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.

Bouncing through Boston

How 'Bout Them Apples

Happy Thursday, friends!

Something we’ve tried to be intentional about since we went to Europe last summer is taking advantage of every possible new travel experience we can. Seeing things we’ve never seen. Doing things we’ve never done. Eating where Urban Spoon, Yelp, Zagat, and 10Best all agree we should. Being part tourist, part food critique, part wanderer, and documenting it all. That’s why when we left Nantucket last weekend, we opted to spend a morning and afternoon in Boston with our friend Melissa Jill before flying home to Phoenix.

We started with brunch on a quiet side street at a quaint café called South End Buttery, Melissa’s favorite. We found parking quickly about two blocks away. We mention that because – Holy cow, Batman! ­– it’s almost impossible to find parking in the land of Samuel Adams! East Coasters, how. do. you. do. it?! We’re getting our new promo photos done by our talented friend Annamarie Akins when we’re in Virginia in a few weeks, so Jordan’s been on a pretty strict self-imposed diet since the beginning of the month to shed his love handles (his words, not Amy’s), so we ordered a few items to share between the three of us — one sweet and one savory – and Jordan had a few bites to go with his three cups of coffee.

After that, in the spirit of Good Will Hunting and Legally Blonde, we drove to Cambridge to walk around Harvard. In hindsight, we should’ve raced pickle slices down a glass window or at least asked someone if they like apples, but we didn’t. Some highlights from the stroll that we did do? Dessert at a secret Mike’s Pastries THAT DIDN’T HAVE A LINE. If you’ve ever been to Boston, we don’t even need to say more. If you haven’t, getting a treat at Mike’s is like waiting for Space Mountain. Without a Fast Pass. The first day school gets out in California. Amy got hooked on éclairs when we were in Paris last summer, so she ordered one the size of a Long John and loved every bite of it. Jordan – again, the diet – enjoyed one bite of it, which was the size of an entire éclair in Paris. That led us to one of two conclusions: either their prices are too high or our portions are too big. Okay, maybe it led us to two solid conclusions! God bless America.

We thought about walking the Freedom Trail again and seeing places like Paul Revere’s house. We also should’ve run down the streets screaming, The redcoats are coming, they’re coming! ­but instead we perused the ONLY Curious George store in the entire world. IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! Jordan loooved that curious little monkey growing up, so going to the place where the authors wrote most of his adventures was an unanticipated but welcomed pilgrimage, like visiting the Vatican of children’s books. After all, if your childhood was anything like Jordan’s, you probably knew more about George’s stories than our Founding Fathers!

Hoping to catch some brain cells by osmosis, we snuggled up under a big shaded tree on the Charles River and watched bikers and runners work hard while we let our eggs benedict, French toast, and cream-filled pastry digest. Keep up the good work, guys! You’re doing great! we thought. Once we felt smarter, we headed to the heart of Boston to see the sights before having a late lunch/early dinner at Mothers Anna’s Italian restaurant. Side note: there should be a name for late lunches/early dinners. What do you think? Linner or dinch? Okay, maybe there shouldn’t be a name for it. After watching a few street performers, walking along Boston Harbor, and seeing one of America’s greatest cities from the North End to the South End, it was time for our time there to come to the end.

So, we packed up the rental car, drove in circles a few times (because Boston streets are like H&M sizes: narrow, different, and confusing), filled up our tank with a gasoline pump that sprayed like a fire hose, and, after eleven days on the road, boarded a plane that took us back to the Arizona desert, which might not be the home of the free, but the parking is. Ah, it is good to be home!! Here are some highlights of our six-hour stint in Boston.

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We l-o-v-e traveling! Wanna catch up with our adventures around the world? You can do that here!

International
Ireland
England
France
Spain
Italy
Greece & Turkey

Domestic

Nashville
Denver
Phoenix
Vancouver
Seattle
Vegas
Atlanta
Santa Barbara
Florida
Virginia
New England/New York
Sedona
San Diego
Nantucket

 

How to Diffuse Harsh Light

Happy Wednesday, friends!

One of our goals for this blog has always been education. When we started in photography four years ago, we knew nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. To be totally honest and real, we didn’t even know that the camera body and lens were two SEPARATE pieces! Now we know that they’re like cookie butter and ice cream or Mr. Carson and William Wallace: they’re okay on their own but really better together! The most high-tech camera we’d ever used was a Canon PowerShot that Amy’s parents got her for Christmas one year. Looking back on it, we probably chose it because of this epic Maria Sharapova tennis commercial (anyone remember this?!) and Amy’s parents probably purchased it because it was on sale at Costco. And let’s face it, when something’s on sale at Costco and you’re getting 2% cash back, it’s tough to say no. Does anyone else have a problem with getting out of Costco for under $100?! It’s like, we walk in the door and we all of a sudden need new patio furniture and a third blender. That Vitamix guy is an effective salesman!

Anyways, Costco and Maria Sharapova aside, we wouldn’t be where we are without other photographers who went first, who shared helpful tips and tricks on their blogs that we learned from. Yes, it can definitely be hard to keep up with blogging five days per week and putting out a separate educational newsletter called The Monday Minute (subscribe here!) on top of everything else we’ve got going on, but it’s worth it, because we’ve got a debt to pay to this industry that has given us so much and we intend to pay it! So… what’s today’s post all about?! Glad you asked! We realized that one of the best, easiest, and most effective ways to share with you is to share what’s happening in as close to real time as possible, so here’s a problem that we encountered on a recent shoot and how we solved it!

Not a Problem

A few weeks ago, we were in Southern California for Glee’s Heather Morris’s wedding (that was printed in People Magazine this week!) and an engagement session with Michele and Jonathan in Redondo Beach. Michele and Jonathan are a stunning couple with impeccable taste in fashion. She started the session in a pink dress from H&M that complimented his coat and bowtie. We had some gorgeous light and architecture to work with in the first set (see below) and it all went well together.

You can see their full engagement session here

For the second set, we headed to the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You guys, the setting was uh-mazing! Picturesque in every way. It was almost too good, though. It seemed fake, like a Hollywood backdrop or green screen. Again, they rocked out incredible outfits. Everything was set up for some of our favorite engagement photos ever. Until…

The Problem 

The sun was about fifteen minutes from setting below the horizon, so it was giving off a gorgeous, glowing, warm light. Our favorite! It was hitting the rocks just right, just enough light so that the background wasn’t too dark or too light. Problem: we were shooting from north to south and the sunset was coming from the west, which meant that orange-tinted light was also hitting Michele and Jonathan’s faces. NOT a flattering look! Also, we didn’t get a picture of that harsh light hitting their faces for you guys to see! We should’ve, though! Next time!

A Few Options

At that point, we had a few options. We could shoot pulled back or face them toward each other or away so you wouldn’t really see their faces, or we could figure out a way to get even light on their faces and still get that backdrop that we wanted. That’s always our preference — even though we like pulled back shots and shots where our clients are facing each other or away — because we want to see their faces because that’s what they want to see! And since we believe that skin tones (that autocorrected to skinniness the first time we typed it, not sure what that was about!) are the most important element of a people-centered photograph, that’s always out primary objective. So… what did we do?

The Solution 

We definitely have an advantage as a husband-wife team, because there are two of us. So, we can either both shoot, or one of us can shoot and the other can assist, and the person who shoots or assists changes depending on the situation. In this case, Amy was in a rhythm and feeling g-o-o-d about her posing and composition, and the wind was gusting in such powerful bursts, that we were afraid she would blow off the side of the cliff or fly away like Mary Poppins if she got too close to the edge!

Okay, so we needed a way to diffuse (soften and even) the light on their faces. But how? The answer: our Westcott 6-in-1 diffuser and reflector kit. We take in on every shoot we do — including weddings — because it gives us the ability to manipulate natural light.

Click here to read about how we use it on cloudy days to get more light into our subjects’ faces. 

Since the sun was coming from the west, Jordan stood next to our clients and held up the reflector, watching their faces the entire time. Once the harsh, orange light on their faces was shaded by the diffuser, he then moved it as low as possible so that a) their faces were shaded, b) their hair was still getting lit (if possible), and c) as much of their bodies was also getting shaded as possible, so it looked natural. If just their faces were shaded but their bodies were lit up, it’d be a giveaway that the light was 100% natural, which is always our goal.

