What the Heck is Wedding Wednesday?

I’m Kate, Owner and principle photographer here at KEP!

This blog series is for those of you who are new to KEP and want to get a better understanding of me, who I am, and how I work. All of this content is created by me and I’m extra super grateful to have such a supportive community to hand it off to!

A little background:

This is my 12th year as a professional photographer and 7 years full-time in weddings. In 2007 while in college at Chico State I started playing around with a camera I stole from a guy I was dating at the time. (There’s at least one positive to that failed relationship!) I took it to Thanksgiving and chased around my cousins the whole time, snapping away. I really enjoyed the creative freedom it gave me and the joy it brought once I got the film developed. I never once considered that it might become a career. I actually have my degree in Psychology with a minor in child education, so I was pretty sure I was going to become a teacher. I actually did teach for 3-4 years after college but I never felt truly fulfilled by it. 

I want to tell you a bit about me to give you some insight as to why I feel qualified to be giving advice about anything to anyone.

Meanwhile, I was doing more and more photo shoots and realizing that I was spending more time on photos than I was at work and feeling WAY better about it so, eventually, I made the shift and decided to switch careers and become a legit photographer. 

Early on I started with grad photos and fashion photos. I really should have looked some of the posing and techniques up because my early work is pretty heinous. Lots of contrast, no idea where lighting should be, no direction, lots of pinteresty kind of cheesy poses, you know the drill. 

I did that for a while and eventually moved onto moved to engagements, that’s where I felt like I really started to come into my own. Obviously, I LOVE people, I’m a huge empath, so being around people in love made me feel lovely, and capturing that brought me a ton of joy so I knew that I had to continue to expand on that.

“Oh! I’ll take pretty pictures of pretty people and it will be all hearts and rainbows” I just had no idea.

Eventually, I moved to weddings. Now, from a professional perspective, I would NEVER recommend getting into the industry the way I did. I thought, “Oh! I’ll take pretty pictures of pretty people and it will be all hearts and rainbows” and truthfully, I just had no idea how much work it was. I was completely self-taught and I didn’t realize how much education, knowledge, and expertise I had to gain before coming on to capture a once-in-a-lifetime event. Luckily, I can say that I never ruined anyone’s day or missed important moments, but regardless, past me get’s a slap on the wrist for her arrogance. 

Luckily, I got it together and started learning from the best of the best. I was taking online classes, second shooting, networking, etc. and it really helped me grow into the true professional I am today. 

As of now, I’ve shot over 200 weddings in my career and I actually dabbled in wedding coordination in 2018. 

I love to travel to shoot, I’ve been invited to shoot in Missouri, The Jersey Channel Islands, England, and Montana, Missouri, done shoots in Australia when I was studying there, and ended up in China last year shooting a wedding in the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, where they filmed Avatar.

“I have an array of couples, from across the globe, who I’ve followed from engagement to wedding to maternity and family photos and that’s always my ultimate goal.”

I don’t want to just be a person behind the lens, I genuinely want to be your friend.

I mean, I take my clients out for a drink or a coffee or have them over to my home to chat about wedding stuff because I honestly feel that having a close relationship with you is the key to capturing those truly beautiful candid moments that everyone wants from their portraits and on their day. A lot of my client reviews talk about going from photographer to BFF and I think that’s probably the highest compliment I could ask for. 

This entire educational Wedding Wednesday series is for couples. I think the industry can be confusing and feels impacted with lots of professionals and it’s hard to know how to plan your wedding as a couple.

I’m here to help you navigate the wedding labyrinth to have the best wedding ever! 

Covering everything from where and when to start the planning process to how to finish with a total BANG, even how to create the perfect honeymoon experience! (Because honestly, sometimes, that’s the best part of a wedding. Just you and your love, chillin’ on a beach, drinks in hand, no timelines or nagging family members or anything of that nature.) No stone left unturned, we’re in this together and I honestly want to help you, whether you’re working with me or making a mistake and working with someone else. (I’M JUST KIDDING!)

I love the amazing community of photographers in Sacramento, my own personal team, and beyond, you’d all be lucky to work with each and every one of them!

KEP Team 2022. Megan Standall, Dusty Roam, ME, and AJ Reilly

Now you know about me, you know about my experience, and you know what the series is going to be about let’s go over what to expect in the weeks to come!

I’m going to frame things up starting at the beginning of wedding planning process and things will apply to everyone every other week, no matter where you are. If I’m doing an episode on choosing a venue and you already have one, please share your experience and give some input! We’re all living different experiences and all of your knowledge based on your wedding planning journey is important too!

Next week I’m going to start with wedding organization, where to even begin.

If you’re in the industry, DM me, share your stories and secrets, I’d love to feature you one week.

If you’re one of my past couples and you’re watching for fun, shoot me a text because I’d love to hear about your wedding planning experience and hear your advice for 2022 couples.

If you’re here to learn, let me know what you want to know! I want to know where you’re at and what info you’d find useful. 😊

About Kate

Kate Cohen (she/her) is an International LGBTQIA+ wedding photographer based in Northern California who is focused on storytelling, candid captures, and iconic portraits of couples all over the globe.

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