AJ Workshop January 2016

Last fall I was desperate.  I had a full schedule with family portraits which was exactly what I wanted.  In fact I wanted more of it.  My creative passions were swelling inside of me.  Though I loved photography, owned a decent camera and stayed pretty busy during the fall season, I had never felt quite like a photographer.  I’m not sure what I thought it meant to be a photographer, a full schedule?  High prices?  Top of the line DSLR?  All of those things I didn’t have.  I had a modest price, only photographed around Christmas and I don’t even own a full frame camera…yet.  So as I was sitting one night, browsing through Instagram, I stumbled upon a hashtag, #ajworkshop.  Now, one thing you should know, is that I live just a few miles outside of Apache Junction, Arizona, often referred to as “AJ”.  So I saw the ajworkshop hashtag along with a few others like #demoseducation and #demosandwich (what’s a demos sandwich and can I have one?) and thought there was a possibility they were a few photographers who did workshops, just up the road in Apache Junction.  But as I continued to hashtag hop, I discovered what “aj” was actually referring too.  Amy and Jordan Demos and apparently they lived in Scottsdale (a tad more sophisticated than the AJ I had originally thought of) and ran workshops for wedding photographers.  Over the next few weeks, I would visit their website, looking and reading about their photography tips.  Their very last tip was, “pray pray pray pray”.  If that was one of their tips that was so incredibly emphasized, I wanted to know more about them.  I joined their mailing list waiting to hear when their next workshop was.  Then, one night, when my husband was gone and the kids were in bed, I sat down in front of my computer to learn more.  I watched their promo video and really liked what I saw.  I was inspired and empowered and then Jordan said, “it’s okay, to tell people you are a photographer”.  And I lost it.  I cried my eyes out.  I needed someone to tell me that.  He wasn’t about competition like most photographers I had met were.  He was about community.  When my husband came home, I tearfully told him that I had to go to this workshop.  We talked back and forth and he so wonderfully didn’t hesitate to book my place in the workshop as soon as the seats opened up.  At that point, I had decided, 2016 was going to be my year.

We spent to very full days taking notes, pictures, telling stories and crying (I cried, a lot).  I was the sobbing fool who walked up to them on day two thanking them in between sobs (and the tears start as I write!) for empowering me to accept my God given abilities.  God gifted me with creative gifts.  Whether it’s photography, styling food or decorating my house, I have a permanent creative filter, it’s who God made me to be and I won’t apologize for it anymore.

Shortly after my workshop, I attended a crafting workshop hosted by a few local bloggers.  When I walked in and introduced myself to the hostesses, they said, “oh! You’re the photographer!”

I smiled and said, “Yes, I am a photographer.”



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