Katie Jane Photo: Elopements & More in NYC!

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.

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  • These photos are lovely! I think I need to find that dress from the first picture.

    • Saskia

      Katie is pretty amazing, right? I could pretty much go on for days about both her personality (awesome) and photography skills (equally awesome).

      And actually, I would love to know who made the dress as well–even though it’s mine! Does anyone know how I can identify the designer? It obviously won’t make a bit of difference since I clearly wore it to my wedding, but I’d love to satisfy my curiosity!

  • april

    I totally have a lump in my throat after reading this. *sniffle* I frikkin *LOVE* APW!!! And I’m sooooo happy for Katie Jane! Wish I lived in NYC so I could hire her.

    • April – Don’t let not living in NYC stop you from contacting Katie Jane. She photographed our wedding in Boston because there was simply no one here who could do what she did. The distance really turned out to be no problem.
      She is so creative and positive, hiring her instantly infuses extra creative energy and joy into the wedding planning process. She’s a complete pleasure to work with. For us, photography was probably the biggest expense of the wedding, so it was worth looking out of state to find the right person.

  • We love you too Katie-Jane! You’re work is so great & I for one am extra happy to be a wedding elf with you. If only I had known about you when I had my wee court house wedding down in TX. I would have made someone fly you down there to me, as you always capture the spirit of tiny weddings so beautifully.

  • Katie Jane is an easy to love kind of person. Her work speaks for itself. Hugs!

  • Oh my, that photo of Zan is GORGEOUS. But then again, aren’t they all?

    It goes without saying that Katie Jane is awesome, but I think it’s a disservice to her to leave it there. She’s smart, funny, kind, and extremely talented. She doesn’t know it, but I probably never would have become a sponsor myself if she hadn’t been such an accessible one herself.

    I’m so excited to see what the APW + Katie Jane put out next year. I’m sure it’s going to be epic.

    • Zan

      Aw thanks Maddie! Two thumbs way up for Katie Jane, my wedding photographer, my friend, and the other half of my swim team.

      • Viva Los Nadadores de los UWS.

        (Or is it las? I took French. Sorry.)

  • Love Katie Jane’s photos & spirit! Wishing her much continued success~

  • Love Katie Jane! Love her pictures, love how she gushes over her couples, gives good advice, that she is responsible for my first client through her blog, and she makes awesome snacks.

    So happy that you have figured out exactly what you care about doing and are focusing on the small joyous weddings you do so well! (But I know some APWers will snap up those Big Wedding slots asap!) Yay for Katie Jane.

  • Posts like this one make me think that Team Practical can accomplish anything it sets its mind to. I love being a part of something like that. :D

  • I have so, so, SO much love for Katie Jane and I have never even met this woman! I too am so honored and humbled to be a fellow elf and part of such an amazing community – and I am extra thrilled that Katie Jane is a part of that group! Her work always awes me (and pushes me to be a better photographer myself), and her down-to-earth, honest to goodness sweet personality can be felt through all she says and does! I cannot wait to *hopefully* meet her in person this year (finally!!) and to share a client with her too! YAY! :)

    I’m so excited that you’re taking your business in the direction you want to this year Katie – and I can’t wait to see all the things you do!! Way to own your life and make it the one you want to live! XOXO! :)

  • Wow that last picture/the bride in it is SO CUTE.

  • Katie Jane is a sweet lady who obviously cares tonnnnns about her clients. Congratulations for all of the growth your business has taken this year, Katie Jane! I’m so glad that you are able to focus where you feel your heart is :)

  • Tamara Van Horn

    I love APW…they make me both glad to have several receptions “owed” to family members, so I can plan to hire even more of these beloved wedding elves across the country…but makes me sad :( that right now, I have NO interest in planning anything other than a dissertation!

    But be informed- if I can ever get all the APW’ers I now love (from experience, and reading posts) in one room, even if I have to pay for 5 photogs and 9 Crafty Stage Managers…we are going to kick it, for some reason. I think me becoming a real, live, Doctor (of Philosophy, natch) may be just the occasion!

    Congrats, Katie Jane, for finding your niche and your people. As a fellow small wedding person, I really did look for photogs who specialized in, or had shot more than a few, smaller weddings and elopements. It was special to locate a person with that eye for intimacy. Tiny but mighty!

  • Sher

    Katie Jane, your business makes me so happy. I just got engaged (Friday!!), and the wedding I want is a planned elopement. My fiance and I have said that beyond the getting married, two things matter on our wedding day.

    Having a fabulous photographer who will help us remember our day is one of them. The love of elopements that comes through from you makes me hopeful that I will be able to find someone to help me out when it’s my turn.

    You rock.

  • Lizzy

    My husband and I loved working with Katie Jane (that’s us, up on the chairs :) She put us completely at ease, and took such beautiful photographs!! I am so happy things are going so well for her!

  • Wow, I am so overwhelmed by all this love! Thank you all so much for your nice words!! APW has been one of the best things to ever happen to me… and you all continually reaffirm that in my mind. xoxo

  • Stephanie

    I loved reading this. Each time I read an APW post, I’m blown away by how supportive this community is of one another. I’m not planning a wedding (yet) but I still love everything about this site and look forward to each and every post. Like Katie, I am also just starting up my photog business. I shot my first wedding as the primary photographer just three weeks ago. It was the most amazing experience and I can’t wait to do more, hopefully for APW readers!

  • What a fantastic, heart-warming post! These photos are fabulous! Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to see more work on APW!