Category Archives: Engagement Sessions

Don’t worry, we won’t tell about when you tripped and fell into the fountain! ;-)

Rachelle & Paul are ALMOST married!

The engagement session we shot with Rachelle and Paul was really fun for us…. and also a little different for us.  The couple was great and totally on their game with smiles and poses.

We loved it because whenever they looked at each other they would just bust up laughing… such a cute couple in love!  It was awesome.

The part that was “different” about this session was that Scottie and I switched roles a little bit.  Usually Scottie is the “lead” shooter.  Which means he poses couples with his vision, while I stand further back with a lens that zooms in close and I focus on catching the intimate moments that happen “between” the poses.  This time, I led the session for a good part of it and Scottie got the sneaky shots!  Scottie was VERY excited because it can be exhausting to lead all the time, so he just got to chill in the background and let me take over this time.  Luckily, Rachelle and Paul were very easy to work with and I was totally relaxed around them, so I was good and ready to take over the session!

Scottie and I always joke about who’s the better photographer (don’t worry, we’re still great at encouraging each other as well!) and him being the lead most of the time puts him at an advantage to get the shots that you get to “design” a little more and you can take all the time in the world to get that perfect shot.  Second shooter is at the mercy of chance… to chance that you can click the button at the EXACT right moment of the couple interacting, not a moment too soon (aka blinking pics) and not a moment too late (aka guys wiping lip gloss off pics) and to chance that your camera settings are perfectly right to catch that perfect moment in the perfect setting.   So basically, now that I’m leading more sessions… watch out Scottie!

(This is my favorite photo that I took when I was leading)!


(Oh and this one…)


(… and these… well, you get the idea. Basically I had fun leading)!:-)

Back to the happy couple…

Rachelle and Paul confided in us when we first got there that they were worried about being awkward in front of the camera.  I was totally shocked when they told me that because they seemed so natural!

Some couples do better when we pose them and some do better when we just put them in the right lighting and tell them to hang out together.  Rachelle and Paul did amazing when they were just interacting.  We loved capturing all the tiny intimate moments between the two of them!

Hopefully they felt good enough about how the engagement session went that they can spend their time worrying about things other than photography on their wedding day (i.e. tripping down the aisle, passing out before you say “I do”, and bees being drawn to the flowers… you know, all the important stuff!).  Don’t worry guys, I’m totally kidding about this stuff,  I’ve been to countless weddings over the years and I’ve never seen any of this happen!  This is why we do the engagement session… to give us all a little practice session before the wedding!  Now we know that they feel the most comfortable when interacting with one another and they know how to hold a long kiss with people looking on and cameras shoved in their faces!

Rachelle and Paul, thanks for being so friendly and easy to work with!  We can’t wait to see your smiling faces standing at the alter with all your family and friends smiling back!  Click to see the rest of Rachelle and Paul’s Tempe Town Lake engagement session.

Vicki & Zach FINALLY get an engagement session!

You may remember Tim from my brother’s wedding.  He was the main photographer there since Scottie was pulling double duty as a photographer/ groomsman and I got the chance to be a full- fledged bridesmaid!  So because we love his work enough to choose him for our own family member’s wedding, here Tim pops up again as the main photographer for Vicki & Zach’s wedding!

One thing we love about Tim (other than his mad photography skillz and just his genuine, intriguing, intelligent self ) is his desire to truly help people.  You may remember our blog about Abby and the work she does in Africa (especially since it’s right below this one) well, Abby is Tim’s sister-in-law!  Tim is saving all the money he makes doing photography to go to Africa with his wife to visit Abby next summer.  We’re more than thrilled to help fund Tim’s worth while goal.

When he’s not working with Radiant, Tim is a High School English teacher (this is starting to sound like an add on eharmony or something).  Judging by his extraordinarily creative vocabulary (and his chosen profession) I figured he was a good writer, but I was still surprised by just how good he actually is when I read the blog he wrote about Vicki & Zach’s engagement session!

