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.

Katelyn & Michael

Friendaversary Session | Sedona, AZ

We met Katelyn and Michael for the first time at a conference in California. Santa Barbara to be exact. Since we’d just gone full-time in our business just months earlier, it was the first one we’d ever attended. We were true “newbies,” as Katelyn calls it. We’d had a morning of running from this and to that, and an afternoon of going to that and from this, teaching and leading our first ever hands-on session with photographers. That didn’t come out right, but we’re sure you get the point! And after that and this, and this and that, we arrived to the conference’s evening gala in the middle of a large, circular promenade. Vertical columns on the outskirts. Light-colored stone everywhere. String lights for ambiance. Mingling and giggling. Black ties. Cocktail dresses. Drinks. Smiles. And a stage patiently awaiting its turn. We walked up the steps together, hand in hand, into a sea of 400 photographers. We love people, and we love talking with people we don’t know, but this was different. Conferences are always and will always be different. The nerves come with the territory, and our hands began to sweat and shake a little bit.

Tangent Alert: Thankfully, Jordan was able to borrow deodorant from a friend. He forgot his at our $69/night hotel that didn’t have the worst reviews online. They also didn’t have the best reviews. But, nonetheless, that faux pas was avoided, thankfully, or the 400 might’ve avoided US! 

As we walked up the steps from the black asphalt street and through an arch that opened into the soiree. Hands still shaking. Still sweating. But now gripping even tighter. We were slotted to speak for five minutes that night at the end of dinner, during the entertainment portion of the event called “5-Minute Fuel”, a cross between show and tell, karaoke, and Shark Tank. We’d have five minutes we were told (and five minutes only) to share something — anything — that’d either make the audience laugh or cry, or leave them inspired. Preferably, it’d be all three, we were told. No small task. No sir-ee! The truth is, we’d practiced the entire 8-hour drive to from the desert to the beach, perfecting each second, then each minute, at a time. We’re recovering perfectionists, you see.

After dinner, the testing time came, the proving ground, the main event. The round tables and their white linens were pushed to the back, the folding chairs were pushed to the front until they were hugging the stage’s feet like a child on its dad’s leg, and 400 photographers, high on excitement (and high with expectations and entertainment) quieted down and waited for the first person to step up to the mic. The first one went. Then the next. Each one adding a different flare and distinct flavor to the mixing bowl of the night.

Then, it was our turn.

We gripped hands again, holding tightly to keep each other up, and walked (one step at a time and carefully for fear of falling) made our way from our seats to the podium. As we stood there, the hot yellow lights shone so brightly that we couldn’t make out much in the crowd, but we could see four people standing in the back, and two of them were Katelyn and Michael. It was cold that night. Foggy. Dewy. His coat was wrapped around her. She was rocking from side to side to stay warm still. As we wrapped up our talk and the other speakers did theirs, like a rubber band, the promenade snapped back into place, and the buzz of conversation began anew.

Hours later (it seemed like), when the voices had dissipated and the crowd had dispersed, in a cheesy 1990’s high school movie dance scene last song sort of way, we turned around. They turned, too.We both looked up, and realized that we were the only ones left in that outdoor room. They’d been waiting to meet us and we’d been waiting to meet them. If you wanted to take it to a She’s All That level, you could say we had eyes for each other from the start. The moment came and went, a flash in the pan, but the conversation that followed went on for hours on that cold, soggy night. It was easy. It was light. It was serious when it needed to be. And it worked. It just made sense. Like a fine wine (or a good jar of jam) it didn’t need more than what it was, because it was just right. That might’ve been because it was like looking into a mirror — a sweet, Southern, red-headed, teal, and chevron one! — because we saw so much of ourselves in them, and they saw so much of themselves in us. Like a happiness drug, we were hooked, not because they’re fantastic photographers (which they are), but because they’ve got fabulous hearts. And if you’ve ever met them in person, you know that they’re even better in living color than they are online, because those smiles, that warmth, the genuinely real, raw, and authentic kindness they bring to the table of life can’t be contained by the cubically small confines of the Internet, because there’s not fast enough data speed or online storage in the world to keep up with the impact they have on it.

