Category Archives: Scott & Breanna

I always have more to say, here’s as much as Scottie let me put on our blog!

Kristine & Aaron’s chill engagement session

Kristine and Aaron are one of those couples that after meeting with them the first time, we were like “we SO hope they book with us”!  They just seemed like really cool people that would be really fun and easy to work with.

Then the engagement session came… and we realized how totally wrong we were!

Oh my gosh, I’m SOOOO kidding!  Ha!  I freaked you all out for a second there, didn’t I!?  No, really they were even more wonderful than we expected!

They were so very kind, and really relaxed in front of the camera.

Overall, I’d say I really appreciate their chill attitude.  Being chill is a personal goal of mine since I get wound up way too easily.  I’m now going for the, “get passionate over important things and stay chill about everything else” feel in my life!  So I’ve loved watching Kristine handle all her wedding dealings with such smoothness.

She seems to be the perfect balance of getting things done and being relaxed about it.  Way to go, Kristine… I’m learning from you!

Meanwhile you have Aaron over there being a wonderful groom!  You can tell he’s working hard to appreciate all the work his awesome fiance is putting into this wedding, but he is also chill and just enjoying the process as much as he can.

Not to mention, he treated us wonderfully even while he was doing something he probably wasn’t that excited to do (most guys aren’t super excited about picture day… until they realize how much we “force them” to make out during it!!).

So thank you to you both for being so easy going, kind, and yes… cool looking.  Taking pics of such good looking people definitely makes our job easy!;-)

We can’t wait to see your “ridiculously good looking” selves blow us away at your wedding! (that’s a Zoolander description for all you readers out there who are older than 35 or younger than 20).

We truly are looking forward to working with both of you more!:-)

Click to see the rest of this beautiful couple’s Tempe, AZ engagement photo session!

Rachelle and Paul Gettin’ Hitched!

While I’m so very happy for Paul and Rachelle and excited for them to be married… I have to admit that I’m kind of sad their wedding is over!

Scottie and I had so much fun preparing for their wedding with them!  From the first time we met them, to their engagement session, to their final meeting… whenever we’d get together, it seemed like we just sat around talking forever!

Both Rachelle and Paul are great people and we’ll miss having a reason to get together with them now!

You can tell just from looking at these pictures that these are some friendly, happy, and very sweet people!

Just look at those smiles, how could you not like these people?!:-)

But even though Paul has a great smile, I don’t think it’s his best expression… check out the way he looks at her.

(This was the first time he saw her as she was walking down the aisle).

I think the look that came over his face whenever he looked at her was my favorite part of the entire day.

Of course, her face says “I love you” too!

Yep… I think it’s safe to say they are very in love.  Awww! (Come on, just give me this one… you have no idea how often I refrain from girly, wedding day, lovey type of sappiness when I wrote these blogs!)

Just to make sure these 2 lovebirds didn’t get too caught up in their own little world… they invited some really fun friends to share in the day with them!

For every photo of the bridal party laughing, there’s a photographer struggling to hold her camera still while laughing just as hard (Click to see the rest of the photos from the wedding).  Rachelle and Paul had some great friends and we loved hanging out with them!Of course, whenever there’s a fun bridal party, there’s a bride and groom with a great sense of humor lurking nearby!  (This was seriously one of the best garter removals I’ve ever seen.  He removed more accessories off himself than he did off of her!)

(Although you can tell by the picture on the left, that he eventually got what he was looking for off her!)

(Living it up at the party thrown just for them.  Aka their reception!).

Here are the celebratory cigars that made their guests even more excited to be a part of this party!

I’ve gotten ahead of myself.  I skipped the ceremony and went straight into the reception!

(Ironically, this picture combo skips the ceremony as well.  Straight from the beginning to the end.  I love both of these moments though… I love the initial nerves and the ending joy!).

Paul and Rachelle got married at Eagle Mountain Golf  Club in Fountain Hills, AZ.  If you read our blog much, you know that Eagle Mountain is one of our very favorite places to shoot.

(It’s so beautiful at Eagle Mountain that sometimes the photos look fake! But we promise, it’s just that beautiful!)

We LOVE the ceremony site, the fantastic view, the staff there, and of course their food!