And now, some words from the man himself!!

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They say, “Good things come to those who wait.”  For Vicki and Zach’s engagement shoot, this couldn’t be more true.

We were originally scheduled to shoot in December, at Tempe Town Lake, but the Iron Man Triathlon foiled the plans – not many people want short-shorted people adorning the background of their engagement photos.  We blindly rescheduled for January, a few weeks after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

A few weeks before the rescheduled shoot, we realized the PF Change Rock and Roll Marathon was scheduled for the same day!  Coincidence?  Nay.  Frustration?  Yeah.

We settled on Scottsdale Civic Center Park – home of the infamous “LOVE” sculpture on a chilly Sunday morning and the day couldn’t have gone better.

Vicki and Zach were such a pleasure to work with.  Comfortable in their own right and with one another, they were photogenic to say the least.

We cruised around the park, and with Scottie as our guide, hit some great spots for shooting.  Vicki and Zach appeased our creative risk-taking as we placed them on cold metal walls and had them dance around in plain view of passersby.

All in all, it was a great shoot and I am very much looking forward to photographing Vicki and Zach’s wedding in May. Click to see the rest of Vicki and Zach’s Scottsdale Engagement photos.

Ashley and Don: engaged and hanging out in the desert

Ashley and Don were very excited to do their engagement pictures with us… because they almost didn’t get them!

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In fact, they almost didn’t get us as their photographers at all!

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We received 2 calls for the same wedding date within literally 30 seconds of each other!  Fortunately for Ashley, she called us first.

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And she was not about to risk losing us for her big day, so she booked us asap without even meeting first.  When we did first meet (after she had booked us) we were excited to be able to skip all the normal meeting stuff and just jump right on in to talking about the details of their wedding and planning their engagement session!

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The only real request they had for their session (other than just fitting in with their busy work schedules and being within decent driving distance from their house) was a little bit of desert landscape.

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Considering we live in the Arizona, that seemed like a pretty simple request!  So we found some saguaros and a bit of wide open sky, framed by a couple of mountains and had the happy couple stand and smile in front of it all!  You can’t go wrong with such a beautiful background and a fantastic looking couple like this one!;-)

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Here are some more of our favorites from the day!

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Thanks for choosing Radiant, guys.  We’re very happy that you booked us and that we get to shoot your wedding!  We’re SO looking forward to the big day!  Good luck pulling it all together!:-)

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Click to see/purchase the rest of Ashley and Don’s Phoenix, AZ engagement session photos.

Julie and Andrew are engaged!

Julie had always wanted to go up the ladder in a firetruck.  Lucky for her, she happened to be dating a fireman!  And apparently Andrew’s a genius fireman because when the time came to propose he decided that would be the perfect way to do it.  He must have been right, because she said yes!

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After all the tears, celebrating, and beginning stages of wedding planning were over, emails were exchanged, meetings were had, and Julie and Andrew picked Radiant Photography to be there to share in their big day!

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Of course, before that day arrived, we needed to go out and do our “practice photo session” (aka engagement session).  We call it practice because engagement sessions help us get to know the couple a little better (their style, how to make them laugh for the camera, if they like long walks on the beach, etc.).  It also gets the couple used to the idea of having the paparazzi following them around everywhere and helps them learn to ignore the cameras being shoved into their faces so they can keep enjoying the moment!

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When we asked Julie and Andrew to customize their engagement session to fit them, we never expected them to pull it off the way they did! Firefighter Andrew (again… he must be a genius) got us special permissions that we have never had for a photo session before!  As you can tell by the first photo, getting to use the firetruck was a definite plus (and it gave them a chance to re-live the proposal moment)!

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Here are some others we got to take around the station…

0027200353003910044(Since we were doing all the fireman stuff, I thought it was necessary to get one cheesy picture with it.  They didn’t necessarily agree with me… but they let me have my fun anyways! Ha.  I hope this one doesn’t embarrass you guys TOO much)!;-)

The other cool thing we got to do was go gallivanting around in this abandoned church that had burned down earlier that week (and yes, it was approved as “safe” for us)!

