Asheville, NC

The Workshop Experience Contest -My Story

Hello to all my fans: Katelyn James Photography is having a contest to win a FREE seat at her workshop experience. So, here is my stab at winning.


My story begins back in 2004. My whole childhood I loved getting my picture made. I loved to model and get dressed up. I never had the body for it so I decided to go after different things, music, art, and such. My hometown has a fair every fall, much like many small towns. They have a photography contest during this fair and my grandmother enters 10 pictures every single year. She has her little 35mm camera and she takes very good pictures with it. She loves photography and nature! She told me that I should enter some photography because she new I had just gotten a new camera from my mom and she thought a great way to break it in would be to try my luck at taking some pictures for the fair. So, I did! I entered 4 pictures that year. I won 1st place with one and 2nd place with another. From there, I was hooked! I wanted to take pictures of everything! The whole world had a whole new aspect to me. A year went by and I decided to go to college for Journalism. My work study was in the photo lab at the college where I learned how to develop my own film. Within the next 3 years I fell in love with everything photographic. I loved seeing new and unusual pictures, thanks to the mix of people who live in Asheville that attended my photography classes my Sophomore year. I applied for a very low level job as a photographer in a mall portrait studio and I got it! I was thrilled!!!!! I got to take pictures and learn about composition and lighting every day. I spent the next year finding the right studio to work in and even because the assistant manager at the last studio I was in. I was on top of the world. I got to teach other employees how to photograph, how to make a person’s body more attractive to the camera and how to make the client want to come back and work with you! That was what impressed my boss so much- people were requesting me to take their portraits!

After leaving that studio, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I photographed some on my own. My camera was/is ( I still have the same one) very entry level! I could not compete with other, more established photographers. Yes, I had talent. But if you have talent behind a closed door, no one knows!! So, I decided right then that I was going to be a great photographer! I wanted it so badly. I love seeing couples as they look into each other’s eyes at engagement and wedding sessions. I adore the little round faces of babies and children as they discover this crazy piece of equipment in my hands as I baby talk to them.

So, here I am now, trying to build my business and my brand. I have come so far from where I used to be. I now have a few clients who come back to me seasonally. Thanks to my mother, I have a studio! It may be small and simple, but I would have nothing if it weren’t for her. I am in the process of getting a new camera that will bring more clarity and functionality to my portraits. I have so many photographers that I look to for inspiration and advice. I know I have asked Katelyn James more than one about things and Sarajane Case Photography is the best in Asheville!

I think going to this workshop would help me immensely! Not just learning lighting and technique and posing and such, which I’m sure I will!!!!! But, I think it will also be a confidence booster! I think working with Katelyn James and the other talented photographers that she attracts with her work, will broaden my knowledge and help me to really understand the experience a client should have and can have with me! as Katelyn says, its not just about taking pretty pictures anymore. To get clients, to be different, and to get that word of mouth, you have to give your clients an experience they will talk about for years!!

I have been watching Katelyn’s posts for at least a year now, devouring every thought and image she writes on her blog. I would be honored to be able to spend time with her and learn from her. I think learning the value of my work through her instruction would be the highlight of my year. (More like the highlight of my life!)

So, I ask myself… why would this experience be a HUGE help to my business?? Because I have faith that one day people will be talking about me like I talk about her. I hope one day another photographer will have the respect and admiration for me that I do for her! And, I think attending her workshop experience is the first step to getting there!!!!

So, please Katelyn James… pick me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂


One response

  1. Rachel thank you SO so much for taking the time to write this! I love that you shared not only your story, but also your HEART! 🙂 THANK YOU!!!!

    February 9, 2012 at 11:04 am

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