Category Archives: Our Life

This is for you to read when you get tired of all the business stuff… this is where it gets fun!

Rocking horses, pink tutu, baby cowboy boots, and brightly colored balloons… Cayden and Rylie in the cutest session ever!

If these kids look familiar to you, don’t drive yourself crazy trying to remember where you recognize them from, because I’ll just tell you.

These little chubsters each belong to one of my (Breanna) cousins so they pop up on this blog on a regular basis.

When their time for photo day comes we usually combine them together, because well, it’s just sooo cute to have Cayden pulling Rylie’s bow off…

(It happens every time!)

…pinching her face or pushing her down as he attempts to stand up…

…or just being all round annoying as boys tend to be towards girls sometimes.

Don’t worry, she gets him back with all kinds of nasty slobbery kisses, and I’m sure she’ll get more creative with her revenge tactics as she gets older.

My favorite is when they fall into each other and bonk heads then both start crying! (I’m not mean… it’s just funny!).

Two babies for photo time is just so much more fun than one!

For this session that celebrated both of their first birthdays, their parents did a fantastic job planning the props and matching the kids!

(This is the standard shot we always get of Rylie and her dad’s feet… unfortunately it was raining hard by then so we had to do it on this ugly ground in the veranda. But I guess as long as you can see baby leg chub it’s good regardless of the details!).

I still cannot get over those amazing baby cowboy boots!!

One of the best parts about these photos is that you can’t tell how awful the weather was that day! Well, except for when you see the balloons blowing sideways or Rylie’s hair blowing straight up!:-)

It was raining and SUPER windy so everyone was rushing around with the props and utilizing the few non-rain seconds we had while doing whatever it took to keep the kids warm and happy.

It definitely felt a little chaotic and unnerving, but everyone looks so cool, calm, and collected in the photos.  Phew!!

Another successful shoot for Cayden, Rylie, and their families.  Great job guys!

While I love the cowboy theme with a little soccer ball action mixed in, next time I want to see a session themed around the other types of careers they could have…. I’m expecting astronaut suits, basketball jerseys, lab coats, and mini business suits.

Let’s make it happen!;-)

 

Jeff and Laura’s wedding: a family affair

A wedding day is an entirely different experience for me (Breanna) when I’ve done each of the following with the groom…

1. Built a fort that in my mind rivaled the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse (though it was really like 2 planks of wood haphazardly nailed together with a dried up Christmas tree as the back wall…obviously it was the best fort ever.)

2. Played and pretended everything from house, restaurant, under water tea party (he was too nice to ever refuse an invitation from me and his little sister), office, cops and robbers, mermaids (don’t worry, I’m sure he was a “merman” or a crab or something), school, and over 1,000 rounds of Marco Polo and TV tag.

3. Created, directed, designed, and performed- in front of an audience- a full rendition of the Nutcracker Suite (costumes and everything) though none of the participants involved knew anything about ballet.  If I remember correctly, we did a great job of skipping, rolling, crawling on all fours, and sword fighting, all with pajamas and capes on…. you know, typical ballet stuff. We have a video of it somewhere, though I believe my dad got bored and turned the camera off after the first 10 minutes.

So as you probably can tell by now, Jeff and I grew up together.

He’s my 1st cousin and 3rd brother.  Meaning, he was my cousin who was around enough that he was like another brother of mine.  Oh and in case you were wondering whatever became of our fire hazard fort, the next generation of kids in our family somehow convinced everyone that a rotting Christmas tree wasn’t good enough for their fort and were able to enlist adult help (including my carpentery master of a husband) to make a full on real tree house! Kids these days… so spoiled!!  Since when is a molding fort with a bee hive next door not a good place for kids to play?!

As you can see, Jeff and I had a ton of fun growing up together.  The coolest part of this whole story is that Laura is way more fun than Jeff.

Just kidding, but they are at least even!  So now, the fun continues as we live our adult lives!  We’ve already made Laura perform in front of audience when we put on a family dance party one night to teach the next generation of kids how it’s done… and she totally stole the show!

She plays dress up really well too… if you haven’t seen their AH-MAAAAAZING retro airplane engagement session, you HAVE to check it out, she looks incredible (you do too, Jeff!)!!  I haven’t gotten to invite her to an underwater tea party yet, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it will happen one day.  In other words, she fits right in with our family!

I’m totally serious about that.  I love Laura and I was so so so happy when Jeff called to tell me he was going to marry her and make her stick around with us!

Due to their fun loving spirits, Jeff and Laura had only one condition to us being their wedding photographers… we weren’t allowed to do it if we couldn’t have fun while doing it!

It was really important to them that we enjoyed their wedding and didn’t view it as work.  Scottie and I both knew that we would enjoy the wedding more if we were shooting it… but we’ve also really missed getting to be a part of the celebration rather than just onlookers.  So our solution was that Scottie and I would shoot everything  that happened before the reception…

…and at that point, we’d turn over the photography responsibilities to other photographers we hired while we partied it up as guests!

