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.

Why We Hated Mondays

We Had Happy Faces, but Hurting Hearts & Wounded Spirits

No More Mondays

We used to hate Mondays. We started hating Monday on Sunday night, actually. It was a feeling that almost seemed to start on Friday afternoon as soon as we left work. We had a brief We’re free! moment, and then the countdown in our head would begin. Only 48 hours, we thought, and then it’s Sunday night – and it starts all over again. Getting out of bed was the worst. Our alarm would go off and we’d snooze it as many times as we could. A lot of times, we’d sleep right up until the very last minute, just moments before we were supposed to leave. Without a shower (or a shave), we’d throw on clothes and hustle out the door to work. It was hard not to feel bitter on the way there, to our day job, tough not to be angry on the inside when we arrived, impossible not to feel like it was keeping us from our dream job.

But, for hours and hours every Monday, we put on our happy faces in direct contrast to what we thought and how we felt. No one else knew, but we did, and those feelings we were harboring were eating us alive. We grinded through each and every Monday (and every weekday, for that matter). Jordan rekindled his college romance with coffee and made it a forever thing. Amy picked up the habit for the first time and never looked back. And, for a period of time, we just slugged it out. One day after the next, but we couldn’t get traction. We didn’t feel momentum. It felt like we were pushing a boulder up a walking escalator that was going in reverse. Against the tide. Against the odds. More work than ever, more sacrifice than ever, less sleep than ever, and more nights sitting on the bathroom floor crying together than we’d like to remember.

We had happy faces, but hurting hearts, and wounded spirits.

We hated Mondays.

And it was our fault. Completely.

We slipped into the trap of believing that our dream was more important than anything else. We forgot our day job was the one paying our rent and keeping our lights on. Our employer was the one who made sure that when Jordan went to the hospital that fall that his medical expenses were covered, the one who, looking back, was more than we could’ve ever hoped for in a first “job” straight out of college. Because, looking back, it was a training ground for the rest of our life. Let us say that again, our day job was a training ground for the rest of our life. We wouldn’t be here today without it. We might’ve been teachers, but that job taught us more than we ever could’ve imagined.

That’s the ironic part, really, that the thing that we thought was holding us back from our future was the thing God was actually using to refine us and build it.

So, we read a book, one of the best ones we’ve ever read, so much so that it’s on our bucket list to meet the author in person, share our story with him, so he’ll know that because he went from his day job writing website copy for AutoTrader.com to be a full-time author and motivational speaker, we’re doing what we’re doing today.

Our main takeaway from Jon’s book was the idea that how we performed in our day job would have a direct impact on how fast we got to our dream. You can’t separate who you are during the day from who you are on nights and weekends, he’d say. One pours over into the next. Plus, he points out, when you work for someone else, you only have one boss to please. When you go full-time on your own, everything becomes your boss: your rent, your phone bill, your health insurance. The list goes on and on. Instead of having one boss, now you have twelve.

Thus, we adjusted our sails midcourse. We fixed our attitudes. We gave our whole hearts to the children in our classrooms, poured our souls into them and got ours filled up in the process. We didn’t feel tired in the afternoons anymore. We didn’t dread Mondays, because we knew that the faster we got there, the faster we could get our week started – all of it. And, you know what? It worked. Our students’ test scores were in the top few percent in the state that year. Their growth was astronomical in some cases. Students and parents who came into our class hoping for an experience they deserved got what they did but only because we made a choice – a choice – to put their wants, needs, and desires before our own, and God blessed that and did things with our business bigger, better, and faster than we could’ve ever done on our own.

So, if you’re today where we were not too long ago, if Monday hurts and you need help, we want you to know that we’re here for you. We get it. We understand. We’ve also got some great resources to get you unstuck, out of the rut, and on track to get from where you are to where you want to be.

Here is your action plan:

1. Buy or borrow a copy of Dan Miller’s book No More Mondays and Jon Acuff’s book Quitter and read them this week.

2. Check out our free 10-part blog series called Making the Leap, where we break down how we went from part-time to full-time photographers.

3. Sign-up for The Monday Minute, our free weekly newsletter for photographers that we don’t publish online anywhere, so that you can get filled up on a weekly basis with tips and tricks that have helped us along the way.

We believe in you, friend! You got this.

Venice Photographer

Photo Credit: Annamarie Akins

4 Tips for Eating Well in Europe

Without Breaking the Bank

Happy Friday, friends! For the next few weeks at the end of the week, we’re gonna continue sharing our top tips for traveling to Europe! In case you missed the earlier posts, you can catch up with the links down below. If you’re planning a trip to Europe, we hope these tips can help you make the most out of your time there! If you know someone who’s planning a vacation abroad, please feel free to share this post with them, too! Have a great weekend!

