Aaaaaand we’re back!! After a marathon week and the best kind of crazy, we’re back and ready to share all the fun with you! We have two GORGEOUS weddings that will be coming to the blog later this week, but first we’re going to share about what we’ve been up to!

You might remember that last year, we attended our very first photography conference in Santa Barbara. It was one of the best decisions we ever made, and even though this might sound lofty, it was truly one of the greatest experiences of our life. We formed some of our most cherished memories and friendships at United 2014 (and blogged about all of our experiences in a week-long blog series last year!), so there was pretty much nothing in the world that would keep us from attending United for our second year in 2015! When we found out our own hometown would be hosting this year, we could barely stand the excitement, and couldn’t wait to welcome friends, old and new, to Arizona! We’re going to try to pack a week’s worth of memories into one blog post, so hold onto your hats!

The team at Showit blew us away again with another incredible conference this year! We just love that our website company stands for so much more than just great software. They invest so much time and energy into creating an environment for a community that believes in creativity, hard work, perseverance and real, significant life change, and that’s just one of the many reasons we’ll be Showiteers for life. We were so thankful for every conversation we had this week. All the new friends we met. The old ones we reconnected with. The stories that were shared and the lives that were enriched. This week was physically exhausting, but emotionally? So life-giving.

One of the highlights of the conference this year was definitely the gala, where we all got to dress up for a fancy event and NOT PHOTOGRAPH IT! Such a treat! We felt like we were going to prom all over again, and took some token prom photos by the pool (i-Phone style!) before it began.

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As if Miss Katelyn (bottom left) wasn’t talented enough already, she’s actually also great at styling HAIR! (See upper left). She DID HER OWN UP-DO and then styled Amy’s hair, and, in true KJ-fashion, rocked it all in under thirty minutes! She made Amy feel so fancy!

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We went to our real senior prom together exactly TEN YEARS AGO! Jordan wore a white tux and Amy wore a dress so poofy that it would give Glinda “The Good Witch” a run for her money. It was fun taking some updated prom-pose photos this week!

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The guys at Showit teamed with the genius Justin Marantz to build an incredible set for the gala, and it wasn’t long before we had a group of photographers directing some legit i-Phone posing before the real shots began!

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It always makes us laugh when six professional photographers are together and not one of us has a real camera on us, but we rocked our iPhone shots (above) which we really liked UNTIL… we saw the REAL photos from the AMAZING Justin & Mary Marantz. Then we almost DIED. Thanks to the crazy talented J&M for making us look WAY cooler than we could ever look in real life!

View More: http://justinandmary.pass.us/united-gala-2015-studio-sessions

We feel so thankful to teach alongside these sweet people in The Academy. It’s been such a blessing to team up with this group of talented educators from all different parts of the continent, who all have the hearts of teachers and truly want to see other photographers not just grow, but really flourish in their businesses and in their craft. These are some of the hardest working people we’ve ever met and their passion for, and dedication to, others inspires us daily. We couldn’t be more thankful for their friendship.

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The guys and the gals!

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And these might just be our two favorite photos from last week! The coolest photo we’ve EVER been in on the left. And the right? Well, just look what happens when Justin Marantz doesn’t light us and Mary Marantz doesn’t pose us. We’re clearly lost without you, J&M!!

View More: http://justinandmary.pass.us/united-gala-2015-studio-sessions

We were so honored to give the closing keynote about adversity, perspective and the power of community. We were feeling so compelled by what we had been learning in our own life, that we actually scrapped what we were planning to talk about, and created a brand new talk the night before we gave it! We’ve never done anything like that before, but it just felt right in our souls. We got pretty vulnerable about some real moments in our life, both past and present, that God has been using to grow us, in the hopes it would encourage others who feel like they’re in the middle of the fog right now in their businesses and lives.

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And also dance breaks? If you weren’t there, I think you’d probably believe that Jordan stopped the talk for a rousing rendition of Beyonce’s best moves. All my single ladies…. 

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We feel like we got an extra bonus conference day because we had the honor of hosting Katelyn James right here in Scottsdale the next day for Come Together: Phoenix, a live educational event for small business owners on marketing.  We were only planning to do this event one time in Virginia, but we had so much interest on this side of the country, that we brought it to the desert! Since then, we’ve been getting requests from all different parts of the country to travel the event to other states, so while we can’t make any promises, if you think this might be a great fit in your hometown, definitely let us know! We love getting to spend a night in community, getting to know other photographers, and sharing the momentum-building strategies that have allowed us each to run successful businesses without ever spending a dime on traditional advertising! This Wednesday was such a great night with a great group!

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On Thursday, we got to take some of our sweet out-of-town friends to a few of our favorite spots around town for a very mini-version of The Demos Desert Tour! We gave lots of cacti lessons, indulged in way too many sea-salt cookies and enjoyed a lot of great conversation with friends we cherish.

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On Friday, we had the privilege of coaching with a sweet photographer from Texas and then shot a fall look book for our friends at Closet Candy Boutique! Phew! Whenever we think back on the week that started with our double header, took us threw a week-long conference experience and landed us at today, we lose our breath. In the best kind of way. We feel so, so thankful. And THOSE are all the reasons we didn’t blog last week! To be present. To soak it all in. And to make sure we were giving you, our loyal blog readers, only the best! So we’re excited to be back in action this week and can’t wait to share some beautiful weddings with you soon! Happy Monday!

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 • Anniversary Photos: Venice

Domestic: Nashville • Denver • Phoenix • Vancouver • Seattle • Vegas • Atlanta • Santa Barbara • Florida • Virginia • New England/New York • Sedona • San Diego • Nantucket • Boston • San Diego • Virginia • Arizona

2 comments
filed in: Events, Personal, Travel

    Denise Karis

    YES! This whole post put a huge smile on my face. I loved United....you guys were amazing!! xxoo

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw! Denise! Thank you SO much! We loved seeing you again. You're SUCH a bright light :)