Category Archives: Seniors

No one’s happier about life than someone who’s finally done with high school… and it shows in these pictures!

Photography for a photographer: Valeria’s Senior Session

There is no way to start this blog out other than to just straight up say that Valeria is AWESOME!

Cool clothes, fantastic red hair, and the kind of smile that I’m sure earns her compliments daily… she’s just a dream for photographing!

Of course, she’s awesome in ways that still motion photography can’t capture too! I (Breanna) had the greatest time talking to her between shots… so much so that I think Scottie got a little impatient a couple of times while he waited for me to finish so we could continue with the picture taking!

We have a lot of similar interests… when I was in High School I was in the same club as she is now (and neither one of our clubs ever actually did anything), she’s in the same 2 art classes I took (photography and ceramics), and she’s constantly overdressed for things (and judging by the cute shoes I wore- that sort of matched hers- which were way inappropriate for me to be attempting to work in… I think it’s a safe assumption that we share this trait as well)!

By the way Valeria, I thought your clothes for the session were perfect… but I know that’s not much coming from another self-proclaimed overdresser!

Oh and also, her red hair was the exact shade I spent most of my college years trying to obtain… but I gave up that dream after way too many orange and purple experiences.

All of our talking paid off though because it gave Scottie time to think… and when Scottie thinks, greatness is sure to follow!

He set up some of the coolest lighting during one particularly focused conversation and got some freaking cool shots out of it!

We went to a location that we’ve gone to in the past, but I feel like during this session we found an entirely new way to look at this area!

Both of us felt like our creative wheels were on a roll and we kept shooting, and shooting, and shooting!

Once we get going, it’s hard to get us to stop. Usually the sun going down is the sign that we’re done, but with all the cool lighting Scottie had going on, the sun was no object.

We finally finished and went back to meet up with Valeria’s mom (whom I thanked for not calling the cops to come searching for us since we were out so late) and after we said our goodbyes Scottie and I headed back home, talking all the way about how awesome that session was!

So thanks, Valeria, for being so easy to work with and for trusting us and giving us the freedom to do our very best work! Good luck with college… I hope you love it!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Valeria’s Scottsdale Senior photo session.

Emily’s fashion plate senior session

This was not the first time we had the opportunity to work with Emily… but it was the first time that she was the main subject in our photos!

The first time we met her, she was a bridesmaid in Julie and Andrew’s wedding and this time she’s a senior in High School and is ready for her close up!

(As you can see, she’s an ice skater so she brought these as a prop.)

And when I say she was ready, I mean she was READY! As soon as I (Breanna) saw her I was excited to start taking pictures of her because she looked SOOO cool!

Throughout the entire session I couldn’t get over all the cool clothes she had! In fact, I was totally inspired to go out and by my cool clothes myself just so I could be as rad as Emily (of course I realize that trying to copy someone automatically lowers my coolness by like 10 points… but I still tried!).

All the tiny little bows in her hair were my favorite! I bought some awhile back but I haven’t figured out how to wear them (this is the awkward fashion stage that begins as soon as you pass 25… and according to my mom, it never ends) so I was excited to know I already had one accessory that was indeed trendy enough to wear and now I knew what to do with it!

I was also happy to discover that when I wore flats with footed tights to the mall that one time, I didn’t look as old and out of it as I felt because apparently that’s OK too!

Thanks Emily, your fashion sense has rubbed off and you’ve done an “old” lady a lot of good! Ha ha! And I really did go shopping later that week to get my Emily style on!

The other thing I noticed right when Emily showed up was that her mom, hidden behind large sunglasses, looked surprisingly young. Just as I was about to start doing the math in my head, her “mom” took off the sunglasses and I found our friend Julie underneath them!

Yay! It was so fun to have one of our past brides at a photo shoot with us! I think it was fun for Julie to be on the other side of the camera as well… she knows all our secrets now!

Emily was chill and easy for me to talk to so she relaxed in front of the camera really quickly…

…but whenever we needed that extra push to get a real laugh out of her, Julie was at our service.

I’m actually disappointed that I was facing Emily the whole time, missing whatever Julie was doing behind me that was apparently hilarious!!

So thanks to Julie for giving a premiere showing of your comedy act and thank you Emily for not only your fashion inspiration but also for making our job so much fun! We absolutely loved working with you and we were so excited that you let us lead you all over the place and patiently allowed us to experiment a little bit with you!

We are very excited with the results and we hope you are too!

(Her Bible is the other thing that is super important to her, so she brought that as a prop as well.)

Click to see the rest of Emily’s Senior portrait session.

Danine’s Urban Outfitters Senior Session

At my very first glimpse of Danine, I knew I liked her.

… even though the first time I saw her it was just on Facebook!

How could I not like her, she was gushing over the senior photos we’d taken of one of her friends.  Anyone who loves what we do that much, is a friend in my book!;-)

Danine couldn’t get over how much her friend’s pics looked like an Urban Outfitters catalog, which is awesome considering that is a catalog we subscribe to for inspiration and that we love some of the work we see in there!