So… if you’ve found yourself in a situation lately where you really wanted to shoot in a location but couldn’t because the light wasn’t quite right, try this next time and see if it helps!

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Have a Question You Want Answered?
Send an email to info[at]amyandjordan.com with your question and we’ll do our best to answer it in an upcoming blog post!

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If you liked this post, you might also like our Dear A&J series:

Nantucket Getaway

Happy Tuesday, friends!

We’re home!! For now! We landed back home in Phoenix late Sunday night from a whirlwind 11-day trip that started when we drove into San Diego for a fun afternoon together en route to Los Angeles for an engagement session on the California coast and Glee’s Heather Morris’s wedding (which is featured in People Magazine this week!) After all that, we started a 5-leg journey from Phoenix to Nantucket that involved every mode of imaginable transportation — a drive from California to Arizona, two flights from Arizona to Pennsylvania, then from Pennsylvania to Boston, then a rental car, a taxi, a ferry boat, and a Jeep – before we got there! From start to finish, that 5-leg stretch included well over 24 full hours of travel, and that included well over 12 cups of coffee for Jordan and more than enough lattes to keep Amy from hitting full zombie status. She wishes she could function as well as Jordan on little-to-no sleep, but alas, she normally winds up looking like a little blonde bobble head by the end of it.

So, what in goodness sakes caused us to agree to more than 24 hours of straight travel right after we shot the biggest wedding of our career?! The answer is simple. The promise of a getaway with friends we cherish. Ones who just get us and breathe so much life into our souls. We were ready to move heaven and earth to make exploring a new, beautiful place and spending quality time with people we love happen. So we rescheduled three shoots, and committed to driving through the night from California to Arizona to catch the first plane. And we’re so glad we did.

Everyone who was on this trip is also running a thriving photography business, so it was practically a miracle that we were all able to align our schedules and get to the same place at the same time! We all loved being able to celebrate our friend Mary’s birthday in a place that is so special to her, and it was extra fun for us because we’ve always wanted to see Nantucket! Ever since we saw Rory visit Logan’s family on Martha’s Vineyard in an episode of Gilmore Girls – one of our favorite shows – it’s been on our bucket list to go. We got a taste of New England life when we visited Justin & Mary this past fall, so we had a feeling we were in for a treat, but it was even more beautiful than we could have expected!

The island looked like it was straight out of a storybook. Every nook and cranny was full of so much character, and we couldn’t help but take pictures everywhere we went. We loved the nautical spirit of the island. If there is one place in the world more than different than our home here in the desert, Nantucket might just be it! We were in complete awe. And loved playing the part of preppy north easterners for the weekend. Of all the trips we’ve ever been on, this was the easiest to pack for, because we just loaded up everything and anything in our closet that was striped, navy and white!

Over the next few days, we did things we’d never done with friends we don’t get to see enough. We sailed with Captain Jim on a boat he built with his dad forty years ago, soaking in the sunset, smelling the salty air, and repeating his captain commands in unison. We drove Jeeps along abandoned beach for miles and miles standing in the back seat and letting the wind rush through our hair and the wind whistle past us. We even tried for a Demos Sandwich with one of the sunbathing seals, but he hissed at us (did you know that seals can hiss?!) so he didn’t get one. We strolled side streets, picnicked with wine and cheese and our toes in the sand, stood in awe of the pinkest trees we’ve ever seen (and desperately want to plant in Arizona) toured lighthouses, and even made small talk with locals. Our favorite was definitely the clerk at Aunt Leah’s fudge shop (her real nephew) who told us, “Our fudge is so fresh it’ll talk back to you!” We bought $10 worth just because we appreciated his sales pitch. Then we told Aunt Leah to give him a raise.

We had slow, late breakfasts together, and long, late dinners. We laughed about things that don’t matter and discussed deeply things that do, like how to make each other stronger and serve others better. That’s the interesting thing about traveling with leaders, to be honest, and it happens every time. It turns from a vacation into a summit, as much about enhancing the lives of the people who aren’t there as much or more than the people who are. We dug deep and even exchanged some tears. We goofed around and laughed ’til it hurt. We left a lot of cares in our inboxes and voicemail boxes. It was the best kind of medicine. Just what the doctor ordered.