See the highlights from our trip to Europe!

Part 1: Ireland
Part 2: England
Part 3: France
Part 4: Spain
Part 5: Italy
Part 6: Greece & Turkey

Check out our top European travel tips!

Part 1: 5 Gear Essentials for the Traveling Photographer
Part 2: 5 Tips for Photographing your Vacation
Part 3: 8 Things to Consider When Packing for Europe
Part 4: 3 Tips for Eating Well in Europe Without Breaking the Bank

1. Order House Wine with Meals, Not Water

Unlike the US, in restaurants in most European cities, it’s customary that you’ll have a choice between still and sparkling, so unless you like carbonated water, make sure to specify you want still. But, if you can, choose neither! Bottled water at most European restaurants comes in a one liter glass bottle (enough for two regular-sized glasses at home) and costs anywhere from five to ten Euros. Yikes! If you’re going to be gone for a few weeks, that can REALLY add up. Here’s what we discovered, though: you can get half a liter of wine (enough for 2-3 glasses) for about the same price (or just slightly more). Whaaaat?! How great is that? So, when presented with the choice, we didn’t get both. We sprang for the wine. It’s Europe! Have some fun! You can keep bottled water with you and drink that before and after your meals. So go ahead! Order wine with every meal! When in Europe, right?

Travel Tips Eating in Europe_0002

2. Have Picnics in the Parks

One of our favorite parts about Paris was our picnic in the park. If you’re going to a European city with a large central park (most of them have one somewhere), we recommend having picnic in between lunch and dinner that’ll kill two meals with one stone. Find a local market, get some bread, cheese, fruit, dessert, and wine, and find a nice plot of grass to just hang out for a few hours and be. Here’s a secret we learned in France, too: most of the grocery store clerks keep a wine bottle opener at the cash register for tourists (like us!). All of you have to do is hold up the bottle and motion like you need help opening it, and they’ll take care of it. As a bonus, if you make a motion like you’re drinking from a cup, they’ll even give you a few plastic ones from their under-the-counter stash. This is the cheapest, most delicious, and most fun way we ate in Europe.

Travel Tips Eating in Europe_0001

3. Fill-Up Water Bottles Whenever You Can

International flights will serve one meal, two rounds of drinks, and an additional water and coffee run. That’s a lot more than a domestic flight, but when you’re on a plane for 10 hours, two to four small cups of water just doesn’t cut it. We recommend bringing an empty plastic water bottle through the security checkpoint and filling it up at a water fountain just before departure. That way, you’re not held hostage to the first few hours of the flight when there’s no food or beverage service. Just make sure to always dump out the bottle before you pass through security, or they’ll male you throw the entire bottle away!

Travel Tips Eating in Europe_0004

4. Splurge a Little! You’re in Europe!

As Dave Ramsey loyalists, we live and breathe our budget when we’re at home, so it can be hard for us to step out of that mindset when we’re traveling. But we’re here to say that when you’re on a once-in-a-lifetime type trip, it is OKAY to spend more money than you normally would to experience the rich food and culture all around you! It’s also okay to throw out the calorie counting for a little while and just TASTE LIFE! Spring for the Nutella crepes and eclairs in France! Eat gelato every day in Italy! Whatever that country is known for, give yourself permission to splurge! You won’t regret it!

Travel Tips Eating in Europe_0003

Looking for more travel tips? We’ve got ‘em here!

Part 1: 5 Gear Essentials for the Traveling Photographer
Part 2: 5 Tips for Photographing your Vacation
Part 3: 8 Things to Consider When Packing for Europe

Wanna catch up on our European Adventure? It’s all here!

Part 1: Ireland
Part 2: England
Part 3: France
Part 4: Spain
Part 5: Italy
Part 6: Greece & Turkey

Bethany & Mike

Anniversary Session | Ft. Myers Beach, Florida

Gah! Do we have a shoot for you! You know those days when you’re just hit with inspiration? This was one of those days!

While we were in Florida last week for Nikki and Paul’s destination wedding in Fort Myers Beach, we had the chance to get our dear friends, Bethany and Mike, in front of our cameras for their very last anniversary session before these two become three. They’re celebrating four years of marriage and expecting their first baby this winter, a sweet little girl named Capri, and we could not be more excited for them! They are going to be such amazing parents! Mike and Bethany were married on the beach in a destination wedding of their own four years ago, so there was no better place in the world for these photos. It was so cool to help them make that come full circle!

If Bethany and Mike look familiar, it’s because they modeled for us in our winter wedding styled shoot that was featured on Style Me Pretty earlier this year at the Royal Palms resort in Phoenix. Even though you could never tell in the photos, Mike was such a trooper that day. He powered through that session in a full tuxedo with a 100-degree fever and a terrible stomach flu, and we are forever grateful that he fought through it for us! Just the plain fact that Mike and Bethany were both healthy this time around ensured that this shoot would be more enjoyable than the last one!

Little did we know, we’d need troopers again! The weather in the Gulf Coast can be very unpredictable this time of year, we found out, because it’s the end of hurricane season! We were thrown something different every couple minutes, but Mike and Bethany handled it like pros. We decided to embrace the crazy weather and make it work for us, and it ended up being one of our favorite sessions to date!  It sprinkled. It stopped. It drizzled. The sun came out. It poured. Five minutes later the process started over again. That’s how it was the entire time we were shooting, but we wouldn’t let strong sideways wind and rain stop us! In fact, we got inventive. Mike and Jordan alternated holding a beach umbrella to break up the wind and block the rain. It worked pretty well for a while, too! By the end, we were all soaked, but having a great time. Bethany and Mike rolled with it and rocked it like pros, and we just love these images!

Bethany and Mike, we couldn’t be more excited to meet Capri in just a few short months or happier to see you two become parents. We love you both! We had so many favorites that it was almost impossible to narrow them down, but here’s a little look of our time together on the wet, windy beach. You made it look easy. Cheers to your last anniversary as a party of two!

Beach Maternity_0001

Beach Maternity_0002

Beach Maternity_0021

Beach Maternity_0004

Beach Maternity_0006

Beach Maternity_0007

Beach Maternity_0022

Beach Maternity_0005 Beach Maternity_0009 Beach Maternity_0010

Beach Maternity_0023

Beach Maternity_0012

Beach Maternity_0025

Beach Maternity_0014

Beach Maternity_0015

Beach Maternity_0016

Beach Maternity_0017

Beach Maternity_0019

Beach Maternity_0013

Beach Maternity_0024

Beach Maternity_0020

the GEAR USED for this SESSION…

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

How to Use A Reflector on a Cloudy Day

A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting it Right in Camera

We live in Arizona, the desert, home to snakes and scorpions, mountains and valleys, dirt and dust, cacti, open skies, and lots and lots of sunshine. Needless to say, we rarely have to reschedule sessions due to weather. The natural sunlight is as consistent as anywhere in the world. The light asphalt in the city and light gravel in the desert provide plenty of natural reflectors to fill pretty light into our subjects’ faces. We rarely, if ever, see a cloudy day for an entire day, which means most of the time we don’t need to use artificial reflectors to bounce light to fill the shadows on our clients’ faces.

But even though we don’t need to use a reflector all the time, we always have it handy for those occasional cloudy days, and it’s a life-saver! For photographers in more precipitous parts of the country, it’s a must-have in our book. We did an anniversary session for this adorable couple in Nashville last week while in town to shoot this cute couple’s wedding, and on the day of the anniversary session, the clouds were in full force and had formed a veil over the sun. We actually love this kind of light! Even though it prevents us from using backlighting the way we like to, it’s an awesome opportunity to face our clients any direction we want since the light is soft everywhere, so it makes any location a lot more fun and versatile!

When we were photographing them at a distance, like in this example below, it wasn’t necessary to use any type of reflector to fill the shadows on their faces, because a) they’re so far away that we couldn’t use a reflector without being in the shot, and b) their faces are such a small part of the overall frame that it doesn’t make a noticeable difference.

However, as we got closer to our subjects to shoot tighter angles and even head shots, you’ll notice in the example below, which is straight out of camera (SOOC), that our subjects have shadows under their eyes and nose, and even on the broad side of their face, especially Ryan’s right cheek.

So, since it was a cloudy day, we busted out our Wescott 46-inch reflector and opened it up to the silver-gold side. It comes with gold, silver, silver-gold, and white, and we prefer silver-gold the most because, like Goldilocks:

a) gold is too warm

b) silver is too cold

c) and silver-gold is juussst right!

Here’s how we used the reflector to bounce beautiful light onto our subjects’ faces to get our photos as close to perfect in camera as possible:

How to Use a Reflector_0001

1. Jordan took the reflector and stood at a 45-degree angle from our client, since Amy was shooting them straight on.

2. He held the reflector open to the sky, almost flat, at just a slight angle to bounce the light from the sky back into their faces.