It’s just an all round spectacular place to have a wedding and we tell everyone about it!

I guess since I’m already on a roll going backwards in this story, I might as well go with what’s working.  So now that we’ve reached the end of the blog, I’ll show you the pictures of them getting ready to do all the things I already showed them doing!  Ha!

Thanks Rachelle and Paul…

… for being good looking enough to give us such great photos!  Ha ha!  We are so happy that you have each found someone who makes you look at each other the way you do! Congratulations, we hope you are very happy together… and we think you will be!:-)

Click here to see the rest of Paul and Rachelle’s AZ wedding photos.

Ashley & Don Get Married in Mesa!

When Ashley and Don found out they were competing with another couple who wanted to book us for the same day as their wedding, they went ahead and dove in head first no questions asked.  So when we finally got a chance to meet with Ashley and Don I think all of us were relieved at how well we got along and that it did seem like we’d be a good fit for their wedding day!

(He’s a cop… hence the handcuffs!)

If you can’t tell by her veil blowing around in these pictures…

…it was a pretty windy day! But somehow Ashley managed to look amazing through the whole thing!

Look at her… not a hair out of place.  Definitely a beautiful bride!

When we first heard that Ashley and Don were getting married at Tre Bella in Downtown Mesa we were a little skeptical.  Mostly because we live 10 minutes away from there and we had never seen a wedding venue in that area!  Once we made the trip to go check it out, we were amazed!

By glancing at their store front exterior, you wouldn’t think much of it… but once inside wow! Tre Bella has a great modern look that many of our brides have a hard time finding in AZ, not to mention they have a huge selection of linens, decor, etc and it’s really cool stuff!

Of course being right in Downtown Mesa has it’s perks… the cool alleyways and brightly colored walls are just a few of many!

We loved working with Kim at Tre Bella as well.  She works her butt off to make sure all her brides have the perfect day!  And I think it’s safe to say that she succeeded in her goal with Ashley and Don’s wedding… it was amazing.

While a great location, beautiful decor, and cool little details add a lot to a wedding…

(the feather details on the cake fit right in with the decor at Tre Bella!)

… those things alone are not enough to make a wedding as wonderful as Ashley and Don’s. You have to add in all their amazing family and friends to make it complete!

(Make sure you guys all fan our Facebook page so you can tag yourselves in the photos!)

We bonded with their family immediately and they all treated us like one of them rather than just as “hired help” or something like that.

We were talking and laughing it up with all the people involved in the wedding so much that it didn’t feel like we were working at all!

You can’t help but love a group with such cute kids!

(See, after looking at all those kids, I know that everyone reading this loves this group of people now too!)

So thank you to all of Ashley and Don’s family and friends who were kind of enough to go above and beyond in making us feel loved.  You guys are all great!:-)

And of course  a special thanks to Ashley and Don who let us be a part of one of the most important days of their lives… such an honor to us!  Thanks for being such a breeze to work with and for being kind and fun… and all those wonderful things that make you both the great people that you are!  Congratulations, we wish you the best!

Click to see the rest of Ashley and Don’s Arizona wedding photos!

April & Ryan let their bellies hang out.

When I started taking pictures, one thing I never even thought about was how deep it would take me into people’s lives!  There are only so many “jobs” (if you can call the fun we have work!) that allow you to watch families begin, bond, and grow… and we’re lucky enough to have one of those jobs!

It’s so fun to meet a couple before their married and start taking pictures of them all the way from their engagement, to their marriage, into their pregnancy, and the birth of their babies… as well as everything after that!  That’s the track we’re on with April & Ryan and family!  We met them after they were already married so we missed the first part, but we’ve been along for the ride since before their first child was born and now we’re on to their second child!

We first took photos for April & Ryan when they were preparing to have their first baby.

The next time was when they wanted to show off their newborn, Emily, to the world!

We then visited Emily again when she was 6 months old…

… and again at her first birthday party!

Now April & Ryan have their second child, Callie and… yep, you guessed it… we took pictures of baby Callie as well!

I call this little series “The many faces of Callie”…

Of course not to be out done by her little sister, Emily has many faces as well!

