photography in general!!


I walked away from that rainy wedding day with a smile on my face and a ton of CF cards full of images I was PROUD OF! The lighting, the posing, the composition… something just CLICKED for me on that day.  That was one of the days that I thought to myself… “I can DO this!”.  Were there mistakes made? Yes.  Were there imperfect images? YES… just ask Lauryn! …. But there was a HOPE that came from that day that I’ll NEVER forget. I had several weddings like this that summer of 2009 but this one will always remain a favorite.  Lauryn is now a photographer as well and she’s doing AMAZING things with her business… and the BEST part is that Michael and I have become great friends with these two.  Jared and Lauryn have meant more to my business than they will EVER know… and so today, on their 3 year anniversary…I just want to celebrate them and say a HUGE THANK YOU to the Galloways! Thank you for believing in a young, unexperienced redhead with a passion.  Thank you for taking a risk and I wish you decades and decades of happiness together!!!!!!


Maybe you’re a photographer that is in the SAME place I was 3 years ago. You’re waiting on that glimmer of HOPE and that one wedding where it all just CLICKS! Well, the good news is…. it will come. The hard news is that it takes WORK… a TON of work. Over the last several years I invested a lot of time, money and energy into learning the in’s and out’s of photography. I bought new equipment, I’ve attended workshops, I flew to conferences and I’ve read article after article about tips and tricks and business management. It’s a BIG world out there… and if I had to give a beginner just one piece of advice…it would be to INVEST in YOURSELF.  One of the greatest investments of my first two years in business was attending Justin and Mary’s Spread the Love tour two years ago. Learning from others in the industry is invaluable and if you can find more experienced photographers that have a heart for teaching beginner photographers… you should latch onto that!! It’s rare!


Justin and Mary have always been willing to GIVE and SHARE and TEACH… and they’re at it again!! They JUST announced today that they’ll be coming to RICHMOND and two other cities on a LIGHTING INTENSIVE tour!!!! Wowsers! Have you seen their new editorial shoots?!  Oh my GAHHH!!!   This intensive is well WORTH your time and money. If you’re at all interested… my advice would be to GO. Go and learn and soak up as much knowledge as you can because as you continue to GROW… you’ll continue to have those “glimmers of HOPE”! You’ll begin to have MORE and MORE shoots that leave you feeling ACCOMPLISHED and PROUD of what you have created!!! EVERY photographer deserves to experience that feeling!!


So if you’re reading this today and you’re ready to jump on board with J&M July 11th in Richmond VA… I have GREAT NEWS!!! If you enter “KatelynJames” in the checkout area, you’ll recieve a $50 discount!!!  Sign up HERE and get excited!!!

17 Comments Photography
  1. katie yuen reply

    It’s funny you post this today, while I was just thinking how happy I was for Lauryn and Jared, and how far both you and her have come in the last three years and how far I hope to be in the next three years! And I’m so happy that I am getting to know so many amazing photographers in the industry that have so much to give and share and teach, even if they don’t realize it! :)

  2. molly reply

    YAY! happy anniversary galloways!!! that truck shot is still one of my favorites of yours… EVER

  3. Lauryn reply

    YAY!!! 3 years!! Crazytown. :-) I LOVE our wedding pictures, all of them. And YOU have meant more to me than you know… in life, and in business. Love you lady!!

  4. Rebekah Hoyt reply

    I’m going!! I saw this too late and missed out on the coupon code, but I am so blessed by people like J&M and YOU who are so willing to give of themselves to help others. And also, this is encouraging because we all have humble beginnings and struggled to build confidence to get through. So cool that you had your “ah-ha” moment at Lauryn’s wedding and can reflect on that 3 years later. And happy anniversary Lauryn!

  5. Christy Tyler reply

    Awww – love this!! And love Lauryn too! Happy anniversary Galloways! And YES to investing in yourself and going to workshops!! Love J&M!

  6. Abby Grace reply

    I had the same terrifying experiences! Where I was up at night for hours in the week leading up to the wedding because I was so nervous that i was going to fail miserably. Praise the Lord for moving past that time in life, for real!!

  7. Brittani reply

    This is a great post that gives me a lot of hope. With less than a year of shooting weddings under my belt, sometimes I wonder if I can really do this. I don’t know why, but something inside me tells me YES. YES, I can. Even when I don’t believe in myself or my images, I keep going because I know it will all work out the way it’s meant to as long as I stay focused and work hard. I’m glad to hear someone else had these feelings and with a lot of hard work and perseverance, has built a successful business and brand out of it. Thanks for the honesty and hope :)

  8. Carolyn Rauh reply

    Such a beautiful and meaning post. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  9. MelissaJoy reply

    Loved hearing your story. I really needed that today! xo

  10. McCall Doyle reply

    I shot my second wedding ever this past Saturday and there were many, many terrifying moments! Thank you for this post. I actually went back to some of your starting weddings before shooting mine and that gave me hope…that you always had an eye and a gift for composition but that you didn’t start out perfectly or at the level you are now…there’s always room for learning and growth. Thanks for always being open & honest with your fans, your friends, your colleagues, and your brides! :)

  11. Kelli reply

    I don’t live in VA, and I’m not even sure how I came to follow your facebook page, but I’m glad I did because you are an amazing, creative photographer! I love checking out all of the pictures you take and your story inspired me to learn more about photography and hopefully do a little more with what is currently just a hobby. Keep up the good work!

  12. Amanda Truth reply

    Such a wonderful message, and such a wonderful couple!! And what looks to be like such a wonderful workshop!! Thank you for always inspiring others!!

  13. Ashley Link reply

    i love this katelyn. seriously, God is speaking to me tonight. i have been really discouraged lately with my business and your post was perfect to read! thank you for the encouragement. i love how much you give of yourself to others and helping out. you are something special! :) i really respect you and your work. you’re awesome. also, congrats to the galloways. i love lauryn’s work as well and love seeing photographers as friends in this business. y’all are such an inspiration and i learn so much from you both. thanks again! :)

  14. milsztof reply

    I steal feel fear at wedding ceremony. Don’t wont miss crucial moments.

  15. Rici reply

    Katelyn! You spoke to my heart today!! I am heading to my first summer wedding and I am on the train right now: To drive from Italy to Germany. My feelings are exactly that… fear a bit scared … excitement. I did not shoot a lot of weddings yet and I really hope all works well. I know I have a long way to go yet and to learn and study and improve myself. But truly a glimpse of hope is what I hop to take back home. Thank you for sharing how you felt back than!!! That is soo nice of you and I feel a bit better, about the feelings in my stomach.
    Saluti, your Rici.

  16. Esra reply

    Hi Katelyn,
    I am in Boston and I was wondering if your coupon is applicable to the one that they are going to have in Boston too?? Thanks!

  17. Colleen reply

    will always love that blue truck picture!!!!

Reply to: