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  • On July 20th, I'll be pedaling away from home to embark on the biggest adventure of my life (so far). I'm not sure exactly how far I'm going or how long I'll be gone. All I know is that I'm heading off into the Kansas horizon with my sights set on the mountains. Colorado is a given. My goal after that is to head to Ketchum, Idaho for my second 100 mile gravel race this season. From there, I'd be absolutely elated if I could make it over the Cascade Mountains before first snow and watch the sun set into the Pacific Ocean.

    I'll be making frugal choices and living on about $10 a day to stretch my modest savings. To help offset the costs of inevitable bike repairs and the occasional cushy bed and hot shower, I thought I'd give my friends and family the opportunity to support this soul-seeking pilgrimage. If you have it in your heart to assist a girl chasing her dreams with a million flat tires along the way, you can become part of the journey with me. In return, I'll mail you a handwritten, postcard update from wherever remote spot I happen to be.

    If you'd like to follow along with my journey you can see bike tour-specific posts right here.


    Peace, Love and Bicycles,
    Katelyn

all good things

The mouth-watering smell of homemade pizzas surrounding us. A beautiful hodgepodge of table settings and seating arrangements. fresh.cut.flowers. The heavy Southern sun that drips from the trees and makes everything gold. Jazzy/bluegrassy/lovely-like sounds dancing through the thick Florida air. Foxy red-headed friends. Twinkle lights. TWINKLE lights.

Community Loaves Pizza Night w/ my dear friend Heather Bailey

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Jacksonville, Florida

 

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dear mamas

In the last several years I have created hundreds of thousands of portraits. I’ve made pictures of professionals at conferences, artists making pretty things, good people volunteering, couples who want to shout their love from the rooftops, and friends and family celebrating at weddings. But by far, my favorites have been capturing hands embracing a belly full of life; the long hours of laboring to meet a sweet babe; an exhausted, but so in-love woman rocking her infant, chasing after her toddler, tickling her child or laughing with her teenager. The common theme being “mamas”.

This has definitely been the year of mothers for me. I’ve been contacted by so many excited, new mamas and mamas who have never had family photos taken. I’m elated that I get to capture memories for so many families- whether it be the first time ever or the first time in ten years. But what has moved me to write this post is the response I’m receiving post-session. Time after time. I answer phone calls, read emails and open thank you cards with some pretty emotional overtones- mostly exuding joy, but some with tears. Tears because, for so many years they made excuses for avoiding being in front of the camera with their babies. From one amazing mom: “After our session (which was fun), I was on the verge of tears. I goofed up. I should have been taking family pics way more frequently, not letting my personal insecurities dictate documenting our family. So, to the young moms out there – take family photos. And to the (ahem) older moms out there – schedule an appointment now.”

I was recently sent an article from a client, entitled “The Mom Stays in the Picture”, which perfectly describes the point I’m trying to make. Whether it’s simple snapshot taken by your husband or an entire session session captured by a professional photographer, I urge all mothers get in the picture..and stay there.

But we really need to make an effort to get in the picture. Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were. Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being ourselves — women, mamas, people living lives. Avoiding the camera because we don’t like to see our own pictures? How can that be okay?….So when all is said and done, if I can’t do it for myself, I want to do it for my kids. I want to be in the picture, to give them that visual memory of me. I want them to see how much I am here, how my body looks wrapped around them in a hug, how loved they are.

 

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The Mohn Family

I had so much fun photographing the Mohns and I just adore that I can still hear the jokes and laughter from our time together. They made my job fun AND easy.

A top contender for best shoot to date.

Emporia, Kansas

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  • October 23, 2014 - 3:03 am

    Eric Benjamin - These are beautiful.

  • October 23, 2014 - 12:31 pm

    Michelle Tebo - Love, love, love them!!!!

  • October 23, 2014 - 1:41 pm

    Marvin L Mohn - Hey Tim Mohn, these are some fantastic photos. Your dad would be soooo proud. LOL from Texas, Uncle Marvin…….

#k8bikeswest week 8

Being alert in an enormous landscape has confirmed that the day-to-day, small things matter most. Knowing the names of trees. And people and what moves them. Noticing the subtleties of the weather and the gradual turn of the seasons. The look of the land at different times of the day and how it’s textures and smells change with the angle of the sun.

A homestyle vegan meal at Cornbread Cafe with my very good friend Shelda to fuel the final day of my journey.

The afternoon that I rolled up to the sandy beach of the Oregon coast was sadly anticlimactic. I didn’t have anyone to high-five or cheer with. No one knew that I’d just finished the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Perhaps the hardest thing I will EVER do. I laid my bike down in the sand and sat, watching the waves for a bit. When envisioning how my finale might look, I thought I might cry. I didn’t. I thought I might cheer. I didn’t. The whole thing was rather Forest Gump-like. I was glad to be done riding.. but mostly happy to be done being alone. I remember thinking to myself, “I’m pretty tired. I guess I’ll go home now.” Wherever that is. I stayed for a while because I felt like I should, and then biked to the highway to hitch a ride bike to Eugene. To HELL with riding my bicycle a mile further than I needed to.  I’ve been on a bicycle exactly once (a painful, humid cruiser ride in South Carolina) since finishing #k8bikeswest.

In the weeks since I’ve completed my “roadtrip”, friends and family have been asking me about the lessons I learned along the way. It took me a couple weeks to even come to terms with the fact that I rode my bike 2,500 miles, through 20+ days of rain and over countless mountain passes. I’ve been using the writing of this blog to help myself process through all the memories and little lessons learned. So, now, 38 days later, I’m finally attempting to put into words how this 56 day adventure changed me.

I’ve mulled over these words for the last week, feeling like 6 lines can’t possibly explain how this trip changed me.  Yet, I don’t think there is anything else for me to add.

“Try everything. Say yes over and over. If nobody asks a question that makes you want to say yes, make up your own. And then make up the answer. Dream twenty different answers and choose a new one every day until you find the one that fits”

Stagnant and comfortable sameness? Not now. Not me. I’m not interested in “easy” and I’ve learned I DO have what it takes to kick the hard shit straight to the curb. This trip has been the final act of my former life. A pivot point. A turn in the road. It’s been about creating time to change my life. It’s shown me that the obstacle is the path and the chasing IS the dream. Because I had the courage to embark on this journey, I’ve become a little louder. A little more shameless and a whole lot more of the Katelyn that’s always been lurking below the surface. I can’t imagine ever fully returning to life as normal. I’m writing a different story than the one I imagined all those years ago, growing up in Central Kansas.

My heart continues to be the best compass I have.

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  • October 19, 2014 - 9:58 pm

    Chelsea Fuller - Love the pic of you holding up your bike! Such an awesome accomplishment, You Rock!