Coffee Date with Katelyn James

I have been so excited to share today's Coffee Date with you!

Katelyn James is known by brides and photographers everywhere as a leading photographer in the wedding industry. Small business owners admire her for her client relationships and business savvy. But the one thing everyone appreciates about Katelyn is her sincere and friendly personality. She's a joy and an inspiration to follow along with, and I have a feeling I'm not the only one who would jump at the opportunity to have Coffee Date with her. 

This morning Katelyn is joining me to share about what her normal day looks like, what she would change about her wedding day, and what she's learning during this season of life. 

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What's in your coffee mug this morning?

Well, I have to admit that Michael and I are still learning to be great coffee drinkers! When we have time, Michael likes to try out new blends in his french press! But today, I'm sipping on Trader Joe's strawberry lemonade! We buy that stuff in bulk because it's so delicious! :)

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Give us a glimpse into a "day in the life" of Katelyn James.

Whew! Well, the first thing you should know is that our day-to-day is never the same, We don't have a set schedule Monday through Friday because our work takes us all over. We have, however, decided recently that we needed a system for making sure we have several "Stay at Home" days per month. We mark the calendar several months in advance and we save days to just be at home. This is crucial for us! On these days, we try to have somewhat of a routine. We normally get up around 7:30 or 8:00am on a GOOD day, I try to spend my first hour up NOT doing work. This is a great time for quiet time, journaling, and doing "house stuff". After an hour, I either start blogging or tackling emails. I try to get the "urgent" items accomplished first and then I work on the less time sensitive to-do list items. Normally around late afternoon or evening, Michael and I look at each other and say, "Wanna take him on a w-a-l-k?" Bokeh (our little bichpoo) knows what that means... even when we spell it out. So we walk around our neighborhood and then finish our work until dinner time. If I'm being completely honest, we work late sometimes. And when I say "we", I mean "I" work too late sometimes. Michael is the one who is good at cutting work OFF. I'm still working on it! 

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Seasons of life are often marked by specific lessons that God is teaching us. What lessons have marked this current season in your life?

I think God is teaching us just how important people are right now. While we may work a little too late in the evenings, we do make time for our friends in our life and the more we're able to do this, more joyful our life is. We're so busy and our schedule is so demanding but we normally see our parents every other week and we make random road trips to go relax with friends in the mountains. We're learning that a FULL life is ok but it's not ok if it's full of WORK. We desperately need balance!

Knowing all that you know about the wedding industry, would you go back and make any changes to your wedding day?

Yes! I would have delegated more! I wouldn't have let the stress of the details overwhelm me and I would have enjoyed more time with all of my guests! I also would have invited less guests! I have no idea how I would have made those cuts but having 415 guests is a little overwhelming! However, these little details didn't take away from our joy! That day was absolutely amazing!

Between shooting weddings, hosting workshops, writing blog posts, and running your business, I have a feeling life can get very busy for you and Michael. How do you simplify?

Scheduling our "Stay at Home" days has been life changing! When we're swamped and on the go, we can look at the calendar and know we have a break coming our way! "Stay at Home" days also guarantee that we can schedule double dates with friends and nights with our families! We have also started blocking off weekends and weeks one year in advance to make sure that we get some vacation time! We just recently slipped away to the lake with my family and those four days were glorious!! So I think it's safe to say that we simplify by being strategic and planning time off!

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What is something you've been loving lately?

Michael and I have been LOVING "Fixer Upper" on HGTV! I know that's such a random thing to love but we are obsessed! Chip and Johanna Gaines are believers that design the most AMAZING renovations! They totally change their client's lives and it reminds us of why we love doing what we do. So we record all of their episodes and watch them while we work at home! :)

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My husband, Jake, is joining in to ask you this last question. You and Michael are clearly dog people. Are you willing to share any dog shaming photos of Bokeh?

Ha! This cracks me up! Now you're going to think that we're just lying because we're obsessed with our perfect little pup... but he has only chewed up TWO things in his life... and that was my computer cord! He chewed up to of them! He has a thing for Apple cords. They are expensive to replace but I'll take two power cords instead of losing a ton of shoes or corners of tables. We have hear horror stories of our friends' dogs chewing up crazy things! We're super thankful that the only annoying things we have to deal with with Bokeh are his nerves. He gets SO nervous when we pack our suitcases. He shakes and he hides. Poor little guy.

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