#WCW - aka Woman Crush Wednesday - this hashtag has been around for quite some time, and I’m going to go ahead and make a bet that you’ve used it. Here at Rolling Hills Media, Julia, Carolyn and I have quite a few women “crushes” (two of mine being on Julia and Carolyn). There are so many kick-ass ladies out there in so many different industries and walks of life absolutely crushing it, and we want to do our part to highlight those who inspire us to be better, work harder, care more and well, the list goes on.
I’m pumped to kick this blog series off with the one and only Katie Karlberg from Boston, MA. This travel agent turned photographer is not only a must follow on Instagram, but most likely your future wedding photographer (if you can get on her calendar that is).
Getting your photo taken isn’t always the most fun or comfortable, so you want to make sure that the person snapping your most intimate moments is someone you trust. Someone you know who is going to make your day the most special and capture all of your memories in the most magical way possible. Katie does just that, not only with her camera techniques and editing but with the love for her clients and passion for making everyone look and feel their best (whether the lens is focused on them or not!). Her drive to be better, not only for herself but for all of her current and future clients, is both refreshing and admirable.
So what sets Katie apart? Here are my TOP THREE!
ONE: Katie is REAL AF - While her feed may seem like a stunning highlight reel (Okay, okay it totally is, please go gawk at all the gorgeous couples), Katie isn’t afraid to get real with her followers. One of the most memorable series of posts being about her personal struggle with severe eczema Red Skin Syndrome (RSS). A post about eczema and RSS is not something you would expect to see in a feed amongst blissful couples and adorable families. But for Katie, it’s a part of her. While literally stepping in front of a camera and putting herself out there for the world to see may have been terrifying - to the rest of us watching and reading, it was the definition of brave. It was REAL life. She addressed her anger and sadness, shared more about what RSS is, and encouraged her followers to share their stories. But most importantly, she was fully transparent about her life and her struggles and made a promise to herself and her followers to be more present.
Katie also isn’t afraid to speak her mind and her truth when it comes to social justice and equality. She shares the voices of those educating all of us on the work that needs to be done in this country and around the world. She’s the real deal, people.
TWO: Katie is constantly growing—experimenting with new techniques and always learning. Katie has come such a long way with her photography, largely due to the fact that she is constantly pushing herself to be better, learn the next thing, master it, and then learn another! Whether it’s creating unique wedding photos with superhero figures, testing out new lighting, props, and filters, Katie’s images are always improving.
THREE: Katie is KATIE KARLBERG PHOTOGRAPHY.
What exactly do I mean by that? Katie isn’t a photographer who just hides behind her camera. While her feed is mainly filled with beautiful images of her clients, she does an amazing job of sprinkling herself in there as well - which as a photographer I’ve heard is pretty hard to do. But when you’re looking to hire a photographer, or anyone for that matter, knowing WHO you are hiring - more than just the company name and details on the website - is important.
Katie’s quirky tik tok videos, stories told in her captions, love for the ukulele, and transparency when it comes to things like social justice and equality issues, really help you understand what Katie Karlberg Photography is all about. You can’t help but fall in love with the lady behind the camera. And when you love the lady behind the camera, it makes it 1000x easier to relax and let her work her magic capturing your special moments.
I could go on about more reasons why I think Katie is totally crushing it, but instead, we want to hear from the wedding photographer herself! We asked Katie a few questions about her journey to wedding photographer extraordinaire, tips she has for those looking to take a leap of faith, and a few other gems for ya - see what she has to say!
Did you go to school for photography? Tell us how you get your photos to be so stunning!
I like to say I went to “YouTube University” AKA I learned everything I know about photography from (mostly) free resources online!! I'm always learning new tips and tricks and trying to improve my photography skills, though! One tip I have for making your photos really pop is to use “presets”, which are basically fancy filters for your photos. You can download Adobe Lightroom’s mobile app for free and start using presets even on your own iPhone!
Social Media - top 3 tips for what TO do, and the top 3 things to avoid.
OH man, I wish social media wasn’t so crucial to success in business these days because I think the biggest thing to try to avoid is the comparison game. Whether you’re in the wedding industry, art industry, marketing industry, fashion industry - it's so easy to find yourself feeling “less than” or “not good enough” when you start comparing your work or your business to other people. When someone has more followers than you or seems to be charging more money than you are, you can really start to get down on yourself quickly. So things I find helpful when it comes to social media are to actually NOT post every day - give yourself a break and detach from the technology every few days! And be yourself - be vulnerable! People want to know more about the person behind your business! So show up in your Instagram stories, learn how to make a silly tik tok, or post a photo of your face every so often. Lastly, it’s just a tool - try not to take it so seriously or use it to compare yourselves to others. It’s not the ONLY measurement of your success!
What is the most important advice someone has given you related to your business?
My stepdad always told all his kids that we can do whatever we want and try as many things as we want. As long as we know what we want to do with our lives and be good at it by the time we turn 30! It really let me feel empowered and brave enough to try new things in my 20s before fully diving into a career or my own business knowing I would still be able to find success even if the thing I tried didn’t work out and I had to try something new! Now 3 of us are over 30 and own/started our own businesses!
What is the hardest part of your job?
Being it all. I’m not only trying to make art and take beautiful pictures, but I’m also an accountant, the whole marketing team, customer service, the accounting department, tech support, etc.... it’s hard to wear all those hats all day every day and feel like a success. Sometimes I need to ask for help because I might be great at customer service but I need to hire someone to help me with my finances because we can’t be great at everything!!
Who is your #WCW? (or 3 of them if you can’t choose)
YOU’RE ALL MY #WCW! And I love Jameela Jamil because she’s real and reminds people that beauty standards are ridiculous and are a great mental health advocate and awesome person. Also, I love Glennon Doyle and have read all her books but her newest is my favorite - Untamed! Okay, also Elizabeth Gilbert is awesome and has a great cook for creatives called Big Magic that I highly recommend as well.
I hope you enjoyed our first #WCW blog post and learning about photographer Katie Karlberg! If you haven’t already stopped reading to go creep on her feed - you now have my permission to exit this blog and go like and comment on all of her photos.
Got a #WCW of your own that we should know about? Tell us about them below!
About the Author: Creator. Tacoholic. Your Biggest Fan. Jordan has a passion for helping brands show off who they are to the world. She’s your brand's biggest hype lady and tirelessly works to help you find more peeps like her via the interwebz! She’s also living proof that influencer marketing really works (and her bank account will prove it!).