And just like that, everything changes
I've been dying to talk about about this.
I just had to wait until everything was ready.
But first let me tell you a story.
The past couple of years have been pretty big for me - I don't know if it was some kind of magic that comes with turning 40 (you read that right: turning 40 is magic and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!) or just the natural progression of growing as an artist, but I've been feeling myself expand and reach for new challenges.
Part of this you know about now - the shift into creating photojournalistic style family photography. I've spend a few weeks pouring out my heart to you about all the ways this kind of photography is going to light you up inside. And the thing is, it lights ME up inside too.
And some parts of my growth you might not know about (yet!).
I'm shooting long-term documentary projects. For the past nine months I've been making regular trips to New York to work on a story about an HIV+ veteran, living in Queens, facing eviction. I've learned the power of bearing witness to another human being's life and experiences. I need to be making more of this kind of work.
You might know that over the last two years I've also documented political activism in the District. Inauguration and the Women's March on the same weekend in 2017. Protests throughout the following year. As I think more deeply about the personal stories behind those political acts, I'm planning my next long term project - an exploration of worship and faith as practiced by Americans in this time of our history. I hope to start working on this early in 2019.
I'm going to pour my heart out to you right now: telling deeper stories through photography is something I can't not do. I can't describe it any other way than to say, my soul won't settle for anything less. Whether that's with your amazing family, seeing and celebrating what is real and from the heart; or with people I meet out in the world, witnessing their experiences and putting those stories into pictures that can enlighten our understanding and help us know one another as human beings.
Ultimately I believe I've been seduced by the camera's ability to make abstract ideas visible, and beautiful.
So, to that end, I'm making a BIG change.
I am retiring Red Turtle Photography and bringing all of my work under my own name - Katie Jett Walls Photography.
I won't lie: I'm pretty emotional about this step. "Red Turtle" was born very early in my photography journey, and became the name of business before I even HAD a business. It's been a playful and memorable name that has helped me build a healthy photography business in this wonderful city I call home. It's really hard to say goodbye to it.
The thing is, I know that I'm a different woman now. I've grown into my own voice, and it's time to step into that with both feet and my arms wide open.
Come with me! Explore this new website. If you’re looking for family photos, you'll easily find the family photography section, and you'll see so much more there too. If you’re here to see the documentary work, explore my portfolio.
You might be wondering "What does this mean for me, if I want Katie to photograph my family?"
Well, for starters, it means you're getting the very best version of me possible.
You're getting an artist who who is never stagnant. Creativity isn't fixed. It's a river that winds and changes as it makes its way through every different landscape, picking up new bits and leaving behind other bits, gaining breadth and depth as it goes.
You're getting a photographer who practices her craft every day. Every single thing I photograph makes me a better photographer. You might not know, but I work intensively with mentors to improve my photography. From technical skills, to the insight necessary to make deeper and more meaningful images - I'm invested in lifelong learning.
But it also means there's a little less of me to go around. Some of the work I'm doing takes me out of town. And if any of you have to travel for your work, you know that those trips away mean you need to give a little extra time to your own family when you are home. So to make sure that my own sweet family comes first, I've got to craft a schedule that gives them space, gives my projects space, and gives my clients space. That's going to mean I'm booked out a little farther and can take fewer sessions per year. That's why I'll be dropping into your email inbox to remind you, don't put off claiming your family session date!
Share the site with any friends you know of who might be looking for a new kind of family photography experience - something deeper, something that celebrates who we really are as people, as parents, as a family.
And come back often. This blog won’t be like other photographers' blogs - just posts of sessions. I'm going to keep talking about what I believe in, about families who are celebrating their true selves, about women doing great things, and about photos that can change how we see our world.
And as always, if you're excited about all of this, and want to jump on this train before it leaves the station, call me/write me/send me a carrier pigeon and tell me when you want your family session. I'm really excited to work with you.