Katelyn and Michael, last week we celebrated our friendaversary with you by spending a few days together at our home in Arizona, and it reminded us of just how blessed we are that we were the last four people under the Santa Barbara skies that night. Here’s to fifty years of friendship, and God-willing, even more.

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If you like Katelyn and Michael’s Sedona anniversary session, you might also like these destination sessions:

Nikki & Paul | Ft. Myers Beach, FL 
Haley & Tom | New York, NY
Kathleen & Aaron | Limerick, Ireland
David & Laura | Nashville, TN

A special thank you to our friend and famous Venice photographer, Annamarie Akins, for letting us shoot over her shoulder and grab a few frames for our memories during her ANNAversary session with these two!

The gear used of this session:

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 50 1.2
Entire Gear List

You Ain’t That Great

We walked through the glass double-doors and into the restaurant. The white walls with pops of orange accents jumped out at us. We found a place in line and, like lemmings, shuffled out feet as each person strained their neck to read the menu and ordered their food. Once we had ours, we carried our trays to some seats near a big window and sat down across the bright orange table, us one one side, him on the other. He leaned in close, an excited hunch in his shoulders and back, and smiled wide with his teeth and his eyes. The happiest, most joyful people seem to be able to do that. We hadn’t seen him in a month, it’d been 30 days since our last lunch, but we didn’t miss these appointments. They were too important to us, because he brought two things to our life that we think every person needs: a splash of encouragement and a shake of accountability, both, in their own ways, reminders of what’s most important in life.

Chris was the children’s pastor at our church and we volunteered for him with the little kids on Sunday mornings. He’s not what you think of, though, when think of when you think of a pastor, to be honest. He’s got a hairstyle like a rock star, part shaved, part wave, his arms are sleeved with tattoos, and he dresses like a cross between a hipster, Los Angeles, and David Beckham. Yes, he’s as cool as he sounds! He’s an encourager to the max, too. If his life was punctuation, he’d be an exclamation point. He loves loving people, and that’s what we love about him. He’d offered to take us to lunch once a month as a “thank you” for volunteering at church. “Most kids decide their relationship with God by age 10,” he never let us forget. Children’s ministry, therefore, couldn’t be more important. As we sat there, across from him in his black and white checkered flannel shirt, he asked questions, about our life, about our business, about some of our newfound successes and the traction that’d turned into momentum we were gaining; and he grinned. Ear to ear. He told us how proud he was of us. How excited. How encouraged.

And then, in the same stride with the same smile he always had, he said something so simple, yet so profound (and so Chris), that we’ve never forgotten it, “There’s something I want you to remember…”

“What’s that?” we asked.

“You ain’t that great,” he responded.

“I’m not that great. You’re not that great. Nobody’s that great.” But do you know who is great? God. God is great”

Amen.

After that meeting, every time we saw Chris anywhere, for any reason, the first thing we’d say to each other is, How ya doing?! You know you ain’t that great, right? It was a fun way to remember that life’s not about us. It’s about loving and serving other people, and as we sit here this morning in our suite overlooking Las Vegas — bright colors, flashing lights, words like “Cosmopolitan” in our face, a place where “me” seems more important than “we” and God has no place — where we’re speaking at the largest conference for wedding photographers in the world (one of the biggest honors in our industry), we’re reminded of the bright, orange-colored table where we used to meet Chris and his bright, colorful smile for lunches, where he’d never let us forget one of life’s most powerful truth, maybe something all of us need to be reminded of in an industry that can be intoxicating with accolades, from Instagram likes, comments, and followers, to blog readers, and people who fill rooms to hear us speak:

In reality, we ain’t that great.

But God is.

Here’s a photo of Chris, and his beautiful wife Monica. Love these two so much. 

View More: http://amyandjordan.pass.us/troyerfamily

New Workshop Dates!

View More: http://amyandjordan.pass.us/styledshootajworkshopfeb9-10 Happy Friday, friends!