She contacted us for her own session shortly after publicly raving about us to the world via Facebook, and of course we were more than excited to do a session for her!

Someone who really understands and appreciates our style the way she does… is someone we’re dying to work with! So we set out to plan her own senior session with an Urban Outfitters feel to it!

The more I got to know Danine the more I felt like I (Breanna) not only understood her style, but really clicked with her on a personal level.

Whenever there’s that kind of artistic connection with a client, I feel a lot more free to be myself in my processing of the photos… and I love that!

Of course, this time was no different… I had so much fun working on Danine’s pictures!

The processing wasn’t the only fun part in all of this, actually working with Danine was the best!  Talk about a bubbly, fun, confident girl!

It’s awesome to see someone who has “success” written all over them, getting ready to head off to college!

(She’s going to the University of Arizona if you can’t tell by the U of A shirt she’s wearing in a bunch of the pictures!)

Thanks Danine, for being a joy to work with and for appreciating our work so much!  Good luck with all your future endeavors!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Danine’s Urban Outfitters senior session!

Sarah’s AZ trip senior session!

Sarah and her mom Sandy have seen us do enough work for the major events in the lives of their many family members that when the time came for Sarah to get her senior pictures done, they were ready for Radiant!

So they flew into Phoenix from their home in Northern California for a day of photo fun!

And fun it was!  Sarah couldn’t have been a better model!  She was so easy to hang out with that it kept the whole feeling of the session relaxed.

She was even willing to get a little silly with us…

…maybe she didn’t realize we’d actually pick some of those photos to go online for the whole world to see! Ha ha, sorry Sarah!

Sarah has a major passion for photography and it was so much fun for us to get to take pictures of someone who actually knew what we were doing and was interested in WHY we were doing it!

I’m sure she was especially wondering about the “why” when we asked her to do things that would cause even the most trusting people to doubt us!  Like when we asked her to lean up against a dirty wall….

… or told her to make faces like “if you were taking pics with your friends”.

She did a great job following those directions!

Amidst all the techie talk about cameras (which I’m sure was making her mom shudder as she racked up dollar signs in her brain), I managed to get in a few photos of Sarah holding Scottie’s camera.

(This one was taken as a joke about what kind of poses we could come up with to make her look like a “serious, professional photographer”.  Also a photo that she probably didn’t expect to see end up on the blog… oops! Ha ha).

We even did the oh so dreaded “taking a picture of someone taking a picture of you” shot.  I’m usually against things with so much cheesiness, but I actually had an idea to do it in a way that would look cool and I have to say that I do like the resulting photo!

Maybe I just need to get over myself and chance it with the cheese from time to time!  Next time, maybe I’ll even make her say “cheese” when we take the pictures!

We love capturing people doing the things they love so we always encourage all our clients to bring props that showcase their personalities.  Of course the props also help people slip into their own little worlds of things that make them happy, which helps distract them from the awkwardness that many of them feel when having their picture taken!

(Obviously, Sarah has nothing to feel awkward about… she’s beautiful and she poses like a pro!).

Sarah chose 2 props… one was her soccer ball.

This made us of course joke about all the team pics we’ve both taken over the years since I (Breanna) played soccer for most of my life as well.  We thought about having her get on one knee while holding the ball on her hip, just so she could put it side by side with a team photo of her when she was little, but our better judgment prevailed when it came to that particular cheesy picture.;-)

Instead, we tried to come up with some that were a little bit different.  Including her idea of just completely blocking her face with the ball.

I told you she was fun, who else would think to hide their face during a photo session?!

So after the soccer fun and the photography practice, we finally stopped talking and laughing long enough (Scottie had to say my name like 3 times to snap me out of my long conversation with Sarah while we were shooting… what can I say, I liked hanging out with her!) to get a few photos of her chilling and reading her Bible.

We thought it was awesome that her faith is such a big part of her life that when she thought about the things that represent her… the Bible was one of them.  You don’t see a lot of teens (or actually people of any age) like that!

So thanks to Sarah, her mom, and grandma for being so wonderful that you were a total lift to our day!  We get very bogged down by all the work we do on our computers at home, so it was lovely to have the opportunity to not only get out of the house to do a different kind of work, but to enjoy our time doing it so much that it didn’t even feel like work!  It felt more like hanging out with friends!  Thanks for coming all the way to Phoenix to see us.  We hope that after seeing the resulting pictures, you’ll be very happy you made the trip!:-)

Click to see the rest of Sarah’s Phoenix, AZ senior portraits.

Jess & Katie’s BFF senior session!

I know I’ve told you all how jealous I am of people with sisters… now let me tell you how jealous I am of people who’ve grown up together like sisters!

That’s the story behind Jess and Katie’s friendship!  They have known each other from birth (or at least as much as you can know someone before the age of 1) because their mom’s are best friends!

(These are their moms in case you were confused for a second there!)

