A trip with YWAM

A few weeks ago, I took a trip to a YWAM (youth with a mission) base in Sarasota, Florida. This trip was a BIG DEAL, although I didn’t let myself think too hard about the significance of it all until I boarded the plane. I didn’t let myself think about it because I knew I’d cry…. I hate crying. For me, this trip was in essence, a trip back to my alma mater…. the organization I attribute my VERY humble photographic beginning. I felt so incredibly honored to be their guest speaker, there were and still are no words.

Betsy and I planned to do a photography workshop style week where we’d cover manual shooting and lighting principles; concepts and skills we as wedding photographers use at every event. But we also decided it was important to spend time discussing story telling…. something I haven’t covered in previous workshops at length. After doing our own DTS in 2007/2008, we discovered the important of story telling with photography and words. We realized that the desire to connect and to be known are so deeply woven into us as humans that it’s a commonality in every nation. People want to be known and validated, whether by other people or by a higher power. By documenting someone’s life, or even simply taking their portrait, it can be an incredibly validating experience for the subject.

Betsy and I let our own guards down, talked about life and death and love and God….. how they’re all woven together and each shoot we do tells a story about one of those heavy topics. Life, death, love, and God. Whether we are wedding photographers, mission photographers, senior portrait photographers, or fine art photographers…. we are all photojournalists documenting and telling stories with light. There isn’t one field of photography that is more “artistic” or more important than the others because we are all telling stories with our art and God can use anything and anyone for his glory.

For this group of students, they’re getting ready in the next few days to embark on an incredible journey into missions. There are teams headed out to China, Greece, Egypt, and Ethiopia ready to take what they believe in their hearts and put it to action. They will begin actively living out the purpose Christ gave the church….

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 18-20

With their knowledge of photography and passion for art, they will be set loose into the world, and I am so excited to see what God does through these students. They’ve spent the time and energy honing their craft. They’ve asked questions and pushed through the hard parts of learning manual shooting. They rose to the challenges Betsy and I tossed their way with harsh lighting and problem solving on the go…. and THEY ARE READY. Here are a few highlights from the week….

Photography DTS, YWAM SarasotaPhotography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-02Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-03Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-04Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-05

Betsy and I demonstrating how to communicate with your subjects and how sometimes we actually show them what we want them to do… as awkward as it looks sometimes. HahaPhotography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-06Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-07

Our lovely models for day one of shooting practice… Allie and Alvan who will be getting married this August!Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-08

It was so amazing to see understanding suddenly light fire in their eyes and a passion begin to ignite…. such a cool thing to witness.Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-09

Betsy even let me photograph her while we demonstrated more communication tips while shooting…. This never happens. She never smiles for real when I shoot her! I felt special.:)Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-10Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-11Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-12On the last day, we took some portraits of all the students…Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-13Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-14Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-15Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-16

And as a bonus, we got to photograph a few engaged couples too! Jörn and Mary, and Matt and Rebekka…. they were pretty adorable…Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-22Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-18Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-17Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-19Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-20Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-21And on the final day, I snuck a few shots of my very cute pregnant friend Carrie and her husband Joel at the beach…. They’re having a little girl in May!Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-23Photography_DTS_YWAM_Sarasota-24

This trip was such a blessing and I am so thankful for all of your prayers and financial support to help get me there! God worked in such amazing ways in my own heart, and also very visibly in the lives of these students… and now all the photographic knowledge we helped foster is being brought to nations all over the world. The stories that will come out of this have me waiting on the edge of my seat in anticipation…

Here’s Betsy’s take on our week… http://photobybetsy.com/blog/?p=3274

Here are a few of the students’ blogs/photo feeds if you’d like to follow their journeys too:

Petros: https://www.flickr.com/photos/petros_wonderland/

Beth: http://www.notallwhowander.co

Grace: http://www.instagram.com/graceclarke94

Anna Noelle: http://www.instagram.com/annanoellle

Madeline: http://www.instagram.com/madelinecook

Michala: http://www.instagram.com/michalas

Emma: http://www.onedelightfulyear.wordpress.com

Ely: http://www.facebook.com/elyterriquezweddingphotographer

Kirsten: http://www.mynextadventure.ca

Jenn Nicole Cline

Rebekkah is engaged! Woot! Thanks for sharing your heart, your passion, your talents in this blog, Katie. I’ve always loved how you can put words together in such a beautiful way, and how you do the same with photography. Love to you!

A San Diego Maternity Portrait | The Klingaman Family

A few weeks ago, I was down south for a San Diego Maternity Portrait shoot with my good friends Braden and Emily. It’s been such a cool journey to observe…. knowing them both from before they began to date, through their marriage so far, and now as they transition into parents. This will be their first child and this pregnancy has been a really special time that’s drawn them closer as a couple. I couldn’t think of a better equipped team to handle a new baby and I will be on the edge of my seat as we wait for their sweet baby girl to arrive in the next week or so…. literally, I’ll be on the edge of my seat because they’ve asked me to photograph the birth! Here are some of my favorites from their shoot in and around San Diego….

