Amy & Jordan

About Amy & Jordan Photography

We fell in love in high school. When there was nothing more important than the homecoming dance. When a driver’s license was a commodity. When passing notes was an art form. We were young little pups ready to take on the world.

Today, we are a husband and wife photography team based in Scottsdale, Arizona. We are passionate about marriage and blessed to do what we love together. If you would like to know more, visit our website using the link above.

A New Demos Family Tradition

Packing Meals for Feed My Starving Children

If there is one true thing about the Demos family, it’s that it’s constantly growing! Jordan grew up as one of four Demos kids, and since then, his parents have adopted another son, our littlest brother, Musa. His oldest brother, Nick, got married to his sweet wife, Anna, and they brought us our very first niece and nephew, Olivia and Luke and his other two siblings, Stefan and Caelen, are in serious relationships, too! As you can imagine, when we all get around one table it is big and loud and crazy. But we wouldn’t have it any other way! As we all started to notice this family wasn’t getting any smaller (or any younger!) we realized it was time for a new plan for our annual family Christmas gift exchange. So instead of swapping Christmas gifts with each other this year, we decided to make a memory together by volunteering our time to serve others, and take those dollars we would’ve spent on each other and each buy a full box of food for Feed My Starving Children, a mission organization near and dear to our hearts. Together, the six of us were able to purchase a total of 1,296 meals, enough food to feed a family of four for an entire year! How amazing is that?!

It’s beyond heartbreaking, and even hard to believe, that in this day and age 6,000 children still die every day from starvation. The reason we love Feed My Starving Children is it’s a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit, and acknowledges that before there can be a strong community, sustainability, education, and a thriving economy, there has to be food. Their approach is simple: volunteers hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, and they ship those meals to nearly 70 countries around the world, with the hope to one day eliminate starvation in children throughout the world all together.

So this week, the Demos crew headed to the FMSC warehouse, and volunteered to pack as many boxes of food as we could (while we jammed out to Beyonce, Christmas carols and a slew of dance-while-you-work music that kept us pumped) as we all spent time together. We had to work as a team assembly-line style to stuff, weigh, seal and pack each bag of food until we had enough bags for an entire box. The warehouse was buzzing with energy and soon everyone’s competitive spirit kicked into overdrive, with every table trying to beat every other table’s numbers and maximize every minute of packing. By the time the session was over, the warehouse as a whole had packed over 17 thousand meals, all with our own hands!

Here we are rockin’ our sweet hairnets. Yep. We’re #bringinghairnetsback.

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The Demos family is a pretty competitive bunch, so we were all focused on moving as fast as possible to keep the count of packed meals as high as we could for our table.

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Jordan’s oldest brother, Nick, and his wife, Anna, probably had the hardest job! Getting those plastic bags open and holding them under the funnel is a lot harder than it looks! Amy may or may not have gotten a little too excited and poured vitamin powder all over Anna before the bag was under the funnel, but her sweet smile never left her face! Maybe it’s because her husband is an all-star, slow-motion rice pour-er.
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Jordan’s little sister, Caelen, and her boyfriend, Austin, were down at the end of the table, sealing the bags and packing them into the boxes, in between their singing and dancing to the warehouse music.

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Time to seal the deal! (Pun intended. Like really intended)

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Austin packin’ boxes for our table like a boss.

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The Demos girls!

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100% of FMSC’s food is bought solely with donations. They are incredible stewards of the resources they get and it was such a blessing to us to each sponsor a box. If you feel called to donate to Feed My Starving Children, you can do it here. It’s even tax deductible! Every amount makes a difference. Even $33 feeds five children for an entire month!

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A lot of world hunger organizations aren’t able to successfully get all of their shipments to the people who need them because they are intercepted during transport by warlords and terrorist groups, but FMSC has a 99% success rate. They pray over every single pallet that gets shipped, and pray for safety, provision and a smooth delivery so that the children who so desperately need the food in these boxes are able to fill their bodies with nourishment. They get these boxes directly to missionaries on the ground in each country, and the missionaries are then able to distribute the food to the starving children safely and efficiently. We closed out our session by praying over all of the boxes.

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The whole team! This was such the perfect way for us to connect as a family. We were all able to hit pause on our busy lives, and come together, take the focus off of ourselves, and instead serve others together. We all left feeling less stressed, more fulfilled and beyond thankful for our lives and for each other.

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If you and a group of your family or friends want to volunteer at Feed My Starving Children, they have permanent warehouses in Arizona, Illinois and Minnesota, as well as a massive amount of mobile-packing events scheduled all across the U.S. You can find out how to volunteer by clicking here and how to donate by clicking here. We can’t encourage you enough to check it out and get involved! You won’t regret it!

 

Pam & David’s Desert Engagement

Winter in the desert is our favorite time of year. The air is cool and crisp, and the sunlight streams in just a little bit dreamier. Maybe that’s why Pam and David chose December to make their visit from the snowy tundra of Chicago to the warmth of Scottsdale. We first met these two cuties over a Skype call, and when they told us about their idea for their destination wedding at The Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North, we couldn’t have been more excited! It’s always fun to shoot destination weddings in our home state because it gives us a chance to play host during the engagement session, and give our couples the low down on all things Arizona. And they really got to experience Arizona during this shoot! They trusted us completely and were such troopers, which says a lot, because we asked a lot of them! They went on quite an adventure with us as we all hiked up the mountain to capture some of Arizona’s most beautiful desert scenery, which could not be any more different than their home state! And it was so worth it! How beautiful is God’s gorgeous creation? We had an absolute blast with these two. They have the best smiles (Pam’s adorable laugh is especially infectious) and they are sweet as can be together. Pam & David have some awesome plans for their fall wedding next year, which means we’ll now be counting down the days ’til it’s here! But in the meantime, these should hold us over! Here are just a few of our favorites. 
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If you liked Pam & David’s engagement session, you might also like Courtney & David’s desert engagement or our Oasis in the Desert inspiration shoot.

the GEAR USED for this SESSION…

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 50 1.2
Canon 70-200 2.8
Entire Gear List

3 Tips for Better Toast Photos

Cheers! The toast portion of the wedding day is such a special moment for our couples. They get to hear from the people who are closest to them in the world on the biggest day of their lives. It’s beautiful, it’s emotional and we want to make sure we’re capturing every minute of it for them. But let’s be real! Toast photos can also be a challenge!

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Photographing people when they are talking and making it look GOOD is actually one of the hardest jobs we have as photographers! During toasts, the lights are usually dim, the subjects are moving back and forth, and to top it off, they’re talking and changing facial expressions constantly! When we first started shooting weddings, we were easily frustrated during the toast portion of the day because we just weren’t happy with how our images were looking, but over time, we put some strategies into place that have really strengthened our toast images, so today we’re going to share three of the things we think about that have helped us when we shoot toasts.

1. Stay in the Lens
When we’re shooting people who are talking, staying in the lens is key. Think about it, we all make lots of not-so-cute faces when we’re transitioning from word to word during a speech, and every millisecond our expression is changing. And of course, the milliseconds that get frozen in time for all of eternity always seem to be those awkward in-between expressions that look completely normal to the naked eye in the moment but actually make us look like aliens on camera. Trust us, we are the worst at this! Some of the most unflattering photos of us we’ve ever seen of ourselves are the ones where we’re teaching, or even just talking for a long period of time, and while they make for a good laugh in our home, most of our clients don’t want to remember their best friends looking like aliens on their wedding day! So when we’re photographing toasts, even when our arms are sore and tired at the end of a long day, we hold it together and stay in the lens. We keep our lens up the entire toast and wait for those pretty laughs in between words, the gestures that look confident and the faces that are flattering — and that’s when we fire the shutter. When we’re patient and wait it out, we always get better results. The same goes when we are shooting the bride and groom reacting to their toasts. We stay in the lens and fire when they react emotionally to the toast. The result is worth the wait!