We might be CRAZY for doing this, but we were just so ENERGIZED by our workshops in February and all the success stories we’re already hearing from our attendees (see a few of their testimonials below), that we’re so excited to announce two new workshop dates in two different cities!

First up is our workshop in Scottsdale THIS coming month on March 29 – 31. That’s a pretty fast turnaround time — and we honestly weren’t planning on doing another one in Scottsdale before this coming fall — but when we looked at our calendar, we realized that this was the only time that worked, so we jumped on it and can’t wait! Friends, we would LOVE to have you join us, whether you’re from Arizona or somewhere else and want to grab a cheap flight and a friend to share a hotel room with in a place that’s currently 75 degrees and sunny, we can’t wait to have you!

Since we already announced this workshop to our priority access list and newsletter subscribers, there are only FOUR SEATS LEFT! So email us QUICKLY if you want to grab one of the last seats before they’re all gone or sign up here!

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ALSO… and this one’s a little crazy, but we’re teaching a workshop in Virginia Beach IN A BEACH HOUSE this June 14 – 16! That almost didn’t register because we never thought WE’D be doing something like this, but God opened the door, so we walked through it, and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to teach on the East Coast! The part that blows our mind the most is that there’s only ONE seat left for that one! Yikes! We don’t know if we’ll be back on the East Coast for a workshop in 2015, so if you’re interested in that final seat, send an email to info@amyandjordan right now or sign up here!

* The Virginia Beach workshop is SOLD OUT! If you’re interested in a future workshop in Virginia, please send us an email, because we’re considering another workshop in Virginia either this year or next!

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Okay, friends, we know this has a big week of announcements, but we’re so thankful for all of your love and support in every way, shape, and form you send it our way. We feel it, guys. We really do. You all warm our hearts with your support and encouragement, and you’ll never know just how thankful we are for YOU! We wanted to leave you with just a few of the many testimonials we’ve received from our workshop attendees that have completely touched our hearts.

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“No investment I have made for my business has been more meaningful. It lit a fire under my feet and gave me tools I needed to gain momentum, mostly in areas where I literally had no clue where to start. And no one cares more about serving their attendees than Amy and Jordan. Jordan switched his dinner with someone whose order was wrong and gave his coat to someone when we were freezing outside at night, even though I could see he had goosebumps on his arms. Amy breaks down any barriers the second you walk in and makes you feel more important than anything in the world. This one is a game changer, and I would do it again tomorrow if I could.”

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“You are possibly two of the kindest people that I have ever been lucky enough to meet. FOR REALSIES. As we sat outside on Tuesday night I couldn’t help but get teary eyed over and over again, because the fact that you were there in itself was amazing. It was obviously cold, and you not only stayed and sat, and shared yourselves with us, but you gave us the coats straight off your backs to make us more comfortable while you did it. People like you two are a rarity, and while I know you two aren’t the ‘look at us!’ type of people, I hope for just a millisecond today this email makes you stop and recognize the type of hearts you two have and feel proud of the way that you give so freely.

It goes without saying that all of the information you shared over the course of two days was business enhancing, but as I reflected on everything on the flight home I was honestly surprised at how LIFE enhancing it was as well. I flew to Arizona planning to learn from you two and make our business better, but left with such a fire in me to make our overall LIFE better. While thank you doesn’t seem like even close to enough of a word, deeply and honestly THANK YOU.

I am truly touched and inspired by the way you live with such an intense mission to serve everyone around you, and if there is absolutely ever a time we can return the favor or serve you two in any way, I hope you know we would be honored.”

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“The night before the workshop opened in November, I was sitting on my computer looking at my bank account. I was initially saving up for a new lens, so I almost had that money set aside. But when I saw you were offering this, I knew it was something I wanted to do. HAD to do. The stress of counting everything as a loss and not making any profit for the past two years was taking its toll on me, but especially my husband who doesn’t understand why a piece of glass costs $2,000. I looked at him and said, ‘I have to do this.’ He was convinced I just wanted to because you guys are my Jose Villa and it would be a ‘cool experience.’

