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We help people take great photos and build profitable businesses that change lives. We’re high school sweethearts, former elementary school teachers and professional photographers. We're experts at making the complex feel simple and believe education is serious business, but learning should be fun.

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Sink or Swim

School pictures. That’s how it all happened. That’s how this whole adventure got started.

Amy, fresh out of college, was teaching fourth grade at a local elementary school. It was a great little charter school with small class sizes and limited funding, so big photo companies like Lifetouch were out of the question when it came to yearbook photos.

As Amy stood in line for her first portrait as Mrs. Demos, she paid special attention to the photographer. He was cool. He was organized. He was really good. And as a father of a student, he generously volunteered his time and talent so the kids and teachers could have professional quality photos.

Amy’s mind began to buzz.

She had fallen in love with wedding photography one year earlier while planning our wedding. She had read blogs daily, researched as much as she could, and used all of her spare time soaking up as much as she could, but the one thing she desperately wanted was some hands-on experience at a real wedding. To see what it’d really be like.

So, she went out on a limb and asked him, “Do you by any chance shoot weddings?”

He did.

Amy quickly offered to do just about anything to be able to tag along with him.

Work for free.

Get water.

Carry bags.

And so, he decided to take a chance on the elementary school teacher with a dream. A few months later, Amy’s stomach was dancing with butterflies. It was the date that had been circled on her calendar for months. Her first real wedding. She didn’t even own her own professional camera. She didn’t even know how to change a lens. But she was determined to learn everything she could.

She arrived at the photographer’s house a few hours before it started. He took her through a mini, fast-paced Photo 101. He showed her how to focus a camera, how to change a lens, and how to insert a memory card. He used words like “aperture” and “ISO” and her head started to spin. He hit a few basic lessons in the short time they had. Nothing more. A crash course, really. Which was perfect, because she was just carrying bags and getting water, right?

Wrong.

When they arrived at the venue, something happened that changed Amy’s life forever. “The bride doesn’t want a man in her ‘getting ready’ room,” he said. “So I need you to go in there and shoot.”

Amy’s stomach dropped. She instantly felt nauseous. Sick. Like she was going to throw up. She didn’t really know anything about anything, but it didn’t matter. She was going in. Suck it up, she thought to herself. Trembling, and completely terrified, she composed herself, walked into the bridal suite with a big smile on her face and shot for her life. With a whole lot of smiling, small talk, and a prayer, she had passed the first test. A few hours later, the wedding ceremony began, but the sun was
already setting. The sun was already setting. It was dark, and the bride was about to come down the aisle. The pressure was on, but it wasn’t Amy’s pressure. After all, she wasn’t the primary shooter. She was just helping out. Wrong again. “Here, I’ll hold this big light while you shoot the bride coming down the aisle,” the photographer said to her. Her stomach dropped again. Her heart leapt into her throat. Her body felt warm and she started sweating. all. over. 

What!? No!? I’ve n-never… I c-can’t! she thought to herself. But she didn’t have a choice. The bride had started coming down the aisle.

Time to sink or swim.

So, just like she’d done in that bridal suite, she shot for her life. She did the best she could. It was an absolute rush, and she couldn’t get enough of it.

That night, when she got home, Jordan had never seen her so excited. She was coming off the best kind of high. She was euphoric. She was given the opportunity to sink or swim, and she hadn’t drowned. In fact, she was swimming in a pool of dreams and puddles of adrenaline.

As she walked through that door, she looked at Jordan and said the words that changed the direction of our marriage forever:

“I know what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

Pink Slip Files_0004

Want to catch up on The Pink Slip Files? You can read them all right here:

Intro: What Are the Pink Slip Files?
No. 1: Failing Pre-Marital Class & Otter DNA
No. 2: Sink or Swim
No. 3: Turning Off the Lights
No. 4: Leave a Message at the Tone
No. 5: Chocolates, Mystery Shows & Honeymooning
No. 6: Cutting Coupons & Wal-Mart Jeans
No. 7: Paper Chains of Memories
No. 8: Dancing on Bar Tops
No. 9: Man’s Best (Feline) Friend
No. 10: Confessions of a Waffle Fry
No. 11: What’s So Important About Shoelaces?
No. 12: Breaking Records… Like It’s 1924
No. 13: Why We’re Not as Classy as We Thought
No. 14: A Letter to My Only Starbucks Lover
No. 15: The Night We Killed Someone (Kind Of)
No. 16: Lord, It’s a Fire!
No. 17: 6 Words We Never Thought We’d Google
No. 18: How Jordan Convinced Amy… To Take Her Clothes Off. Every Time We Walk in the Door

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  1. Jaymee Akers

    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Ummmm ohmygosh AMY! You took that like a champion. When I got to the part where he said that the bride didn’t want a man in the getting ready room and you’d have to go in there… AHHHHH! I probably would have laughed and been like, “you’re joking.” Way to go though, what a crazy but wonderful way to discover your dream. That day not only changed your life, but the lives of the dozens if not hundreds of people YOU have now shot for. What an awesome story and thank you for sharing it! P.S. I’m starting this “Pink Slip” project of yours with RB, great idea 🙂 Then maybe you and Jordan can come shoot us swimming in our own kiddie pool of memories at our retirement home, hopefully near the beach. You and Jordan might be strolling in with walkers but hey, maybe you’ll have your very own aspiring photography “helper” then too!

