Hello! 5 Things You Didn't Know About Me. The Tattooed Bride Photography!
Hey Stranger! My name is, Amy Jo Edwards, and I'm a small-town Illinois born and raised photographer (now living in Orlando Florida), an educator, and dog mom and kitten rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my camera. I own The Tattooed Bride Photography, and I'm glad you're here!
I'm spilling my guts here in an effort for us to get deeply acquainted....Here are 5 things you didn't know about me:
I LOVE TATTOOS...I HATE 'GETTING' TATTOOED
I have a LOT of tattoos. If you scroll down my IG feed, you will see my back bodysuit lined out, both of my upper arms are sleeved out, and my hip is done. Guess what though? I absolutely hate the pain of getting a tattoo! Luckily, my artist is the love of my life, Tim Lease, and I'm in pretty good hands. We kid a lot about me being the worst client of all time, because I constantly ask for breaks and have mini panic attacks before laying down. I just don't take pain well. Things I've learned though to make my hundreds of hours of sessions better:
1st of all, get in the mindset that everything is ok. I chill. I meditate. I tell myself how proud I am of myself. I watch old reruns of Merlin on my iPad. Whatever it really takes in that internal mental dialogue. Starting off with a strong, brave, and calm mind makes all the difference.
2nd of all, look forward to the comforts a 5-star world-class artist will give you. They will watch how you're doing, and they actually care! They will comfort you, and offer you drinks and check on you. They will never apply too much pressure. They will numb your skin after the outline. Oh boy, is this amazing! They will give you the BEST aftercare available.
3rd of all, it's a tattoo. It's a tattoo. It's a tattoo! Take solace in the fact that you are not the only person who may struggle with getting tattooed, and it's ok to do it in multiple sessions. Listen to your body and do what you can to enjoy it and your time with your artist. If you can't sit for 8 hours at a time, and your sleeve takes 4 2-hour sessions, that's ok!
I'M A TEACHER AND EDUCATOR AT HEART
Teaching for years has molded me into being direct, strategic, fast-paced, and unstoppable when it comes to showing up and using my resources! I have taught expressive arts in a mental rehabilitation facility, 2-hour paintings to tipsy beginner artists at painting with a twist, and hundred of seminars to students at Full Sail University! I've been teaching for a decade now, and I have my master's degree in guess what: Higher Education Leadership! I love to educate! I get excited and a rush of energy from being in front of a classroom. It's something I didn't even know I was meant to do until I did it! My passion is to teach anyone at our tattoo studio how to totally be all-around gangbusters at entrepreneurship, and my life goals are to teach new photographers how to be rock stars in owning your own photography business. I do practice what I teach too. Education is of utmost importance to me because I went to school in a bar you guys (see below!!), and I'm still learning today. Follow my Instagram story to see what I'm learning this year, as I just purchased a 31 class bundle for entrepreneurs like me, and I'm burning through those lynda.com trainings!
WORK/LIFE BALANCE IS KINDA MY THING
We live in a digital world. Hey there Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, Twitter! Something I think my audience (and everyone on the planet) is looking to gain back, is just 10 more minutes a day. 10 more minutes with your family. 10 more minutes with your pet. 10 more minutes with yourself. Did you know that on a ranking list, America rates at number 19 in the happiest countries in the world, I've done my research guys (yeah I teach a seminar each month on Happiness and positive psychology). One of the reasons that contribute to Americans unrest in life satisfaction, is time spent on devices in a digital world. Think about this! When is the last time you had a cell phone free family dinner or date? When is the last time you sat outside and read a book without checking your emails? I am working on so many business elements and systems flows for myself to allow me to take a step back, and spend some time with who, or what I love the most. I know I'm going to be outrageously successful in years to come, and I'm doing what I can now to ensure that doesn't take over my life! I mean, I can't live without watching some uninterrupted Rick and Morty episodes, getting into popcorn food fights with Tim, playing fetch with my cat (yes, not the dog...the cat plays fetch hundreds of times a day!), and also time to do one of my favorite things...doing nothing at all sometimes! The older I get, the more I master the art of doing nothing at all!
I'M A PROFESSIONAL CONVERSATIONALIST
Is it just me, or do you also think that finding a common thread with someone you just met is so cool and meaningful? I mean, you could be anywhere in the world and see a complete stranger wearing a Doctor Who shirt that you also own, and you would actually talk to them and who knows where that would go. I just think it's magic! I love to talk to people, but I never ever "network." I hate the word networking (yuck), and simply replace that word with "making friends." If you are networking there is an expectation that you are meeting someone because they can do something for you, or you can do something for them to become successful! However, what happens when that contract has been fulfilled? You just lose touch. If you are making a friend, you are GENUINELY meeting and getting to know someone because you think they are an amazing human being, and you elevate and support your friends. That is real. That is long-term. That is magic.
STOP using that networking word! Give it a try!
Colleague: "What are you doing this week Amy?"
Me: "Well, I'm going to MAKING FRIENDS EVENT on Thursday night. There will be tapas and photographers from all over the world. I'm so excited!
Colleague: "omg I want to come!"
I WENT TO GRADE SCHOOL, IN A BAR
This is not a joke, though it is very very funny. I'm a small-town girl from Illinois, and happy to be one. I went to a 3 room schoolhouse in the middle of rural Illinois. There were 8 kids in my grade class, and each room held two grades that shared ONE teacher. Thinking of this now as an adult, I think I should send all of these teachers gift baskets because they taught two grades every single hour without skipping a beat! My 2nd-grade teacher would lecture us and give us a worksheet, and then they would take 4 steps to the left and lecture the 3rd graders on the other side of the room. Guess what I did? I listened to the 3rd-grade lectures. I was always absorbing. Everything. Everything, except for math. It was a very cool experience, and I'm grateful for every minute of it.
Recently, I went home to visit my family in Illinois, and driving by the grade school I noticed there were cars in the parking lot and all the lights were on. At night. Hmmmm, that was strange because the school has been shut down for years now. I later found out that is was now bought and owned by a family that turned my grade school into a BAR. That's right you guys. Where I once stood with my lunch tray to get my chocolate milk, I now stood to get a bottle of beer. In the room I learned to write in cursive, was now storage for spirits and liquors. On the playground where I pretend married my first crush, was now a group of people smoking and laughing. I'm not complaining at all about the use of the building. It is just, very very surreal and weird. I'm not sure how to feel about it, but I don't really plan on visiting it again when I'm in town!
THE COOLEST THING ABOUT ME, I HAVE 7 CATS
Jon Snow and Evie- My two little black twin kittens that have stolen my heart
Val- she jumped into our car at bar on Valentine's day, and went home with us
Mac and Ham- My stepdaughters that moved in with Tim.
Cheeto- the newest member that came to us all the way from Italy!
Pudgie- We've been together for 16 years. Through my teens, through my 20's, and ushered me into my 30's....just can't say enough how much he means to me.
Those are just a few things that make me who I am. I am so interested in hearing more about you though!
What's one thing we have in common? Please tell me in the comments!
I will absolutely read them, and I'll remember them for the next time we meet! If we haven't stumbled on anything in common yet, just give it awhile! There is so so much more to talk about! Let me know how I can work with you, and service you and just thank you for just stopping by!
Amy Jo, aka: The Tattooed Bride Photography