I then told him everything I had been holding in about how sick I am of going nowhere, pouring my life into my photography with no reciprocation, and started sobbing in his arms in the kitchen. ‘It’s my only chance to change things,’ I told him. At the workshop, I saw how much you love on your brides and how you really care about their experiences and marriages. I do too, but do my brides know that? And that hit me like a brick. How was I showing my brides that I love them besides showing up? And that’s what clicked in my head and made me realize I’ve been doing this whole thing wrong.

1 Peter 4:10 says, ‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’ This verse is ON MY WEBSITE and I wasn’t even implementing its meaning to its fullest extent. So thank you for giving me this kick-in-the-pants realization that I have to serve my brides beyond what I think is fitting because it will not only change their lives, but mine. I cannot thank you enough for pouring everything into us these past few days, staying until midnight to answer my question, and giving me new friends to connect with. You have changed my business, and my life for the better.”

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“I’m actually in tears as I write this. When I first discovered you guys, I knew we had an instant connection. Husband and wife team. Just like you say in the workshop, ‘Create the connection. It builds trust.’ I immediately trusted you guys. I showed my wife your site, and we both immediately fell in love with your work. We felt the joy, the intimacy, the images were so beautiful. Those were the things that drew us in, but little did we know, the couple that was behind all of it. As we read the ‘Pink Slip Files,’ it was like, ‘Hey, we identify with that. We have been in that situation, too.’ Your transparency allowed us a look into your personal lives, further providing that connection and trust. It set you apart. When I sent my first Facebook message to Jordan, I expected to never hear back. What I got in return was this: ‘I’m proud of you guys. Keep working hard, okay? The Bible says that the diligent prosper. Make your business about loving and serving people you’ll never go wrong.’

I had no words. I cried. People don’t say things like this. It’s not normal. It changed my life and how I do business. God has blessed both of you with a unique skill set. As crazy as it sounds, photography is just a small insignificant thing in the long run. Let’s face it: who cares. Fifty years from now, I might not remember ever detail from your workshop, but I’ll always remember how it felt to see and hear you guys say, ‘We’ve been there. We understand. We know it’s hard. We believe in you. We love you.’ There’s no price tag for an experience like that. Thank you for being you. You guys are rock stars. I’m a total groupie. Not because I worship or idolize you, but because I’ve seen and heard the real you. And that real you is a beautiful, wonderful thing.”

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So friends, who is ready for a jam-packed two days to take your game to the next level? Snag a seat before they’re all gone!

Sign up here!

Rangefinder’s 10 to Watch

The Educators List

Eeeek! We woke up to an amazing surprise today! And the best part? We’re not alone! We get to celebrate with our sweet, sweet friend Katelyn James and her husband Michael, who are visiting Arizona from their home state of Virginia for the very first time. We love having them here and are so excited that we get to play hosts in our brand new guest room for the very time! And tour guides. There WILL be mandatory photos with saguaros (that’s a cactus for all you non-desert dwellers) and prickly pear ice tea (and some work dates too because WPPI is right around the corner!) We also have the wonderful Annamarie Akins and Caroline Logan visiting, too, so, basically, our hearts are just overflowing with happiness from  having so many people we love here at once!

We stayed up WAY too late last night catching up with each other, so we got a bit of a late start this morning, and were trying to have a productive “work morning” until Rangefinder Magazine, the premiere magazine for wedding and portrait photographers, as well as the official magazine of WPPI, came into our inbox. And then all things productive stopped and the celebrating and giddy squeals began! We are sooooo honored and excited that Rangefinder named us and Katelyn James as two of the 10 Educators to Watch at this year’s WPPI!  Eek! We are seriously blown away by this honor and can’t believe we got to celebrate together in person!

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The Night We Killed Someone (Kind Of)

From The Pink Slip Files | No. 15

If you’ve been following The Pink Slip Files for a while, you know we love to share pink slips that we wrote each other years ago. And sometimes, we like to share the memories we’re making right now. The newest slip in our jar, fresh from last night, reads, “I’ll never forget that night you killed someone and then we ran away together.” Let us explain.

