The How and Why of My Photography Business

No matter where you are in life, whether you are a high school senior, a bride-to-be, a parent or something else altogether, no doubt you have wondered where life will take you and how you will reach your life goals. 

Painting done by our "neighbor" - her view of our house

Painting done by our "neighbor" - her view of our house

When I was a little girl, my dad took a job out West.  My parents felt like this would be an amazing opportunity for our young family, and it was.  We lived in Wyoming and then Montana.  While living there, we got to see some truly memorable sights, such as Yellowstone National Park, Frontier Days, Glacier National Park, a lot of Elk and Bears and even a wild three-legged dog that befriended us!    I remember just bits and pieces, but what does stick in my mind is the image of my dad, always with his camera, ready to capture the next great moment.   

" dad, always with his camera, ready to capture the next great moment."

Years later, my mom and I were looking through my parent’s cedar chest, reminiscing about old times.  We found my old baby blanket – full of more holes than actual solid pieces of fabric.  When I little I use to play tug-of-war with our dog.  Eventually, he had ripped a substantial amount of holes in it and I used it as my She-Ra cape (and I totally had that sword!).  That soft teal blanket never lost its silky feel and I still have a small square of it today. 

Pulling memories out of the cedar chest, one by one, we found our “Out West” photo albums.  I was immediately pulled back to my childhood – elk grazing by the swing set; my sister’s Lop-Eared rabbit, Loppy, that she wouldn’t let me actually hold, only allow me sit on the floor with; our giant 15’ evergreen Christmas trees, that we cut from our backyard; sitting on our couch as a family, with my now late Grandparents; my brother and Dad standing on the front deck having watermelon seed spitting contests; the time we tried to go cross-country skiing and it was so bitter cold my Mom’s glasses broke as she went to slide them back up her nose and so, so much more.  

One of the most influential items I found was my dad’s camera that he used to capture all these wonderful memories.  I brought it to my dad and he showed me how to load and unload the film and how to adjust the settings.  Before I knew it, I was in love.  I went through several rolls of film, trying out this composition and that setting and found that I even had photos worth framing.  As the years past, I eventually switched to digital, but that spark that was ignited in me never blew out.  That is how my journey as a photographer started.

Are you curious to find out what has kept me going and will forever fuel my goals?  I would love for you to come back and read the next part of my “why”.  And, I would love to hear what your passion is and what got you started!  Until then…..

Amy & Jordan Workshop 2016

I just attended the most amazing, inspiring, fulfilling and epic workshop of all time - the Amy and Jordan Demos photography workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona!  This is not just a workshop that you sign up a week in advance and stroll into.  No, this is a 16 seat, 2-day, life-changing event!  It all started back in May, when I snagged a seat.  Well, actually, it started back in the beginning of 2016.  I was watching a 5-day webinar series, the Turn It Up Conference. I was in day 3 of the series when the most adorable couple was introduced - Amy and Jordan Demos.  I had no idea what to expect, as I sat there in my Pj's at 9pm, exhausted, after a long day of my 9-5, preparing dinner for my family and finally getting my two boys tucked warmly into bed.  With a blanket wrapped around my shoulders, Amy and Jordan began to speak.  I was immediately captivated by their infectious smiles and humble personalities.  Everything they said, from their start as teachers, with a desire and drive to be photographers to how they became what seem to them impossible - successful, luxury market wedding photographers, who genuinely love and care for their clients.

After the webinar, I immediately found their website, signed-up for their newsletter and read as much about them as I could before my body begged for sweet slumber.  Several months later, when I discovered that they would be hosting another workshop in July, I knew I had to be there.  My husband, the sweetest man in the world, insisted that I go, and this is how it went....

A group of us attending the conference met up for dinner the night before the workshop began.  As we each cautiously approached one another, not knowing much but each others names and vague ideas of what everyone looked like (thank God for Facebook profile pictures), excitement began to build.  We all knew we were in for something big, we just didn't know at the time, how big.  We excitedly introduced ourselves and wondered what it will be like to actually meet, in-person, Amy and Jordan.  I felt like I was on the cusp of meeting celebrities.  After dinner, we headed to the welcome party, a donut social.  As we walked around the corner of the building, heading to the suite, Jordan came out, arms wide open, with a huge smile on his face, eager to meet us.  All my nervousness melted away as he and Amy began talking to all of us as if we were already friends, returning from a long absence.  We all got to know each other better while we laughed, danced, debated (all in good fun) and ate, you guessed it, donuts! 

Back at my hotel, as anticipation for the start of the workshop began to build, I found myself anxiously checking my camera gear, and my iPhone, making sure that the alarm was set to AM (because we have all been there when you accidentally slept in because your alarm was set to PM instead of AM).  All that worry and I was wide awake at 3:45am, thanks to the 3-hour time difference.  Needless to say, I made it, with time to spare.

As we arrived, we were greeted with these smiling faces!

I had an amazing two days, soaking up wisdom, laughing, crying, bonding with 18 amazing photographers, chasing storms, eating, photographing a breathtaking styled shoot (coming to the blog in the near future), vicariously crawling through the mud for a fallen diamond-encrusted bracelet and throwing my stone.  And although, many of the details were sworn into secrecy, know that I am a better person, friend, wife, mother and photographer than I ever was before.  As the days and months tick by, I will only grow stronger.  Goliath may frighten me still a bit today, but I know I have the courage to cast my stone and over come any obstacle that comes my way.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Amy & Jordan Demos! 

Thank you also to all my new photographer friends: Jenny, Holly, Brittany, Cindy, Amanda, Marissa, Samantha, Sue Ellen, Jen, Kerry, Chauntelle, Jof, Kevin, Gabi and Alexia!

Here are some quick photos I took with mostly my iPhone.  I was so engrossed in the workshop that I forgot to take some proper shots with my camera.  

Stay close, because there is more workshop fun to be had.  Adventures in getting head shots and the styled shoot are yet to come.