*This is a paid post from an APW Sponsor*
Even if you’re not in the market for a New York City based elopement photographer (and yes, she does big weddings, too), you’re going to want to read this post. Because really, it’s Katie Jane Photo’s love letter to the APW community, and how you all totally changed her life in the last year. Katie Jane came on as an APW sponsor early this year, after I found her talking about her budding wedding photography business in the comments, shortly after our wedding (yes, her Wedding Grad post is coming soon, cough cough cough) and I insisted that she join us as an advertiser (I’m pushy with people I like, I won’t lie). And I’m pretty grateful that I did. In the last year I’ve watched Katie Jane grow her business, shoot APW wedding after APW wedding, and finally when I was in New York this fall, I got to model for her on a fine art photography project. She photographed me (I get photographed a lot these days, and it was a shockingly effortless experience, she just let me be me, in exactly the mood I was in) and then we all got tipsy on bubbly on her roof. Magic. But until she emailed me about this sponsored post, I didn’t know just how much the APW community had changed her life, and her business. So I’m thrilled to introduce Katie Jane’s love letter to you, and her announcement that she’s focusing on shooting elopements and tiny weddings in 2012, complete with super affordable travel.
I am in a completely different place than I was a year ago. And I owe it all to APW. By the end of this year I will have shot 45 weddings and elopements total and about 3/4 of those were APWers, which has been incredible. All the weddings I have booked for next year are APWers except for one!
Given how I’ve grown this year, I have changed the trajectory of my business for 2012 a bit. I’m only going to do about 12 big weddings (editors note: book Katie Jane now if you want her for a big wedding!), and instead I’m going to focus on elopements. I just think that’s where my heart is right now. I love big weddings—I had one!—but elopements have been so fulfilling in a completely different way. They’re so intimate and beautiful, and I’ve been able to create this editorial elopement style of photography that just seems to fit me perfectly. It’s about capturing these really personal moments AND making art. I’ve struggled to find my place in the wedding photography world, and it turns out elopements are what I’m the most passionate about.
I want to talk about how APW has changed my life and my business in every single way in the last year. APW turned my very small, struggling business into something HUGE. I will most likely be hiring my first employee in January, and I am currently looking for office space. Those things would not have been possible a year ago. It’s just been insane. And I am infinitely grateful to each and every one of you who read the site and make up the APW community.
My APW couples have been wonderful. I’ve stayed friends with so many of them after their wedding days. They don’t treat me like a hired hand. They value what I do. They are open to my suggestions, they trust my instincts, they make sure I get fed—without fail, all of my APWers come up to me during their wedding to make sure I’ve eaten! (Editors note: Just like Emily said!) It just makes me laugh—it’s their wedding day, they’re having this amazing party, they’re surrounded by everyone they love in the world, and yet they want to make sure that I’m okay, that I have everything I need. It always just kind of blows me away that people can be so thoughtful. Although my clients all have different traditions, different styles, I know when I walk into an APW wedding that a few things will always be the same—the sense of community, the focus on the marriage, and the fun we’ll have together documenting their day.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention what my fellow APW vendors have meant to me this year. APWers don’t get to see that behind the scenes the elves have this amazing community—that we all get to be cheerleaders for each other. Frankly, this year would not have been the same without my fellow elves, encouraging me and each other to grow and create, to expand.
Having these people—some of whom I’ve never even met in person—behind me, supporting me… I can’t even begin to express what that has meant to me and to my business. And I really want them to know how much I value every single one of them and how honored I am to be their company. Getting to share clients with some of them this year was just icing on the cake.
As a thank you for all that you guys have done for me this year, I’m giving APWers who book elopements 10% off until December 1st. (Their elopement can be anytime, they just have to book it before then.) And I’ll pretty much travel anywhere at a reasonable price, even for elopements. My elopements range from $600 to $1200.
Right? You’re just a little bit teary right now, am I correct? And I could gush and gush about Katie Jane’s work, but I think it speaks for itself. When Katie Jane was photographing me in August, I felt like I could just be me. I was tired, I was a little emotional looking out at the landscape of the city I still call home, and I wasn’t in a smiley mood. And I didn’t smile. And she thought that was perfect. And that’s what I see when I look at Katie Jane’s pictures. The pictures themselves almost fall away, and I’m left with the people in the pictures. And that, is perhaps the truest kind of talent there is.