Wild love stories, their beginnings and their journeys are what we swoon over at Wild Hearts. The dreamers and wanderers, the untamed destinations. Jordan and Jp take us to Queenstown this week to share a wild love story that started with an innocent crush in their university days in Missouri.
With their mutual love of adventuring, the peripheries of the lakes district made for the perfect location. We’re ever inspired by the raw, uncut mountainscapes reflected in the lake, the encasing dreamy golden brown hues and the powdered tussocks. Honest, emotive and alive.
Boldly captured by Cameron Thorp of Chasewild.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves, how did you meet and how long have you been together?
Hey there, we are JP and Jordan, a husband and wife photo and film team. We currently live in a cute little wooden A-frame down in Mt. Maunganui, and have been New Zealand Residents for just under 5 years. We actually just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and have been together for about seven years in total. After meeting in America, where Jp was born, and getting married in Canada, where I grew up, we packed up everything we owned to travel New Zealand and visit all Jp’s extended family, as his mum is a Kiwi. We had full intentions of moving back to Canada after we were done traveling, but life just took off on us and five years later, we are still here. We first met in the Columbia Missouri, USA while both on scholarships to play sports for our university. Jp played soccer and I played volleyball. We often crossed paths in the training room or cafeteria before and after our practices. Campus was small and the athletes were a tight knit group of students, so we often ran in the same circles.
What has the journey been like since you met, tell us about the love story….
Depending on who you ask, you will get a different story, but it was only a few short weeks before I had developed a serious crush/infatuation on Jp, and to be honest, from my point of view, he couldn’t really be bothered. Jp was too busy enjoying all the excitement an American university campus could provide while I spent most of my sophomore year with a broken heart, creeping on his facebook page. I am so ashamed to say I was that girl.. I took it upon myself to use every means necessary to make him jealous, and after 8 months of strategic efforts, a few too many long island iced teas, countless pep talks from my girlfriends, and a wild spring break in Panama City, Florida, he was all mine. We were engaged nearly a year later, and married the year after that. Being just 21 and 22, our friends all thought we had gone mad, and we personally had no idea what we signed up for! That being said, we couldn’t be happier that we chose to tie the knot so young, learning from a young age to work as a team and to lean on the other for support through the many hard times that came with moving away from home and finding our own way in the world.
How would you describe each other?
Jp lights up every room he enters, he is always on the hunt for the next exciting thing to keep him entertained and the quickest way to make someone laugh, even if that means a dirty joke that makes me roll my eyes. His smile is absolutely contagious and makes everyone he comes into contact with feel like a million bucks, especially women over the age of 65, they just can’t seem to get enough of those rosey cheeks. When you meet him, you will easily understand why I fell so hard so quickly. He’s got the gift of the gab and is extremely intentional about finding ways to connect and find common ground with everyone he meets. Jp has been my biggest cheerleader from day one, and treats me like an absolute queen, sometimes I feel guilty with how lucky I got.
When Jordan wakes up, I know she is thinking of one of two things, food, or coffee. She is so passionate about enjoying the little joys life has to offer, which often means we have expensive cheese in the fridge, and overpriced buckets of flowers in every direction. While she always keeps me entertained with her outrageous cravings and passion projects, my favourite thing about Jord is how loving, kind and talented she is. Jordan loves to laugh, and you will recognise that giggle from miles away. She leaves everyone she meets in stitches, and you will never experience a dull moment with her. She values vulnerability as a way to connect with others, so is incredible at making others feel comfortable and welcome. Marrying her is definitely the best decision I have ever made.
What does marriage mean for you?
I think the biggest thing we have learned after 5 years of marriage, is that Love is not a fragile thing, and thank god for that! Marriage is easily one of the most challenging things you can choose to enter, but of course the most rewarding. We are constantly keeping in mind that we are here to sharpen each other, to fine tune one another as human beings, and support each other’s growth. Each disagreement, frustration or irritation is an opportunity to broaden our understanding and abilities to communicate, no matter how painful it may be at the time. Thankfully, we are both pretty light hearted, and have a big sense of humour, so our fights never last long before we are laughing at one another again. While we are intentional about having our own passions, and supporting each other in different ventures or dreams, we really value the quality time we have together, and have learned that we need to guard that time, as that is what seems to recalibrate us and make us feel most in sync.
How did you choose your shoot location?
We were fortunate enough to cross paths with Cam from Chase Wild while in Queenstown, and planned an evening out exploring what Queenstown had to offer. He drove us around to all his favourite locations, and we got to experience areas of the South Island, we had not seen before. We honestly felt so lucky to have spent the evening with him!
What led you to start working together in photography?
To be honest, it was such a fluke. It’s as if we just fell into it really. I had just quit my job as a chef in a cafe, and decided to buy a pro line camera as I thought I might get into social media marketing. I ended up second shooting at a wedding and I absolutely fell in love. I was lucky enough to find a few couples who trusted me to shoot their weddings, and from there things sort of snowballed. Jp and I would always go out and practice shooting together, and I would always teach him what I had been learning, so it wasn’t long before he would come along on my jobs, and help me out in any way possible. I am secretly an introvert, so wedding days can be quite draining on me socially and emotionally even though I absolutely love them. Jp acts as the perfect buffer for me on a wedding day, allowing me time to observe the scene and space to think critically about how I want to capture a specific situation, while he is gathering and entertaining our subjects.
What is the key (for you) to balancing working together and marriage?
This is hard, and to be honest, we didn’t do a very good job of this during the past wedding season, as there was definitely a bit of teething involved. We came away realising that we need to set aside time for just us. We have quite social lives, so when you add that to a wedding season, we felt like we had no time for just the two of us. We will definitely be making some adjustments this next season to set aside time for a few quality date nights and vacations. We have also learned to realise that when you work with your significant other, there are a number of extra emotions involved. Insecurities can get in the way, and a normal work conversation can turn into a marital dispute quite quickly if you’re not careful. I am slowly learning to be less critical, or to deliver my constructive criticism gently, while Jp is learning that in order to be the best we must always be looking at what we can improve on and to not take that personally. It’s definitely a balance, but it is making us stronger all around and we are finding communication is getting easier with each confrontation we choose to engage in respectfully between each other.
Do you have any joint work goals or plans for the coming 12 months?
Yes! We are definitely dreamers and major idealists, so we are always thinking about the next big thing. We are actually in the midst of a rebrand that will be coming out at the end of the month, which will include a name change. We want to show up for our couples, and present a brand that is transparent with who we are as people and how we are as a couple. For too long, we have been hiding behind a logo that didn’t properly represent us, or where we wanted to go. We are pulling lots of inspiration from European History and personal nostalgia to bring together a brand that we feel represents us as a business that has depth. We will also be putting a lot of effort into how we show up for our couples leading up to their wedding day and even before they decide to book us. That means being a bit brave and showing our face on instagram, letting our clients see what life is like behind the screen and allowing people to get to know us on a more personal level. At the end of the day, we want our couples to hire us because they love our work, but also because they genuinely want us to celebrate with them and feel we can bring value to their day. You can look out for us under our new wedding business name The Vincent Alexandrias, coming soon.
Photography by Chasewild.
Want to see more incredible photography like this? We are excited to have Chasewild as part of our Wild Hearts Vendor Collection. Check out more of their stunning photography here, and to get in touch, head over to their website.