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Scottie is the kind of person that is interested in absolutely everything.  He always wants to explore and learn about everything around him.  Needless to say, a burned down building with all kinds of artifacts (and what he would call “treasures”) to discover and identify… was pretty much like heaven to him!

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I had to keep reminding him that we were supposed to be taking pictures because he kept getting caught up in his own little world while he was checking out all there was to be found in this new land (“Goonies never say die” right?!).  I did happen to think that the half burned Bible and hymnal pages were pretty cool though.  They definitely could’ve been mistaken for a pirate treasure map with the edges burned like that.

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Julie is the type of Radiant Photography fan that we LOVE!  She keeps up with all our Facebook posts (fan us if you want to see all our new pics and blog posts) and she knows our style well.  She’s been following along with all our engagement and wedding stories and storing them in the back of her mind while dreaming up her own (which we think is awesome)!  One of her favorite things that we do are the sunset pics in wide open fields.

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So when we asked what she wanted for her session, she was so excited to finally get a chance to have those type of shots that she loves with her and Andrew in them!  And of course, we were very pleased to oblige such a hardcore fan as her (I don’t think I mention nearly enough how much we appreciate our fans)!:-)

So here are Julie and Andrew’s sunset pictures. Go ahead, take the time to imagine you and your fiance’ (future or present!) in these…

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(This is one of my favorite photos that I’ve ever taken and processed.  This one and that tree one that everyone thinks is fake… and it’s SO not!).

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Julie and Andrew, we are SO glad we finally get the chance to work with people who have been our fans for so long.  We can’t say enough how much we’ve grown to love you guys already (and we haven’t even shot your wedding yet)!  You are both such amazing, fun (fun times 3 actually), caring individuals and we feel priviledge to not only meet such wonderful people in our lifetimes, but to get to work with you as well!  Getting to know people like you is the reason we do what we do.  Thanks for making our art and the work we pour our hearts into, so much more valuable to us.

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Click to see the rest of Andrew and Julie’s Scottsdale, AZ engagement session.

Linzie and Chris: Smiling On a Rainy Day

If you’ve ever been in Phoenix when it rains, you know how everyone goes on red alert the instant the first drop falls.  It’s hilarious how the entire city shuts down immediately!  People get scared, start to panic, and rush home and lock their doors.  God forbid you’re on the road when all this happens!  So when we found out it was going to rain the day we were scheduled to shoot Chris and Linzie’s engagement session, we were like “uh oh, I guess that’s canceled”.

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Then we thought about it and we realized that the rest of the country deals with rainy days all the time and the world keeps spinning while people keep working on those days!  So once we found out that Linzie and Chris were down for it, we decided we’d make an adventure out of it and figure out how to shoot in the rain!

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So we swung by Target to get some cute umbrellas that would look good in the pics and we found out later they did the same (seriously, we use them so rarely here that you never know where it is or if they work or anything).  We headed over for Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix which ironically the least Southwestern looking area in all of Phoenix (which is what they wanted…no cactus was the rule for the pictures).

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Once we added in the rain to the only place in Phoenix with fall leaves, we came out with our least Phoenix looking pictures we’ve ever taken!  And we LOVE them!

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That “grass is always greener” thing is totally true.  Photographers in New York are so jealous of the open sky sunset shots we get here and we are always longing for some shots on top of giant buildings with a city view.

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That to say, we enjoyed getting pictures that look totally different than our norm.  Well Linzie and Chris, if you wanted to be unique… you definitely succeeded!  We had SO much fun experimenting with you guys (thanks for being good sports). We’re excited to see what kind of unique surprises your wedding will hold for us!;-)

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Make sure you check out the rest of Linzie and Chris’s Phoenix, AZ engagement photos session!