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2. Light the Toaster
We laugh every time we call the person giving a toast the “toaster,” as if they are going to produce a Pop-Tart (rainbow sprinkles and strawberry filling, anyone?), but we don’t know what else to call them! Since the toast section of the reception is the “toaster’s” big chance to shine, we want to make sure they look their best. At almost every reception we shoot, we are lighting the entire night with both on-camera and off-camera flash. We love the fun “rockstar” look of rim-lighting because it adds an extra pop to our reception images, so during toasts, we place one of our kickers behind the toaster for that effect, and then stand at an angle where their bodies will block the light stand from being seen in the image. While one of us does that, the other places their kicker light behind the bride and groom, so we’re backlighting the three most important people in the room at that moment, the person giving the toast as well as the ones receiving it.

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3. Don’t Forget About the Guests
Early on in our wedding career, we were so focused on the bride and groom and the “toaster” that we forgot all about the other guests! It finally hit us that there are other people in the room that our bride and groom care about who are also reacting emotionally to the toasts! Maybe it’s the bride’s mother, or the groom’s childhood friend. Maybe it’s the bride’s grandfather putting his arm around her grandmother, or a little sister who can’t stop smiling. Even though they might not be the ones giving the toasts, the seated guests are a big part of the story, too, so as soon as we’re confident that we have a great, flattering shot of the “toaster” (preferably horizontally and vertically) we move on and focus on other VIPs. The beauty of having two shooters is we can cover a lot of ground quickly, and really increase the value of the final product for our clients. Depending on the length of each toast and the number of “toasters,” this may not be possible, but if you do have extra time, a good goal would be to get shots of every member of the bridal party and immediate family members in addition to the “toaster” and the bride and groom.

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If you’re looking for most posts to improve your photography and business, you can check out other how-to posts like How to Achieve Creamy Backgrounds or How to Shoot in Crowded Places.

Gloria & Josh’s El Chorro Wedding

There’s a phenomena in the desert that only happens every once in a while, a moment when thin clouds sprinkle tiny drops of rain at the very same moment that the sun’s rays glisten through them. It’s one of the most breathtaking natural performances the desert puts on for us, and when it happens, the air smells fresh and crisp, and everything is just a little more magical. So when it happened this weekend, we soaked it all in. It couldn’t have been more fitting for the desert to put on one of its best shows for Gloria and Josh’s wedding day, as if the whole world was celebrating the two becoming one.

This was our last full wedding of 2014, and we’re so thankful we got to finish off the year with these two. We really couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up an incredible year. Gloria & Josh are such a beautiful couple, inside and out. They are sweet, soft-spoken, kind, and they were the epitome of calm, no mater what the unpredictable desert weather threw their way. There is such a quiet serenity about these two, and their wedding day was absolutely breathtaking in every way. Gloria embodied all the grace and style of Old Hollywood glamor, like a modern day Rita Hayworth, Ginger Rogers and Greta Garbo, all wrapped up into one, and Josh, looking so handsome and in love, couldn’t keep his eyes off of her. And who can blame him? This was one for the books! We absolutely loved spending the day at El Chorro and working with the insanely talented Sara’s Garden, whose work had us practically drooling all day long! This was such a perfect way to end the year, and we’re so excited to share a few of our favorites with you today!