As kids, we both grew up on Saved By The Bell. Our childhood homes were only ten minutes apart, but long before Little Amy and Little Jordan even knew each other existed, we both shared a mutual love for this 90’s television treasure. We weren’t just fans. We wanted to be Bayside Tigers. To have lunch at The Max. To use a cell phone, with an antenna, that was bigger than our face. To help Mrs. Belding deliver Baby Belding in the elevator. To be there when Jessie sings, I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I’m so… scared and tell her that it’s going to be okay, because Zach’s on the way. To make Screech’s special spaghetti sauce in Home Ec. To meet Casey Kasem and do The Lisa. To tell Kelly that her face won’t be red forever from the zit cream. To take “time-outs” with Zach. And to work summers at Malibu Sands, play in the volleyball tournament, and help Mr. Carosi beat North Beach for the first time. Oh, yes, if we could’ve been could be Bayside Tigers, we would’ve been still would be.

But there was one episode that each of us never forgot, our Saved By The Bell unicorn, if you will: the murder mystery dinner episode. Ever since we saw it as kids, we’ve always wanted to participate in one just like it. You know, a group of friends get together for a whodunnit?! night of mystery, complete with a stormy-night-power-outage and all. Well, it finally happened. We caught the unicorn: we were invited as guests to our first ever murder mystery dinner, and it was even better than we could’ve imagined.

When we arrived, we were seated for dinner and given notebooks with our assigned character roles. Jordan was assigned Neil Burger, the 1920’s era-hat-wearing, Newsies-New-York-accent-bearing, dentist and groom-to-be. Amy was assigned the role of “Candy,” handed a white lab coat to wear and was instructed to prance — yes, friends, she pranced — around as a “doctor,” but as we’d find out as the night unfolded, it was all a facade. A complete farce. A cover to conceal who she really was. Candy wasn’t a doctor at all.

(Insert dramatic gasp here.)

After three food courses, three rounds of acting out our roles in the murder mystery with an amazing cast of friends who made us laugh harder than we had in a long time, and three rounds of interrogating each other and searching for clues about who the murderer could be (if it wasn’t Professor Plum, in the library, with the candlestick, of course!), a few things happened:

1. Jordan was declared the official murderer, which was a total surprise to him (and Amy went home with him anyways).

2.We discovered CANDY was his mistress and accomplice! This was a complete coincidence! The roles are supposed to be completely random. And yet, somehow, even our fictional, twisted, assigned characters knew they loved each other and belonged together, just like in real life. We decided to embrace that. Note: bonus points to anyone who calls us Neil and Candy the next time you see us. Bonus points to US if we catch it and play along without missing a beat. 

3. Our table guessed the right murderer, so we won the grand prize of $10,000,000. Some restrictions applied. We walked away feeling full from a night with so many friends we love, and also with a plastic magnifying glass that will forever serve as evidence that we got to participate in a real murder mystery dinner.

4. Best of all? Jordan was voted “Best Actor” by the performers for his role of Neil and even got a certificate, upon which he decided that, from now on, instead of putting our biggest professional accomplishment under our email signature, it should be a list of our two (actually) proudest achievements.

So, instead of:

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Amy & Jordan Photography
As Seen in People Magazine Online

His new signature will read:

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Amy & Jordan Photography
1. Dillard’s Diaper Derby Champion | 8-Month-Old Division, Summer 1987
2. Best Actor | Murder Mystery Dinner, February 23, 2015

We think Zach Morris would be proud, don’t you? We never forgot, and after all these years, our Saved By the Bell unicorn was finally slayed (like Bob in the murder mystery). The moral of the story, though? It’s never too late to cross something off your childhood bucket list.

Or, you know, kill someone, run away together, and then blog about it.

We just did.

View More: http://annamarieakins.pass.us/venice-anniversary-session

Want to catch up on The Pink Slip Files? You can read them all right here:

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) 

 

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