But these I think this is by far my favorite face…

The ” meltdown recovery” faces are pretty good too though!

These crying pics were actually inspired by a lady I used to babysit for who had GIANT, super close up pics of all 3 of her kids crying when they were little, all framed in a row on her wall.  I thought it was pretty fun and definitely unique!  As much as you hate those faces while they’re actually happening, I’m assuming that there’s some sense of nostalgia when you see a photo of it once the kids are older.  Ever heard that cheesy country song “You’re Gonna Miss This“?  That stupid song makes me cry every time, despite my stubborn refusal to cave to country sappiness!  Anyways, I’m not a parent, but I’m assuming it’s kind of like that.  If I really wanted to mess with your heads I would tell you to start over in this blog and listen to that song while you look at the rest of these photos… by the 3rd photo you’d be crying that ugly, gross, snotty kind of cry!  Ha ha!

Are you all done crying now?  Mascara wiped up?  OK good, now we’ll move onto some fun pictures so you have a chance to recover before going back to your own life again!

My recent photo inspirations lately have all had to do with allowing “imperfection”.  I’ve noticed more and more public, professional photos that are out of focus, showing people’s wrinkles, are grainy, etc., etc.  And I LOVE them!  I think it makes you think “wow, that picture has mistakes… there must be something really special about what it’s capturing for them to allow that one in”. So I’ve been trying to work my way towards accepting that it’s OK for people to know I make mistakes and focusing more on capturing emotion than on being a perfect, technical photographer.

(They make lens hoods that are designed to prevent sun flares from sneaking in, but I think the trend towards allowing them in now shows people’s desire for pictures to actually represent reality again!)

(People have stopped being impressed by how perfect you can make a photoshopped picture look.  Now they want things that look REAL!  I think that’s why the trend has moved towards old and worn looking photos where you actually add in grain and imperfections!)

I believe that truth and beauty go hand in hand and I REALLY value honesty, so I’m holding my breathe and including the photo on the left!  I totally missed focus (unless you count the 3 bubbles that are actually in focus!) but I am in love with what the picture is communicating.  So it’s a keeper, and now you all know that I’m not perfect. I’m flawed and I’m not a magic photographer… just a normal one who makes mistakes.

(I’ll admit right now that all the cool coloring in this photo only happened because the original coloring was pretty bad.  It was definitely a flawed picture that I chose to make look great even though it wasn’t. Sorry Scottie, I hope you’re OK that I’ve decided to tell the world that you’re not perfect either since this is your shot!).

It’s like when Lauryn Hill talks about how we all need to exhale and let our bellies hang out so we can walk around looking at one another and say “oh you have one too!?” and feel free! By the way if you haven’t heard this, listen to it NOW (I’ll wait to continue until you get back) it’s super freeing and inspirational (she rambles a lot but keep listening, there’s good stuff in it)!  The entire CD is the same way actually… just pure genuine, reality which is a big deal coming from Ms. Diva and she took a lot of crap for saying this stuff… so go buy it and support people who are done being slaves to their perfect image!  I know you guys can handle her rambling because you sure do a great job following mine!  Ha ha!  Now back to the topic at hand!

(Random topic transition photo!)

I love the idea of talking about genuineness (wow, spell check says that’s a real word!) in a blog about family.  In our culture, “family picture day” typically means wearing clothes you never wear in real life, making sure the only emotion you capture is happiness, and working your butt off to get your kids to behave in a way that will enhance the perfect image you’re going for in these pictures.  It’s ridiculous!  The definition for family should (in my opinion) always include intimacy and intimacy means emotion, whether it’s messy or clean emotion.

(I’m not sure what emotion this is, but I think it falls in the messy category).

(And I’d say this is one of the clean ones).

Intimacy also means going through a variety of experiences together.

And sitting and smiling in front of a camera shows such a small sliver of what life is really like for a family.

We want to communicate who a family really is… which for every family means imperfection.

(Sometimes being a family means getting bubbles in your eyes).

And that’s why we’re so thankful to April & Ryan for letting us take pictures of their child crying!  Thank you for being humble enough to allow us to tell the true story of your family.

