February of 2015 will always be one of those memories I hope to never forget. I had the incredible opportunity of attending an amazing photography workshop with the awesomely talented Amy & Jordan. It was such an inspring & fantastic experience. To think that it almost didn't happen. If it weren't for the fact that Amy & Jordan decided to open up a second workshop, I never would've had the opportunity to learn from some of the best photographers. Not only are they extremely talented wedding photographers, they are two of the most sweetest, gracious, kindest, and down-to-earth people I've ever met. 

I was nervous as heck just to sign up, let alone sit in a room with actual professional photographers as I've only photographed families, landscapes, architecture - not weddings. (Well…. ok I did have a chance to shadow some friends who were shooting a wedding. Boy, was that day such an adrenaline rush. Lucky for me, I was there to tag along, soak in as much learning as possible, and practice my craft).  So there I was, the newbie, like a deer in the headlights, wondering what the workshop might bring, analyzing the million thoughts going through my mind like "What am I doing here? OMG is this really happening?!  Do I even belong here?"  

Months before, I emailed Amy & Jordan to see if their workshop would suit me as a family photographer who's only sort of thinking of doing weddings. They responded enthusiastically with a yes, which made me feel comforted, welcomed, and reassured. They told me in the end the choice was mine, but they hoped to be able to meet me.  They wanted to meet me? I was more like, I can't wait to meet them! After a long debate in my mind, and with the strong encouragement from James and some of my closet friends, I clicked "YES".   

So then came the day when my hubby and I made the trek from Southern California to Scottsdale, Arizona. I'm so glad that James took some time off to come along to support me even though I told him I'd be just fine going by myself (which I really would not have been ok).  The first meeting was more of social gathering the night before the workshop at an adorable ice cream parlor in downtown Scottsdale. How cool was that to meet for ice cream - it's only my most favorite food! We pulled up to the cute pink shop (yes, even though it was pink, I could appreciate the design),  James, being the loving and supportive hubby that he is, drove to the shop, but waited for me at a nearby cafe. Before walking in he told me it's going to be great, have fun and just enjoy adventure; that night was another reminder for me as to why I'm so lucky to have him by my side. So there I went. I walked through crowd and I was met with open arms and warm genuine smiles by the famous Amy & Jordan. And just like that I could feel the nerves little by little melting away.

It was important for me to choose not just the right workshop that would suite my needs, but even more importantly, I needed to find the right kind of people who would make me feel welcomed and non-intimidated.  They reassured us all early on that there would not be any photography divas, just regular down to earth people. That's exactly what I got with Amy & Jordan. If they had a part 2 of their workshop, I wouldn't hesitate to sign up again. They make you feel like you can do anything with hard work & perseverance. Then, there was of course the attendees, who soon went from fellow colleagues to friends who were willing to share, support and encourage you every step of the way. I was like a sponge just trying to absorb and retain as much as I possibly could. Although the  nerves would peek in every now and then, I did my best to keep them at bay and just enjoy the moment, jump right in and see what I could create. 

If this were a real wedding, wholly smokes, it would it have left you breathless! From the colorful fresh flower pieces, to the classy glassware, the delicious looking cake too pretty to eat with its' awesome geometric design (the math teacher in me was quite happy). There was so much attention to detail in everything, from the tiny cookies with the hand painted guest names in glittery gold to the modern and pretty invitations. I mean, this set was to die for. The people who put together this amazing and gorgeous stylized wedding shoot, did such a amazing job of creating a beautiful, fun, elegant yet modern wedding just for us workshop attendees to practice on. And there was the GOR-geous couple. WOW! Not only were they a beautiful couple, they were a real life newlywed couple who were so sweet, kind and patient during the entire photo shoot. What more could we have asked for. 

Perhaps one of the most important pieces of the workshop were the Q&A sessions, which lasted long into the night.  They were so welcome with any all questions we had as we all sat, chilly, but unable to move.

Never in a million years did I ever think I'd sign up for a workshop.  They were expensive and I was unsure of myself.  Now I am taking those baby steps towards my dream of turning my hobby and passion for photography into something more - something for others to enjoy and cherish.

I am beyond grateful for this learning opportunity and for being able to meet some incredible people from the workshop.  Amy and Jordan, I can't thank you both enough for the amazing experience, the wealth of knowledge that you openly shared, and just how welcoming and comfortable you made us all feel. I will never forget it! It was the Best Day Ever!

 


Photography: Patricia Gomez Photography at the AJ Workshop

Event Design: Outstanding Occasions

Florals: Petal Pusher, LLC

Invitation Design: Idieh Design

Cake: Ruze Cake House

Make-up Artist: Arielle Rondeau

Hair Stylist: Erin Fink

Dress: Mariee Bridal

Venue: The Clayton at the Park

Linens and Coverings: Wildflower Linens

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