As soon as we got the email that Amy and Jordan Demos were hosting a workshop in the Arizona desert, we were DYING to go! These two have been such an inspiration to us as we started our wedding photography business, and we knew we just had to get to a workshop with them! When they initially announced the dates, they mistakenly said November and we were bummed that we wouldn’t be able to attend because of our schedules, but Amy quickly corrected the dates and clarified that it would be held in October, during a weekend that we had already scheduled off for a small vacation! We were literally jumping up and down!!! We booked the flights, hotels, and rental car immediately and anxiously counted down the days until our trip!!!
The morning of our flight, we were completely exhausted because we’re both horrible procrastinators when it comes to packing, but we were so amped up that we hopped off the plane and hit the ground running. We explored the “Hole in the Rock”, stopped in at a local Walmart (which is becoming one of Stanley’s favorite things to do when we travel…”every store’s set up differently and I like to get ideas!”), and grabbed some tacos at an authentic (and adorable) Mexican restaurant.
Over the next 3 days, we spent time traveling to a ton of amazing spots! At Saguaro Lake Ranch, we kayaked with a hilarious group of ladies and saw 24 wild horses, which was absolutely incredible! The trip down the river was beautiful and calm, and really allowed us to see a side of Arizona that wasn’t desert! We also traveled to Saguaro National Forest, where we drove through a really intense rain storm, and then watched the sun go down over all of the cacti! The thunderstorm was traveling parallel to us as we drove home, so I (naturally) hung out the window with my camera as we’re going 80 down the freeway trying to catch some lightning!
Our favorite spot that we visited was Sedona. We decided to do a small hike, so we climbed the Cathedral Rock trail and it definitely proved to be more difficult than expected…or maybe I’m just more out of shape than I think! Once we reached the top, the views were…of course…insane! 🙂 So many colors and different topography! After our hike, we scrambled back to the car because we had a jeep tour into the canyon scheduled. It was an extremely bumpy ride but definitely a cool experience! While in Sedona we also ate (of course)…our favorite thing to do…at a little hole in the wall burger place and it didn’t disappoint! We also spent some time at the Chapel of the Holy Cross which is a church built directly into the red rock. It was an intimate and peaceful space that gave us a chance to stop and offer up some thanks for how blessed we were to be experiencing Arizona. After stopping at an adorable restaurant right in the heart of Sedona for dinner, we drove back to the hotel exhausted but fulfilled by all that Sedona had to offer!
During our time at the workshop, we realized that we love Amy and Jordan even more in real life, and we met 14 other photographers who were incredibly talented, and a ton of fun to be with! We learned so much and we continue to apply what we learned to our business! We also (thankfully!!!) met the sweet Jill Gum, who we realized would be the PERFECT fit for our own wedding photographer! We had been deliberating about this subject for months, because hey, it’s kind of a big deal to us. 😉 When we met Jill, we knew she had the style and personality that would be a great match for us!
On the way home, we were obviously sad but so thankful for all of the experiences we had in the past 6 days! Stanley had never been that far west and I think we packed as much into our time as we possibly could have! We had beautiful weather, delicious food, and great hospitality at our hotel. We also met beautiful people with crazy talent, shared laughter, and made so many memories! We are extremely grateful and we are so excited to still be in touch with so many of the workshop photographers! We love you Arizona!!! <3