3. Magic happened.

Again, here’s the SOOC version of this shot on the left and the SOOC version with the reflector on the right with THE EXACT SAME SETTINGS!:

How to Use a Reflector_0002

What?! How crazy is that?! The camera settings are exactly the same, but adding that little bounce of light goes a looong way!

Also, here’s the final edit on the far right of the photo so you can see all three. No reflector SOOC (left), with reflector SOOC (middle), and with reflector final edit (right):

How to Use a Reflector_0003

So, if you have an assistant, second shooter, or someone who doesn’t mind helping out at your next shoot on a cloudy day, use a reflector for up-close shots to add that little bit of polish to your in-camera work!

Did you find this post helpful? Want more? We’ve got FREE photography and business tips and tricks that you can’t find on our blog that can be delivered straight to your inbox every Monday! Click here to join hundreds of other photographers who’ve signed up for The Monday Minute, our free weekly newsletter for photographers. We hope this will be a blessing to you and your business!

Nikki & Paul

Destination Wedding | Ft. Myers Beach, Florida

Oh, friends, do we have a post for you today!

Nikki and Paul’s storybook proposal stole the hearts of so many people one year ago. The reaction to her reaction was electric, sparking interest like we’d never heard or seen before. We got emails from women who cried in their cubicle with their colleagues at work. Multiple people who told us they’d seen it at home and wept tears of joy for these two all by themselves. In most cases, none of them even knew the bride and groom-to-be. We got flooded with feedback from all over the country and even stopped on the streets here at home. Literally.

It was better than viral, because it wasn’t something that just faded away. It was more than a passing glance, or a flash in the pan. It touched lives, including ours especially, because we were the only ones there when it happened. The only ones who heard Nikki exclaim, “Paul, wait! What are you doing?! Is this real?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!” and then squeal the most excited scream we’d maybe ever heard. We were responsible for telling this love story for them, their family and friends, but also – and maybe most importantly — for their children and children’s children, because these two are building a foundation of love that’ll be so much more than we can even fathom in this moment.

It’ll be a legacy of love that’ll trickle down their family tree, saturating the roots and growing stronger and stronger branches with each generation. It’ll be what they show their sons and daughters and grandchildren alike, so that they’ll know from an early age what love is supposed to be, what it looks like, because they’ll have a picture of it. They’ll be able to see from these images how Dad held Mom and how she looked at him, and how Grandpa cried when he saw Grandma for the first time and her reaction to seeing him. They’ll be able to see it all – and hopefully it’ll move them as much, if not more, than it’s moved all of us.

Nikki and Paul, we could write for days about how much we love you, but to borrow your favorite expression and keep things as simple as we can, we love you to the moon and back… and then some. Here are our some of our favorite moments from your unforgettable wedding, one of many chapters in your love story, with many more surely to come.

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0001

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0002

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0003

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0004

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0060

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0070

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0006

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0007

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0071

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0009

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0010

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0011

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0012

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0013

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0069

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0067

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0016

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0017

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0018

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0061

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0020

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0021

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0022

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0023

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0062

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0068

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0026

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0027

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0028

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0029

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0030

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0031

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0032

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0033

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0034

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0035

= Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0072

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0037

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0038

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0039

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0040

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0041

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0042

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0043

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0044

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0045

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0046

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0047

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0048

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0049

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0050

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0051

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0052

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0053

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0056

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0057

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0063

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0064

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0058

Fort Myers Beach Wedding_0065

the WEDDING TEAM…

Bride’s Dress: Lillian Lottie Couture/Maggie Sottero
Bride’s Shoes: Windsor
Catering: Doc Ford’s
Ceremony Location: Bowditch Beach
Dessert: Lady Cakes & Tastie Treats
DJ: Ace Entertainment
Floral Design: SW Florida Florals
Girls Getting Ready Location: Private Residence
Guys Getting Ready Location: Pink Shell Resort
Hair Stylist: Karie Myers at Moxie Salon
Invitations/Paper Products: Sugar & Type
Makeup Artist: Esthetics by Tracey Castiano
Officiant: Pastor Travis Brown
Photographers: Amy & Jordan
Planner: April Kelley at Simple Elegant Weddings
Reception Location: Doc Ford’s
Videographers: Reel Treasures Video

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

 

All Text and Photographs © 2014 Amy & Jordan Photography | Blog Managed By Inspire Business Concepts
Some of the links on our blog will connect you to products and companies that we use and love. We're affiliates for them, and we get a small commission when you buy something using one of the links on this page or anywhere on this site. It doesn't cost you extra, but if you've benefited from some of the free content on our blog, we'd really appreciate it!