We might have gone a little overboard with the picture-taking, so prepare yourself for a lot of photos!! Here’s a little look at our week in Nantucket!

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We got our photos taken by our friend, fellow Phoenician, and film photographer, Melissa Jill, while we were there, so when once they’re developed, we’ll share those with you, too! Yay!

P.S. We l-o-v-e traveling! Wanna catch up with our adventures around the world? You can do that here!

International
Ireland
England
France
Spain
Italy
Greece & Turkey

Domestic

Nashville
Denver
Phoenix
Vancouver
Seattle
Vegas
Atlanta
Santa Barbara
Florida
Virginia
New England/New York
Sedona
San Diego
Nantucket

GLEE’s Heather Morris Official Wedding Photos

Old Canyon Ranch | Topanga Canyon | California

Happy Monday, friends! We thought about starting this post with capital and letters and exclamation points to share all the details of one of the biggest, most exciting accomplishments of our career that we announced on Friday– and don’t get us wrong, we’re thrilled! — but then we remembered:

  1. Honestly, we ain’t that great. God is. And it wouldn’t be a faithful use of this moment if we didn’t acknowledge that everything we have and all that we are has mostly to do with Him, and little to do with us.
  1. We have a lot of other people to thank…

Starting with our parents and grandparents, who sacrificed in every way people possibly can so that we’d have opportunities that they never did. We will never take that for granted.

To our friends who keep us laughing, our pastors who keep us grounded, our mentors who keep us going, and our brides who keep on trusting.

To our online friends. To you. Yes, you, right there, reading these words on your screen. Thank you, from the bottom of our heart, for letting us share our life with you. For connecting. For caring. Some of you we know. Most of you we’ve never met (in person). But you’ve touched our life with your comments, likes, messages, and emails. And we’ll never forget it. Thank you for being such a big part of this journey with us! You’ll never know how much it means to us!

Okay, now for a deeper look into the the big news…

Our photos are in PEOPLE MAGAZINE! Gah!! Is this real life?!

Last weekend, we photographed Glee’s Heather Morris’s wedding at the Old Canyon Ranch in Topanga Canyon, California, and People Magazine printed three of the photos for an exclusive (that sounds so fancy!) in this week’s edition.

Today, thanks to Heather and Taylor’s willingness to share a little bit more with her fans and our readers (she has a lot more, believe us!), we’re publishing a small sampling of our favorite moments and memories from a wedding that we can’t believe we had the pleasure and privilege to photograph.

Heather and Taylor, you could’ve had anyone, but you chose us. For that, we will be forever honored, humbled, and oh-so grateful. We love you both – to use what seems like a fitting comparison – more than Mr. Shu loves his Glee Club crew.

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It’s hard to believe that it was this month two years ago that we were leaving our jobs as full-time elementary school teachers to make the leap and pursue our dream of running a wedding photography business together. Wanna catch up on our story? You can do that by clicking here, or taking a peek into the Pink Slip Files:

Intro: What Are the Pink Slip Files?
No. 1: Failing Pre-Marital Class & Otter DNA
No. 2: Sink or Swim
No. 3: Turning Off the Lights
No. 4: Leave a Message at the Tone
No. 5: Chocolates, Mystery Shows & Honeymooning
No. 6: Cutting Coupons & Wal-Mart Jeans
No. 7: Paper Chains of Memories
No. 8: Dancing on Bar Tops
No. 9: Man’s Best (Feline) Friend
No. 10: Confessions of a Waffle Fry
No. 11: What’s So Important About Shoelaces?
No. 12: Breaking Records… Like It’s 1924
No. 13: Why We’re Not as Classy as We Thought
No. 14: A Letter to My Only Starbucks Lover
No. 15: The Night We Killed Someone (Kind Of)
No. 16: Lord, It’s a Fire!

To see Heather’s maternity session that we photographed featured in the online version of People, click here.

We’re in PEOPLE MAGAZINE!!

Pinch us!!! That’s our work!! In PEOPLE MAGAZINE!!! Page 16!! Ahhhh!! We can’t wait to share more on Monday :) Including some of our favorite photos from the day! But for now, will you please join us in a weekend-long happy dance?! Love you guys!!

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All Text and Photographs © 2015 Amy & Jordan Photography | Blog Managed By Inspire Business Concepts
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