Coroado Island Portrait Photographer, beach portraits, maternity portraits, sunset portraitsSan_Diego_Maternity_Portraits_Braden_Emily_Klingaman-02San_Diego_Maternity_Portraits_Braden_Emily_Klingaman-03

We had to get a few photos of their furry babies before the new addition comes…. San_Diego_Maternity_Portraits_Braden_Emily_Klingaman-04San_Diego_Maternity_Portraits_Braden_Emily_Klingaman-05San_Diego_Maternity_Portraits_Braden_Emily_Klingaman-06San_Diego_Maternity_Portraits_Braden_Emily_Klingaman-07San_Diego_Maternity_Portraits_Braden_Emily_Klingaman-08San_Diego_Maternity_Portraits_Braden_Emily_Klingaman-09San_Diego_Maternity_Portraits_Braden_Emily_Klingaman-10San_Diego_Maternity_Portraits_Braden_Emily_Klingaman-11

Amy Book Grable

Great pictures!

Orange County Photography Workshop

The esteemed actress of 80 years Helen Hayes once said, ” The expert in anything was once a beginner.” As a new photographer in a world where “everyone’s a photographer”, those words invite courage and creativity to an otherwise lonely journey. 6 years ago I was a newbie to the photography world, and even though I still have moments when I feel like I know nothing, I’ve come far enough to know not to let those moments win. Part of me wishes I had someone back then to show me the ropes and hand me the tools to succeed in the industry, but I had to make do with finding the ropes myself and picking up the tools that worked along the way. This is why I decided to start sharing the knowledge I’ve picked up over the years with new photographers…. to give what I have today in hopes they will have less moments of failure and discouragement as they begin their photographic journey.

Back in August of 2013, I held my first ever photography workshop on Nuremberg, Germany and it was so wonderful seeing the lightbulbs light up as each and every attendee experienced moments of understanding and clarity. It turned out to be so much fun that I decided a stateside workshop was in order! January’s Orange County Workshop turned out more than I could have ever hoped for…. and the sponsors and attendees blew my mind! Here’s a recap of the day….

Each attendee received swag and giveaways from sponsors like Saturday Morning Pancakesthe Papermint PressSamy’s camera, PicTapGo, and Kiss Wedding books…. to name just a few.

Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-01We started around 9am, which means some attendees had an early start to their day to make it on time. Good thing Jeff Clinard with Bear Coast Coffee was there to make custom coffee drinks for everyone! Attendees enjoyed artisan roasted beans made into carefully poured lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, pour overs, and Americano’s to keep their brains going throughout the morning. This was definitely one of my FAVORITE parts of the day…. I don’t think I’ll ever do another workshop without Jeff there.


The first half of the day, we dove deep into basic – advanced principles of photography, light, and camera settings…. it was a lot of information to absorb, but everyone held on strong!

Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-03I promise I’m not mad in this picture. I think maybe I need to smile more…. oops. Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-04Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-05

After the nitty gritty was over, we broke for some tasty goodness. Greenleaf catered healthy deliciousness for lunch and goodies from Sweet and Saucy rounded out a top notch lunch break. Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-06Another really cool deal we had going on all morning was Matt from Samy’s Camera rentals department showcasing lenses and camera bodies. Attendees got to try on lenses and shoot with them for the workshop, and they also got to try out new bodies! It was a drool fest over at his table…. let me tell YOU!
Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-07We even had a non-alcoholic version of my latest obsession…. cherry ginger beer moscow mules! Yuuuum!Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-08After lunch we spent some time learning how to photograph still life using natural light. The gals from Love.Anne.Joy set up a gorgeous tables cape complete with colorful floral pieces by Pixies Petals. I thought this was a really fun way to begin putting to use the manual settings we learned in the first half of the day.Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-09Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-10Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-11Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-12Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-13Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-14Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-15Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-16Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-17Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-18And we ended the day photographing our ridiculously good looking model couple Mark and Tori! We practiced shooting in all sorts of difficult lighting situations and helped one another find the correct settings in our cameras to achieve the look we wanted.Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-19Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-20Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-21Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-22Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-23Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-24Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-25Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-26You guys, I had so much fun with you all! I’m proud of how you pushed past uncomfortability and achieved more than you ever thought you could… in a day’s work. I’ll look forward to following your work in the coming months as you continue to use manual methods in your shooting. Cheers!Best_Southern_California_Photography_Workshops_Kate_Noelle_Orange_County_Wedding_Photographer-27

Big thanks go to all the ridiculously generous sponsors who gave so much to make sure the attendees had an experience they won’t forget! To Kiss Wedding Books, Kanvess Prints, PicTapGo, Saturday Morning Pancakes, The Papermint Press, Artifact Uprising, Samy’s Camera, Pixie’s Petals, Bear Coast Coffee, Designer Specialty Linens, Greenleaf Gourmet Chop shop, and Sweet and Saucy Shop. Also, I couldn’t have pulled this workshop off without the support and design from Pam and Viv of Love.Anne.Joy, as well as the lovely space provided by Irvine Presbyterian Church! You all made this workshop possible and I feel so blessed to have partnered with you to bless these photographers’ socks off. Well done!