Wow! Where do I ever begin with this? I have followed Katelyn and her blog for the good part of 4 years. I am not only blown away by her beautiful work but by the person she is and how she runs her business. The time then came that she announced her workshops in the spring. I desperately knew it was the time in my business and my career that I furthered my education and she was the exact person I wanted to learn from. Spending as much money and time and leaving my baby to go to this workshop was a little scary. I knew who I always thought and believed Katelyn was but I of course thought to myself…What if she’s not? After a LOT of contemplation and back and forth I decided to take the leap and sign up for her November workshop. I really believed I could learn from her and this would be exactly what I needed at this point in my business.
Driving to Virginia this past sunday was pretty surreal! Being in the Facebook group with all the girls leading up to this, being so excited, taking the opportunity to step away from reality for a bit and really focus on furthering my business for my career and most importantly current and future brides! I walked into this with a lot on my mind and on my heart so I was ready to get vulnerable and take in as much as I could from Katelyn and the entire experience.
I remember thinking if I get one great idea or learn one great new part of my business that makes my workload easier or changes my business for the good I will be happy. Well….I got a WHOLE lot more than that. I walked away form this experience a changed woman. For so many reasons I can’t even begin to tell you. Katelyn….You are amazing, so much better than I ever could have imagined. You are kind and genuine and are such a blessing to this always growing industry. I truly believe that with you being such a huge part of it we can never go wrong.
Why am I a changed woman you ask? Well it all begins with the first story that Katelyn shared with us about the time in their life that Michael, her husband, came to work with her. I think they were in the same point in their life and business that Troy and I are currently in. I tried to fight back the tears as she told this story as all I could think about was my current situation and how familiar her story felt. My husband Troy got out of the military almost two years ago this month! Those 5 years were some of the most exciting and beautiful years of my life. While my business couldn’t be what it is today while he was in they were still some of the best years of our lives. We made amazing friends and had so many incredible adventures. Two years ago that came to a close and I don’t think either of us truly got past that. Troy couldn’t find THE job that made him feel the same way and I feel like I sat back and watched him miss the one thing he ever really loved in his life (other than me of course! Hehe!) slip away. He is so incredible and worked 50-60 hours a week on top of attending school full time. Crazy I know! He has never given up on trying to find the thing that makes his heart SING the way the military did! All while here I was living my dream but constantly dealing with traveling and different schedules and feeling like our family wasn’t connecting like it should have been. I have felt stuck like I am moving forward in my business but not in our personal life for quite a while now. After all of this finally got to us we started the idea of Troy leaving his full time job to come to work with me as my business partner/office manager(I am so bad at that stuff) . I was SO excited but also very nervous about all of this. So after a lot of thinking we kicked the idea under the rug for a bit . With all the worry of if my income was enough to support us and dealing with scary things like health insurance, and wondering if it would be enough to make him happy.
Why am I talking so much about Troy in my blog about Katelyn James? There is a perfectly logical reason for that. After two days of meeting Katelyn, Michael and their adorable Bichpoo Bokeh, 12 AMAZING ladies who I am now so lucky to call friends and lots of laughs and lots of crying! haha! I began to reflect on how much I had learned on my long car ride home. Katelyn had said many times that you have to take risks and believe in yourself ,your business and your experience. She reminded me of all the beautiful things we forget about what we do when we get bogged down with editing and buried in emails. Katelyn inspired me to follow my dreams further than I ever thought possible and to get my personal life back on track too. Here I was creating these beautiful moments for my awesome brides and living out my dream and loving every second of it. While I always thought back to Troy and what could we do to get him in the same place I was. Sure he has an AWESOME job that pays great and seemed like it should be great but between all the hours and school and opposite schedule it was just a mess. Despite all this he continued to work his butt off day and night as a husband and a daddy. I know, I know where am I going with all of this! Hehe!
Well after a very long talk(Maybe some crying!) and lots of planning and preparing (Thanks to all I learned from you Katelyn!!) We are so so excited to announce that TROY IS LEAVING HIS JOB(ahhhh!) and coming on full time with Rach Lea Photography! He is so awesome and has so much to offer for my company far beyond his great business and leadership skills but we will get into that later! Katelyn & Michael I have to thank you for so much more than opening your home to us and being open books and letting us learn from you. I have to thank you for making me believe that we could do it too, that Troy and I could do this and change our lives for the better. You two are so inspiring and it was a true blessing to get to know you.
If you are thinking about attending Katelyn James’s workshop or just thinking about educating yourself and taking some time to grow yourself and your business this is the place to do it! I never knew I could grow so much as a person and a business owner in a matter of two days. You will leave this workshop with tons of really valuable knowledge, but the most valuable thing you will leave with is a rejuvenated spirit in who you are as a person and the amazing career we as photographers are all so lucky to have.
So from the bottom of my heart Thank Katelyn and Michael for everything!
Now Join me in Welcoming my extremely handsome and wonderful hubby to the team!!! YAYYY! 🙂
(Photo above by CourtneyJPhoto)
Want to see some behind the scenes fun from the workshop?! Hooray!
Michael being an excellent sun blocker with his fluffy pink blanket!
A couple of my shots from the AWESOME styled shoot!
Did I mention these two got ENGAGEDDDD right here in the workshop at the styled shoot! oh…did I also mention that I had to step away for a phone call and missed the WHOLE THING!
and of course the oh so precious Bokeh Boy!
oh and there was ANOTHER proposal!!!! Congrats Lyndsey! Best workshop group ever! I THINK SO!