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A lot of people have asked me how I got into photography and with a seat to Katelyn James’ Workshop Experience on the line, I figured now would be better than ever to tell you my story…

Snapshot #1: Growing up, I always had a passion for the arts. It would have be a rare moment in time if I hadn’t been involved in some type of art class throughout my childhood. And when I wasn’t in an art class, I was doodling, drawing, brainstorming in all my other classes. School came fairly easy to me so long boring lectures were made enjoyable by drawing the person the next to me or creating a scene on paper from my imagination. My sister always told me that when God created us, He gave me all the creative genes and left her with none. 😉 When my Junior year rolled around, I had some extra classes that needed to be filled and I wasn’t about to add another math class so I enrolled in my first photography course. I didn’t like the dark room. To be honest, I almost despised it. I like instant results and am a little impatient. So, waiting to see what an image look like was pinching every nerve of mine. However, what I did love was taking pictures. I loved taking something simple and looking at it from a different perspective. Most of the students in my class turned in photos of their friends or their pets. I, however, didn’t. I let my creativity explode from behind the lens.

Snapshot #2: Fast forward a few years. I graduated with a double major in graphic design and advertising and a minor in marketing. Again, my junior year.. as part of my graphic design degree, I needed to take two photography classes. This is where I really learned about photography. I learned about the Rule of Thirds, composition, aperture, shutter speed, etc. And I’m sure I was taught all those wonderful things back in high school, but like I said.. during lectures, my mind was wandering.. dreaming up new photoshoots and brainstorming about what I was going to photograph for my next project. In college we had an assignment each week that required us to use the new skills we learned in class. This time around, I actually had to pay attention in class. 😉 I didn’t own a fancy dancy camera, so I borrowed my friend’s. She had what was at the time a top of the line camera and just holding it in my hands made my heart skip a beat. Behind the lens I felt something I hadn’t before. I felt my heart thirsting for more.

Snapshot #3: After graduating, I immediately took my graduation money and bought a Canon 50D. I was in love. I carried it almost everywhere and took photos all the time. However… I was scared this time around. I wasn’t scared to break it.. I wasn’t scared to mess up… I was scared of that little M – Manual. For over a year, my camera settings were stuck on automatic. Just looking back on it now, it makes me cringe. But, while I wasn’t exploring the world of manual settings, I was getting myself out there.. working with different compositions and seeking new subjects. I started taking photos for pay when my friend’s sister had a baby. Before that I was one of those dreaded guests at weddings that take photos as if they’re the pro.. when they’re not. (Yes, I was THAT person.) When  I started getting paid for photo shoots, I began diving into the different settings on my camera. After my first shoot of total manual photography, I cried.. literally. I hated the fact that I waited so long to really learn my camera. From that moment on, I made a pact with myself to do whatever necessary to grow my knowledge and to really push myself – practice makes perfect, ya know?

Snapshot #4: After taking photos “under the table” for a while (shh.. don’t tell the IRS), my good friend urged me to open my own business. I hesitated. It was scary. And I doubted myself.. a lot. I prayed over the situation for a couple months and one day I woke up and BAM – I became a business owner. During those months, I know God was pushing me to grow personally, professionally and spiritually in order to prepare myself for the day I would open the doors of Kristina Kerns Photography.

Snapshot #5: Since that day many, many months ago, I’ve had constant reassuring of the decision I made. I have mainly focused on portrait photography (with a couple handfuls of weddings thrown in), but have never been classified as a true wedding photographer. I know weddings. I’ve been to plenty and have had one of my own. There is nothing greater than planning for months on end for your picture-perfect wedding and then seeing it come to fruition. However, when you’re the bride and you’re in a state of pure ecstasy.. you don’t always notice how perfect your day really is. It’s the photos from the day that tell that story. You’re able to look back and see the finished product.. and see all the months of planning and hard work come together. Those photos from your wedding day don’t just tell the story of that particular day, but they tell the story of the couple and all the planning that prepared for that day. I treasure my wedding photos more than I treasure 99% of my worldly possessions. And I know that every other bride out there feels the same way I do. And I want nothing more in life than to be able to give her that same gift.

However, I don’t want to give her a gift wrapped in newspaper and then thrown in mud. I want to be able to give her the cream of the crop, the best that I can possibly give her. There is a workshop coming up by Katelyn James Photography – a local photographer who has a world of experience in photographing weddings. I would kill for a seat to The Workshop Experience (okay, not literally, but it sure would be pretty darn amazing). I’m ready to take my business to another level – to learn from her in ways that you only can firsthand. I’m eager to better perfect my skills, to fine tune my eye for weddings and even more anxious to grow. Attending a workshop like this isn’t just about learning the nitty-gritty details, its about the experience. And it’s about taking that experience and passing it on to my clients to better their experience. It’s a full circle effect. It started with Katelyn James.. and I’d love to have it end with my clients.

My business’ future is truly limitless. Ever since God gave me the peace I needed to pursue this little ol’ business of mine, my heart has been aflutter. Right now, my business is not at a point where I can do it full-time and support my hubby and I. However, I know in my heart that that is where God is leading me. An experience like the one Katelyn James is offering will get me that much closer to pursuing that dream and fulfilling the calling God has placed on my heart. This photography thing isn’t just a job… it certainly isn’t just a hobby… it’s my passion and it makes my heart overflow with joy. I know God has a pretty incredible plan of my life.. I just hope The Workshop Experience is a part of it.