  2. Jaymee Akers

    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Ummmm ohmygosh AMY! You took that like a champion. When I got to the part where he said that the bride didn’t want a man in the getting ready room and you’d have to go in there… AHHHHH! I probably would have laughed and been like, “you’re joking.” Way to go though, what a crazy but wonderful way to discover your dream. That day not only changed your life, but the lives of the dozens if not hundreds of people YOU have now shot for. What an awesome story and thank you for sharing it! P.S. I’m starting this “Pink Slip” project of yours with RB, great idea 🙂 Then maybe you and Jordan can come shoot us swimming in our own kiddie pool of memories at our retirement home, hopefully near the beach. You and Jordan might be strolling in with walkers but hey, maybe you’ll have your very own aspiring photography “helper” then too!

  3. Amy & Jordan

    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Haha Jaymee, my heart seriously beats faster every time I think about it. Still! Speaking of my heart, mine is just swelling thinking of you and RB making your own pink slips! Nothing would make us happier than rolling out to your retirement home in our walkers and shooting your own pool full of memories. You two are truly the greatest! We are so excited for your wedding this spring!!

  4. Amy & Jordan Demos

    September 23rd, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Haha Jaymee, my heart seriously beats faster every time I think about it. Still! Speaking of my heart, mine is just swelling thinking of you and RB making your own pink slips! Nothing would make us happier than rolling out to your retirement home in our walkers and shooting your own pool full of memories. You two are truly the greatest! We are so excited for your wedding this spring!!

  5. Anastasia B

    August 12th, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Wow! What a way to get started as a wedding photographer! Aren’t you glad that happened now? I love reading stories like this 🙂 My journey was very different and similar to many photographers. I picked up a camera at 16 (35mm SLR), knew I loved it right away but I picked a different major (Interior Architecture). Years later after getting married and having two kids, I realized “I know exactly what I should be doing! What’s holding me back?” We took the plunge and with my husband’s support got our hands on a Nikon D7000, then I broke it, it was insured, and we upgraded to full frame with a D800. Now I’ve shot several weddings as a primary photographer, and I love, LOVE, love it! I can’t imagine doing anything else! I’ve learned you have to be a little crazy to do it and keep doing it. It’s complicated and tough starting out (especially with two young children and a husband that works 3 weeks away from home every month), but at least my whole heart and soul is in it and I’m looking forward to what’s in store. 🙂 LOVE your blog by the way, can’t stop reading!

  6. Amy & Jordan

    August 12th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Hey, Anastasia! Ha ha! YES! Looking back, it was actually a pretty good way to start! So cool that you’re getting into weddings and with a husband and kids, too?! You’re Super Woman! Thanks so much for reading and connecting with us every day. It seriously means the world to us and we’re so thankful for industry peers, like you. With the roles of wife, mom, and photographer, you’ve got the two most important jobs in the world and the most fun one, too! Pretty awesome!

  7. Nicole

    September 6th, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    This is so inspiring to me (the pink files thing AND your start in photography)! Right now, I have a DSLR camera and a dream but, truthfully, I don’t feel like I really know what I’m doing and I definitely can’t quit my day-job anytime soon. I just started assiting a wedding photographer as a way to get my feet wet and it brings me such hope that you got your start in a similar way. Thanks for sharing this story.

  8. Amy & Jordan

    September 6th, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    We’re so glad this was an inspiration to you, Nicole! Keep working hard! We’re honored to be part of your journey! We’re cheering for you!!

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Title

"I always look forward to your emails! I get excited every time I get an email notification that says 'Amy & Jordan!' Even though we've never formally met, you guys have pretty much become the photography mentor I've never had!" 

- priscilla T. 

"I LOVEEE the Monday Minute and I look forward to it every week!"

- brianna c.

"The Monday Minute has seriously changed the way I look at my business! In the last year, my business has completely changed and evolved and I know that it's greatly due to my time 'spent' with the two of you!" 

- nicole B.

"Best year of my life! (Photography-wise!)" 

- naomi D. 

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FIRST NAME ≥

Delivered straight to your inbox every Monday!

Photo & Business Coaching

Free!

By clicking the button below, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.