We had the good fortune of connecting with Jordan McKinnon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jordan, how do you think about risk?
Before I had my daughter in November of 2019, I thought when she was born that I wouldn’t want to take risks anymore. I thought my adventurous travelling, carefree lifestyle would end and I would have to take up some safe desk job to pay the bills. I may not be travelling as much, but I have taken even bigger risks. After she was born, everything in my life changed and I took a look at my future a bit more. COVID hit fast and hard and I was presented with an opportunity. I could leave my current job and dive into a career I’m passionate about. This was a HUGE risk. The economy was starting to fall. I had a child to support. Was this a stupid idea? I decided this risk was well worth it. I wanted to set an example for my daughter, that she can pursue her passions. I did not want to settle for a job simply because it was safe. If there is one thing COVID has taught us, it’s that no job is “safe”. Like Jim Carry said, “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I spent around 5 years traveling. I’ve done everything from scuba diving with reef sharks in Thailand to hiking for a week in the south island of New Zealand. I’ve been to unheard of ruins in Peru, and explored small villages on the river in Germany. With around 20 countries under my belt, travel and nature are huge inspirations for me. This inspiration leaks into my current work. I am a Wedding Photographer and Videographer but more specifically, I specialize in small intimate weddings, elopements, and destination weddings. I’m the guy that thinks it’s totally worth it to hike up a mountain with all my gear. I usually bring my drone along with me for some epic videos. I can help couples plan their elopement on a mountain, or their international trips. And then I document their experience, so they can focus on having a great time and getting married. Once I took the leap and left my other job I saw huge growth. I booked more couples than I had in the last 4 years combined. Of course, COVID presented some challenges. Every single couple I booked, ended up rescheduling or cancelling their wedding. I’ve had to be extremely flexible and mindful of the situation. Planning a wedding is stressful enough, and now all these couples have to navigate a pandemic! That’s why I do more than show up and take some videos. I remind my you to take a step back and enjoy a moment. I bring you snack. I help you plan. I’m your guide. I’m your shoulder to lean on. And I capture memories you’ll appreciate for the rest of your life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’ll head over to AZ Wilderness brewery for some craft beer. Hike up camelback for some local recreation and views. Head up to Sedona and hike Cathedral Rock. Visit Tlaquepaque for some shopping and food. Hike West Fork Creek to camp over night. If it’s snowing we’d go to snowbowl in Flagstaff for some skiing/snowboarding. On our way back down to the valley, we’d stop at Arcosanti to explore and take pictures. If they want night life, we’d go to Mill Ave but if they want a relaxing time at a funky coffee shop, I’d show them Lux Central in Phoenix. Down in Gilbert it would be fun to head to the White Rabbit for the cool speakeasy experience and some tasty cocktails. I’d probably want to get a group together for some Top-Golf. In the end a game night at home with some close friends will happen no matter what.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My fiancé Taylor Oram. When I was contemplating taking my business full time after having a baby and then COVID, she showed nothing but support. She didn’t tell me I might fail or that I should just keep it a hobby. She didn’t say I was insane. She said, “I think you should just go for it.” She constantly encourages me, and has given me confidence to keep after my goals.
All images I took and have rights to.