I know our blog readers and facebook fans appreciate it too!  No one connects with fake families, that’s why everyone throws away the pictures that come in frames when you buy them!  People love seeing families that look like their own and remind them of what’s really important in life.

So thank you April & Ryan for taking us with you through all the major events in your life and allowing us to share these special moments in your world with all the friends of Radiant who value human emotion and real life.  You’ve blessed us all immensely by letting us observe your beautiful family changing and growing together! Click to see the rest of the photos from this family photo session!

Jon and Erin’s “dead skeleton, roaming cow, mariachi fun, beating heart” wedding!

The first time Jon and Erin flew down from Oregon and met with us about possibly using Radiant for their wedding photography, we totally forgot that we were in a meeting!  There we were sitting on the porch at Starbucks enjoying the sun (since Erin craves the rays while living in the cloudy northwest!), sipping our lattes and hanging out.  Oh wait, what?  We’re supposed to be talking about business?!  We were friends with them from the start!

We always blabber on about how important relationships with our couples are and how much that affects the quality of their wedding photos, so not to bore you with that again… but really it is so true and this wedding is a great example of that!

We decided to not let the distance between Oregon and Arizona force us to act distant with each other!  When you connect with people that quickly, you’d have to try hard to NOT let that connection show through in the many phone calls and emails that were sent back and forth as we planned for their big day!

I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far in the blog and haven’t even mentioned where their wedding was at!  Ever heard of Tubac, AZ?  Yeah, me neither.  But it’s there!

Down South near Nogales, there’s  little strip of town called Tubac and while it doesn’t seem like much initially, just wait until you go down into the valley near the river… that’s quite a beautiful, pleasant little surprise!

Tubac Golf Resort is down in that area and oh WOW, we were stunned when we arrived there (not just because they had cows hanging out all over the place either)!

We felt really bad for all these people who flew down expecting a sunny southwest wedding because it was an unusually cold and rainy day!

We always tell our brides not to be too upset if it rains on their wedding day because as long as it stops long enough for us to run outside for photos, those are the days when the sky is the most spectacular!

Jon and Erin’s goal was to spend as much time with their guests as possibly since everyone flew in from all over the United States (I think we figured out that Alaska was the farthest location that people came from).  So to make the flow of their day go a little smoother and allow them the maximum amount of time with their loved ones, Jon and Erin chose to do a “reveal moment”.

When we describe a reveal moment to most brides, the immediate reaction we often receive is a mix of horror and confusion.  After all, when most little girls dream of their wedding they imagine walking down the aisle with a veil shielding their face and having their fiance see them for the first time when he lifts the veil in front of everyone.  While we never push anyone to break that tradition if it is very important to them, we do educate couples about the value of doing the “reveal moment”.  First of all it’s not like you are just going to casually pass each other throughout the day, hi-fiving as you cross paths!  We still keep the bride hidden until the right time, the only difference is that the right time is a private one instead of a public one.  We bring the bride up behind the groom…

…and then we capture shots from afar as he turns around and sees his beautiful bride for the first time.

The biggest benefit to doing it this way is that they actually get a few minutes alone on their wedding day. The rest of the day is a whirlwind and they’re surrounded by people the entire time.  This way they get the privacy to laugh, cry, kiss…

…and in Jon and Erin’s case, pray.

After they see each other, couples tend to relax and feel more ready to face the many things that they were previously nervous or worried about.  We think reveal moments are some of the best moments of wedding days!  As you can see, I think Jon and Erin might agree with that.:-)

(There are more photos of this beautiful moment if you click here to see the rest of the photos from the wedding).

Tubac Golf Resort turned out to be the perfect location for this wedding (despite the rain)!

Jon and Erin decided to play up the whole Southwestern desert feel, but in a way very different than I’m used to… and trust me, being an Arizona native, I am definitely used to the typical Southwestern themes!  Jon and Erin played up the Hispanic aspect of some of it and it was PERFECT!  For one thing, they got married in an old Mission style church that was on the property of Tubac Golf Resort…

… and it was beautiful!