Katie and Jess have been playing Barbie’s, dress up, and dreaming of their future as beautiful teenagers for as long as they can remember.

I’m totally making assumptions on their growing up activities… for all I know they climbed trees and threw dirt clods at each other… although I imagine they did the latter either way, like when they were mad at the other one for stealing the best Barbie.

(Now that my friends, was a run-on sentence (I secretly believe you can put an entire sentence inside another complete sentence as long as they have parenthesis around them… three dots also enable you to add on another sentence; ah the beauty of blogging grammar rules!).)

I do know for a fact (because their moms were spilling their secrets to us whenever the girls went to change outfits) that they have been looking forward to their senior pictures for quite awhile.

So when the time finally arrived, what better way to capture their lives than to do it with them living life together?!  Awesome idea! I can’t even begin to describe the hilarity that was this session.

Over in one corner you have the moms oohing and awing and tearing up, while calling out poses and directions to their daughters. And over in front of the camera, you have the girls rolling their eyes at their moms’ sappiness, while trying to hide the fact that they secretly love hearing the constant comments on how beautiful they look.

Oh man, the dynamics of this session were just fantastic!  The mocking, the “way back when” stories being told, the tongues getting stuck out, and the big giant hugs… it couldn’t have been better!

(I think this photo was a response to a story that one of their moms told about when they were little!)

Again, I stress, this was SUCH a great idea on their part!

Our goal with senior girls is always to enable them to indulge in their America’s Next Top Model Fantasies, while helping them feel like they are actually cooler than that because they’re so mature and down to earth (by the way, I’m not mocking this secret fantasy because I still have it and I’m way past high school!).

All this tension of wanting to be a model, but all the while wanting to act like they don’t give a care… makes it very hard for a girl to relax and be herself!

But having her best friend there who is fighting those same inner battles, makes all the difference in the world!

Having each other and both their moms there definitely helped the girls feel way more in their own element and we got to see their real personalities come out… which in the end is always our ultimate goal!

We did our best to get photos of the girls together…

…and separately.

(A guy walked by selling roses and we were so caught up in the moment that we bought some!)

Of course we had to make sure to get some with their moms and them together!

To add to their mom’s oohs and awws were my own (Breanna) because I kept being blown away by how crazy amazing these girls were at posing.

They were just popping from one perfect pose to the next all on their own.

We’d tell them to do a serious face and they’d hop right into it and straight into the smile after the first camera click, just ready for the next photo.  Amazing!

Both of them were absolutely fantastic models and I kept gushing over how easy they were to shoot.

I mean, girls this beautiful are a breeze anyways, but when they are super comfortable with posing in front of the camera, you just can’t go wrong!

Along the way in this session, we ran into one of their friends who was getting his senior portraits done.  They ran over to say hi to their friend and we ran over to say hi to his photographer… who happened to be the photographer we hired to shoot our wedding!  If you haven’t seen Jefferson Todd’s photography… check him out!  He’s a great guy who is one of our good friends and an equally amazing photographer!  So anyways because we knew him (and his girlfriend Ashley, who was actually leading the shoot) we were bold enough to ask to borrow their model so we could get a shot of him with the girls.  That was a lot of explaining for just one picture… so here’s the photo that all this hubbub was about!;-)

That’s the story behind this fantastic senior session (even though there’s really so many more stories within this story… just like there’s so many more sentences inside of this one sentence!).  I’m sorry, but I have to say that I’m really proud of myself for tying in that grammar lesson so well as if I planned it that way all along… admit it, you’re impressed! Ha ha! But to bring me back down from pride cloud, I’ll admit that I don’t know how to spell “sentence” as I’ve learned after seeing how many times spell check flagged me.  My wittiness is thwarted by bad grammar once again… bummer!  Alright before I continue on that uncomfortably long tangent, what I meant to say was, it was so cool to be around people who have such history together.

(Take a moment to pause and say “Awwww” in unison because they are so sweet together in this picture.  Sorry Tracy and Sandy, but our entire goal with these photos is to make you guys cry!)

It seems like Phoenix Metro is a pretty transient city and it’s so spread out that it can be hard to have long lasting relationships of value.  Scottie and I find ourselves constantly hoping that we’ll one day end up in a strong community that sticks together for many years, helps strengthen our marriage, gives us loads of encouragement, and helps us laugh our way through both good and bad situations in life.

We pray constantly that throughout our lives, we can make friendships like the ones we saw here that will last through us raising our children one day (by the way, these children I speak of do not exist yet).  It’s such a beautiful thing and we feel lucky that we were able to witness it with you guys.

You helped remind us that it IS possible and it IS worth the work that long term relationships require.  So thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Tracy, Sandy, Jess, and Katie for being such amazing examples of time tested friendships.  We hope you all know how blessed you are to have one another (this is another place for the united “awww”).

Click to see the rest of the hilarious, cute, and moving photos from Jess & Katie’s BFF senior session!