August 9, 2016
If you are in the wedding industry, chances are you have heard of Amy&Jordan, the sweetest husband and wife team this side of the Mississippi. Last month Jon and I had the opportunity to to sit down with Amy and Jordan Demos for a full day of business mentoring. The story doesn’t really start there though. We have to roll this back to when, 18 months ago, Amber Lea attended their AJ Workshop and it changed everything for Amber Lea Photography.
It is funny what happens when you pray to open your heart and to let God lead. I went to the workshop to learn more about marketing my company, learning how to get published, and to take some pretty photos at one of their gorgeous styled shoots, but I left with a business partner. Truth is, Jon had always been my business partner. He was the one that proofread every blog post, fixed computer glitches, reviewed my editing for consistency. Jon handled all our finances, and my business books. I never treated him like a partner though, I treated him like a babysitter when I had sessions or weddings. I walked into the workshop feeling jealous of all those husband and wife photography teams and I left knowing I had my teammate (there isn’t one thing in the workshop that addresses being a husband and wife team, so I know this was God working on my heart!). Is there anything better than discovering you aren’t as alone as you thought you were? I texted Jon, who was caring for our infant son, and said “I don’t want you to be the babysitter any more. I want you to be my partner!” In typical, pragmatic Jon fashion, he texted back “Can we talk about this in person?” Haha! We had that in person talk, and out of it Amber Lea Photography, as it exists today, was born.
After that experience, I knew Jon and I needed to meet with Amy and Jordan one on one. We wanted to better define our roles in our business. Jon has an engineering job that he loves which is also very demanding of his time. Sometimes being in this partnership was cutting into his time with our children. I wanted to learn how to be the face of this business but still respect Jon’s leadership and wisdom in making business decisions. Our time with Amy and Jordan started out as a business meeting, but as we talked, shared our hearts, we realized that we weren’t there to strengthen our business, we were there to strengthen our marriage. You guys, we believe in marriage. It is the foundation of our why we photograph weddings and families. This business is growing us closer to each other and offering us more time as a family as it opens the doors for more travel and income to enjoy new experiences. We had gotten caught up in the business and forgot that the reason we do this is for our marriage, for our family.
We have a new focus. You will see Jon at many of our sessions and weddings. He will be there doing what he does best, serving others, and taking expertly crafted environmental portraits. I’ll be there doing what I love, creating intimate and connect pictures of people in love. Together, we are Team Russell, both in this business and in this family. We are saying “I do” in the every day. Part of our time with Amy and Jordan was spent in a mini-shoot that celebrated our love for each other. Being on the other side of the camera was a real treat, and as someone that both values photography and feels uncomfortable with a camera pointed at her rather than in her hand, it was so good to let go and just enjoy being held by each other. We let ourselves relax and linger over those kisses and giggles without concern for what the end product was going to look like (which turned out awesome!) Here are few of our favorites!