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If you liked this post, you might also like Ashley and Pete’s Romantic El Chorro Wedding or The Something Borrowed Inspiration Shoot at El Chorro.

the WEDDING team…

Bride’s Dress: Lillian Lottie Couture
Catering: El Chorro
Cake:
Piece of Cake
Ceremony Location: El Chorro
Dessert: Let Them Eat Cake
DJ: Rosebud Entertainment
Floral Design: Sara’s Garden
Getting Ready Location: Omni Montelucia Resort
Hair & Makeup: Mint Hair Studio
Officiant: Pastor Rick
Photographers: Amy & Jordan
Reception Location: El Chorro

the GEAR USED for this WEDDING…

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 50 1.2
Canon 70-200 2.8
Canon 100 2.8
Canon 24-70 2.8
Canon Speedlite 600 EX-RT
Entire Gear List

10 Movies We HAVE to Watch This Christmas

We officially have TEN DAYS until Christmas! How did this happen?! Last week, we shared our ultimate Christmas playlist, and this week, with the realization that we only have ten more days until Christmas,  we decided to make a list of the ten movies we HAVE to watch in the next ten days. Whether we actually get to all ten or not is yet to be seen, but we’re pretty Christmas-crazy over here, so it just might happen! One of our favorite parts of this time of year is slowing down long enough to wear Christmas jammies, pop fresh popcorn, snuggle under all of the blankets and have movie nights by the tree, so if we have it our way, our next ten days will be filled with:

Elf
Elf has to be the very first movie on our Christmas list because, aside from Mean Girls (more on that here), it’s probably the movie we quote the most in our everyday life. Whether it’s a week before Christmas, or the middle of the summer, we just can’t help it. Buddy the Elf is the most quotable Christmas character of all time. If we had a nickel for every time we said,  “Congratulations!! You did it!! The world’s BEST cup of coffee!” or  “Ohhh, he’s an angry elf!” or “You sit on a throne of lies!” or  “I like to whisper too!” we would… well, we would probably have nickels to buy a second copy of Elf.

The Santa Clause
In our humble opinion, The Santa Clause is one of the best movies to come out of the 90s. Period. Tim Allen in a fat suit. What more do you need?

The Holiday
We are VERY picky when it comes to rom-coms, but we are IN LOVE with The Holiday. Let’s be real, a script that can get Academy-Award-winner Kate Winslet to sign on to the same movie as the guy in Nacho Libre MUST be something special. It’s funny. It’s sweet. And it’s a can’t miss on our list!

The Family Stone
Because who doesn’t need a good cry every Christmas?

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Aside from originating some of our all-time favorite Christmas songs (Linus & Lucy, anyone?) A Charlie Brown Christmas is the only movie that can drive home the true meaning of Christmas in just thirty minutes flat. Linus breaks it down like only Linus can, and when you combine that scene with the ice skating, singing, tree shopping, the holiday show rehearsal and dog-house decorating, we realize that every single scene in this movie is pure perfection and makes us yearn for our childhood.

A Christmas Story
A little known fact about these next two titles is that they will continue to be the source of heated discussion in the Demos house, probably for every December for the rest of our lives. When it comes to the best Christmas comedy of all time, Amy is Team Christmas Story, while Jordan is Team…

Christmas Vacation
…and while we may never agree on which movie is the supreme queen-bee of Christmas comedies, we can agree that both movies will get a spot our top ten list!

It’s a Wonderful Life
Okay, so this is the only movie on our list that we’ve NEVER ACTUALLY SEEN! Did you fall out of your chair when you read that last sentence? Are you worried we can never be friends now? Do you want to tie us to our couch and make sure this absurd wrong in our life is righted right this very minute? We get it! That’s why it’s on our list of movies we HAVE to watch this year! We know this is the ultimate classic when it comes to Christmas,  and because people talk about it so passionately,  it’s one we’ve wanted to see for years.

Home Alone
Because nothing says “Christmas” like a kid booby-trapping his house for two criminal masterminds, who seem to have bodies of steel and the resolve of superheroes. And while part of us wonders why Harry & Marv didn’t just move on to the next house on the block, we are so, so glad they didn’t. 

Miracle on 34th Street
This one will always have our hearts. Miracle on 34th Street (the 1947 version, of course) is just so magical. It’s the movie that reminds us to hold on to our child-like faith, and a movie like that deserves to be watched again and again.

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If you liked this post you may also like 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Amy and 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Jordan or  5 TV Families We Wish We Were a Part Of.

 

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