Earlier this month, we had the privilege of being keynote speakers at the Showit United photography conference in our hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s always one of the highlights of our year, because it’s kind of like summer camp. For adults. From all over the country. Who do photography. For a living. AND. WE. LOVE. IT. Because some of the friendships we cherish most in the world were established at this conference, and it’s also where, every year, they’re rekindled. There’s just something different about United, and we look forward to it every year. Especially now that it’s in our hometown! We love having our friends come in from all over the country and having them here at once!
BONUS: For the first eight years of our marriage, we lived in a 1,200 square foot condo. This year, we said goodbye to our little condo and moved into our first house. Which is where the bonus comes in… we could host all of those friends in actual bedrooms, instead of wedging air mattresses between couches and asking multiple married couples to share one bathroom and still be out the door on time.
The other thing extra bedrooms are good for?
A few months ago, we announced that we were pregnant with our first child. Around the same time, there were strong winds and rain in Arizona (of all places). That was our moms. Crying tears of joy. And letting out a simultaneous sigh of relief. In their defense, they’d been holding their breath for eight years!
Enter Julie Paisley, the reason these images exist in the first place.
The first time we met Julie a few years ago, it was a Sunday. She was speaking from stage at the Reset Conference in Champagne, Illinois. We’d spoken in L.A. Thursday night, shot a double-header in Phoenix on Friday and Saturday and taken a red-eye to Chicago that night to be in the conference room Sunday morning. It was IN-SANE.
If you want to relive it through our sleep-deprived eyes, you can watch a full video recap of the absolutely craziest weekend of our life right here.
But there Julie was. On stage. On fire. Full of energy and excitement and LIFE as she paced back and forth, commanding all the attention in the room with her sweet southern accent and folsky, real, down-to-earth style (plus substantive, effective, helpful advice!) We were sitting in the back, but remember whispering to each other, Dang. She’s good.
From that moment, we were friends. She didn’t know it yet. But we did. That might sound creepy! But sometimes, when you know, you just know. She had such warmth you could just FEEL it.
We’ve been friends ever since.
So, when we found out that Julie was going to be in Arizona for the Showit United conference at the time we were six months pregnant, it felt like like the good Lord had orchestrated it –– so in the midst of the non-stop chaos on the conference, we snuck away for thirty minutes for a maternity session with her.
The timing was really PERFECT because every year United hosts a “gala night,” so we already had plans to be all dressed up! Amy found her gold Badgley Mischka dress on Rent the Runway, and was relieved to discover that she could zip it over the bump! So the three of us took off for a little field trip off-site before that night’s Black and Gold Ball and headed out to the desert so we could get in front of Julie’s camera.
It was an honor and, in so many ways, a full circle moment from the first moment we met her.
Julie, we love you, friend. We admire your zest for life. You passion for your craft. Your old soul, yet young heart, and your kind spirit. This was the biggest year of your career. You were featured in some of the biggest major magazines in the U.S. Yet the eyeballs and attention and accolades didn’t change who you’ve always been. It just magnified the wonderful person you are.
We didn’t expect any less. We’re so proud of you.
Julie, thank you, from the bottom of our heart, for freezing these moments in time. They’re a blessing we’ll be grateful for forever.
And we have to admit, after photographing so many maternity sessions for so many other people, it’s still a little surreal for us to be on THIS side of the camera! One day this will finally sink in, right? We just cannot WAIT to meet this sweet baby boy!!
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