From beautiful Gainesville, Virginia


Photographer, twin mama, and sushi connoisseur.  I'm so glad you're here, and I hope you'll stick around and enjoy these blog posts!


What I gained from coaching with Katelyn James | Business

Some of you reading this likely remember that Katelyn James was our wedding photographer-turned friend, and some of you already know that she is a talented photographer, successful business owner, gifted teacher and industry leader. What you might be wondering is why I chose her for a coaching session considering she is a wedding photographer and I am a birth photographer. I had gone back and forth for a while about it but ultimately knew I wanted to get through rebranding before I invested in it. The turning point really came from a conversation that happened on our wedding day.  

On the drive from portraits back to our reception site I distinctly remember Mark, Michael, Katelyn and me having a conversation that directly related to business. We started talking more and Katelyn asked me a few general questions about the latest going on with my business. At that point I had already decided to leave my full time teaching job in too further pursue my photography further and had accomplished several of the things I knew I should get done before I went to coaching.  

As we walked in to the reception site, with Katelyn and Michael walking ahead of Mark and me, he said “you need to go to a coaching session with her.” It didn’t matter that she was a wedding photographer and I was a birth photographer. Her knowledge of running a small business and serving others well while doing it was so vast that it was clear to even my husband in that three minute car ride to our wedding reception that this was going to be worth it. 

Going in to the coaching session I knew there were a few tangible things I wanted to talk specifically about: client experience, products, and marketing (more specifically-blogging). I wanted to take my business to a new level following the excitement and overhaul of my re-brand with Lauren Hooker of Elle & Co.

I felt as though I was giving my clients beautiful images, I was taking the time to get to know them on a personal level, but I really wanted their entire experience with me to be memorable. I wanted to educate them and other photographers about the beauty and the ins and outs of birth photography but I didn’t feel like I had the right tools. In reality, I didn’t have the confidence. 

Coaching with Katelyn was the turning point for me. Our time together gave me the assurance to go home and a see through the plans I have for my business and my clients. She accomplished this not by telling me what to do, but inspiring my own confidence and creativity during that session that I could take back with me.

Sure, we sat and talked for hours about where the best place to buy products are, how to wow my clients with surprises during their experience. But we also brainstormed blog post titles, and, we brainstormed tons of them because Katelyn isn’t the coach that is just going to tell you to blog more, she is the coach that is going to sit with you until you’ve come up with a solid list of blog titles before sending you home to write them. She isn’t the coach to tell you to change your pricing structure, she is going to give you deadlines and increments to meet. Even more than any of that she is the friend who will sit with you and talk about how married life is going and how that translates into a growing business.

Katelyn is relatable and she gives freely, not just her business secrets and knowledge but she gives love, compassion and confidence for growing business owners. She has inspired me to help serve my clients and other photographers in a new blog series I am going to be rolling out next week. Any guesses what it might be about?

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  1. Mary Marantz says:

    LOVE!!! This is so awesome & so excited for you!!


  2. You’re awesome, Emily! I’m surprised you say you don’t have the confidence! You are such a sweetheart, and your passion will resonate with and carry over into your clients excitement to work with you! You set the tone for the experience! Your clients will love you — help them get to know you and don’t be shy about it — own it, you are awesome!! I love you!! xoxo

    • Emily Gerald says:

      Awww, you’re the best Amanda! you’re the best confidence booster ever! Get ready for lots of fun blog posts to come, you may see some of your pictures in a few 😉

  3. Love this post, Emily!

  4. Love this! Coaching with Katelyn was a game changer for me and my business. I can’t wait to see what you do with this, Emily!

    • Emily Gerald says:

      Thanks Nikki!! I remember reading the blog post you shared about coaching with Katelyn and dreaming about being at that point in my business. Its so exciting to watch your business grow as well!

  5. nicole says:

    I’m so excited for you and am so glad we met! You’re a great inspiration to me and hope to follow, even if just a little bit, in your footsteps. Would love to know more about all of this!!

  6. ashley says:

    You’re awesome!!! I can’t wait to

  7. And this is why we’re soul sisters!!! I love you, your heart, and what’s happening in your business!! I can’t wait to hear more 😊

    • Emily Gerald says:

      thanks for cheering me on, Ash! So thankful to have gotten to know you and Ty and so happy for all of the adventures coming soon!

  8. This is such a great post! I am so excited to watch you grow and thankful our paths have crossed!

    I’m already looking forward to your new blog series!!

    • Emily Gerald says:

      aww thank you TahJah! Im so glad we were able to meet, and I love seeing big things happening for your business too!