I have to say that my favorite unique Southwestern style thing that they added in was the Mariachi band! They were AMAZING!  And Jon and Erin, I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about this when you first told us that you were walking down the aisle to Mariachi music!  But I will eat my words several times over because it was freaking awesome!  The high energy feel that the band brought to the wedding was incredible!  In all my weddings, I’ve truley never seen a better recessional!

Jon and Erin ran out of the church and the band threw their hands in the air yelling and cheering and then burst into a loud, boisterous celebration with super fun music to accompany it!

Then the band led a little parade of the guests over the reception area where they played throughout the cocktail hour while guests mingled and maintained the high energy feel of celebration until we got over there (which was hardly any time thanks to that reveal moment we had early that let us get pics out of the way before the ceremony).

I was seriously laughing out loud this whole time because I just couldn’t help it, it was so so fun and it felt like such a great party (or Fiesta I guess I should say).  Great choice on that one guys! (By the way, the band’s name is Mariachi Plata out of Nogales if anyone is interested!)

Another cool Southwest aspect they did that I didn’t quite catch the vision for until I saw it with my own eyes was their decision to play up the whole dead skeleton thing, Dia De Los Muertos style.

I can say with confidence that I’ve definitely never seen a wedding with skeletons used as decorations!  But the whole thing was done with such class and such unique style that they not only pulled it off but made it elegant and incredibly memorable.

(The skeletons along with mini versions of their dogs were the cake toppers and the Beer Can Chicken were the favors for all their guests to take home).

When I heard they were highlighting the old west theme I was thinking Kokopellis, purple coyotes, and turquoise bolo ties, but that was not the feel at all.  They focused more on the worn wood look with a rustic, old (or dead in the case of the skeletons) vintage feel that carried throughout the wedding.

It all looked unbelievable and I was totally impressed! Some of their family members had even made pieces of leather with their wedding logo burned into it.

The logo was a heart (like a REAL heart, not the valentine’s one) because Jon is a cardiologist and Erin’s a nurse (they met at the hospital).

(The seal used on the programs even had the heart shape embedded into it).

There were so many special, little personalized details that I can’t even begin to mention them all! There is one more that I thought was particularly awesome (and thoughtful) and that is that Jon and Erin love cooking together…

(which is why Erin gave her bridesmaids super cute aprons as gifts!)

…and they both enjoy Druid’s Fluid wine, from the Troon Winery in the Applegate Valley of southern Oregon.  It’s quite a long story, but as Jon and Erin were falling in love, this wine was present for many special occasions, so they wanted to include it in this one as well!  They brought enough of it special to share with all of their guests! Also due to their love of cooking, they asked guests to bring bottles of their favorite wines in lieu of gifts as well as their favorite recipes that Jon and Erin were going to make into a journal to keep and use for years to come.  As I said, everything had such a personal touch and it all reflected their personalities as well as their relationships with all their loved ones.

By the way, their family and friends were SO cool!  You could tell that this wedding meant almost as much to them as it did to Jon and Erin themselves! You could see little touches all over the place that totally showed the time, energy, and love that their family and friends poured into celebrating this wedding.

(We’ll post some of these pictures on our Facebook page so if you fan us, you can tag yourselves in the photos so they’ll show up on your profiles!)

It was beautiful in every way.

I mentioned earlier that Jon and Erin really wanted to kick back and have a blast with their loved ones who flew in from all over to be with them.  I’m sure you can tell from these pictures that it was a great party and they were totally successful in that!

Jon and Erin,  I’m getting all emotional just trying to even think of how to put in words our thanks for you allowing us to be a part of a wedding that you put your hearts into so much.

I know every little thing in your wedding meant something very meaningful to you both, including the photography, so to say that we are honored that you chose us, is a huge understatement.  Your wedding meant a lot to us and we will always remember it, more as one of our friends weddings that we were able to attend than as a “job”.  Thank you so much for bringing us into your lives the way you did and for being such open, caring people who so obviously spread love to everyone you meet.  We are privileged to be recipients of that love and kindness that not only you shared, but also your family and friends.  So thanks to everyone who was a part of this wedding and who welcomed us to be involved with it as well.  Congratulations to you both!

Click to see the rest of Jon and Erin’s Tubac, AZ wedding photos!  Click to fan our Facebook page so you can tag yourselves in the photos!