So that’s exactly what we did!  In other words, all the awesome reception photos you see here- like the one above and below- are not ones either Scottie or I can take credit for!

Scottie and I love shooting weddings for people we already know well because it’s so fun feeling like we’re such a part of something so huge in the lives of people we care about.  It’s also so fun hanging out in the getting ready rooms with our friends!

Not to mention, it’s nice to be working with a couple who’s so comfortable with us.

It’s just fun all around!

So true to our word, Scottie and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves during the reveal moment…

(Ha ha, we could see both of them, but they weren’t allowed to see each other yet!).

…posed photo time…

…at the ceremony…

…and throughout everything in between!

(Praying).

Then we lifted all the responsibility from our own shoulders and passed it to Josh and Kelley Johnson while Scottie and I hit the dance floor!

(Look it’s us! We’re actually dancing at a wedding AND in a photo!!!).

Josh and Kelley are another married photography team in the Phoenix area (who also happen to be freaking cool people!!) and we’ve been semi/sort of mentoring for awhile now.  When we came up with the idea to have someone else shoot the reception, we immediately knew that Josh and Kelley were the people for the job!  And they did not disappoint!

They both have a phenomenal artistic eye, they excel at capturing real emotion, and they are hyper aware of everything going on around them at all times so they’re ready with less than a moment’s notice to catch anything that happens in front of their cameras!

This is not the only Radiant wedding that Josh and Kelley will be in on, so stay tuned for more from them in the future!

As you can see, Jeff and Laura’s wedding was amazing from beginning to end!  It was a fabulous day, everything went smoothly and there was just an overall feeling of joy in the air.

It couldn’t have been better.

Congratulations Jeff and Laura, I’m so glad the day was so great for the two of you and I’m so excited to have one of the coolest girls around as the new addition to our family.

(Another amazing Josh and Kelley creation… do you know how hard it is to get a good sparkler picture?!  Awesome job guys!).

Click to see the rest of the photos from Jeff and Laura’s wedding.

The Hawaii days…Katy & Shaun’s Pre-Wedding Events Part 1

I always thought it was weird when people pinch themselves in movies to see if what they’re seeing is real.  I mean, I’ve  never thought to pinch myself when I’m in a dream and then said “well that didn’t hurt so I guess I’m dreaming”.  But I take back my skepticism on the whole pinching thing because I was really tempted to do it several times during the week that we were hanging out with Katy and Shaun and all their friends before their wedding in Hawaii.

(Katie is on the far right and Shaun is sitting to the left of her… and he’s the only boy in the picture).

Let me start by saying this blog will be different than our normal posts.  We usually write from the perspective of impartial outsiders who are there to capture a visual record of what’s happening around us.

But Katy and Shaun were cool enough to allow us into their circle of friends and invited us to be just as much guests as we were “hired help”, “vendors”, or whatever other cold and isolated word you could put on it.  Throughout the week we were anything but isolated from this astounding couple and their equally wonderful friends.

So instead of writing this blog from the view of 2 photographers who watched all the amazingness happen from the outside, we’re going to write as 2 people who’s lives were affected greatly by Katy and Shaun’s and the beautiful people they’ve surrounded themselves with.

Scottie and I (Breanna) spent 2 weeks vacationing in Hawaii before Katy and Shaun’s showed up with their crew which signified the start of our official “job”.  And yet despite the fact that we were working during our 3rd week in Hawaii, it was at least twice as fun as our first two weeks were!  (This picture totally cracks me up.  She decided to get her snorkel because she was getting too much water in her eyes. Genius!).

The factor that changed and made all the difference was that we were surrounded by a bunch of hyper-intelligent, creative, fun, and ultra cool people (aka Katy & Shaun and their wedding guests).

And really, I’m totally not exaggerating when I say that with the exception of our own wedding week, I think this past week was one of the best in our lives.

I turned to Scottie at least twice and said, “you know, I really can’t ever remember a time where I was happy at this ridiculously high level for such a crazy long amount of time before!” I know we were in one of the most beautiful places in the world, doing all kinds of fun stuff, but it didn’t turn into the best week of my life until we input the new relationships into the equation.

In order to understand why this was a wedding week instead of just a wedding day, you have to understand Katy and Shaun.

These are two people who’s lives revolve around their friendships.  In fact, they are known in their group for their huge annual theme parties (which are amazing by the way) that they go through a ton of work to host… and they love every minute of it.

When we were meeting with them at various points throughout their wedding planning, the main thing we heard repeated over and over again with unending enthusiasm, was that this wedding was about the people involved in it all.

(Katy with her mom.)(Shaun with his dad.)

Katy and Shaun made painstaking efforts to do everything in their power to make sure that their guests had the time of their lives…

… and I think that’s exactly what happened.

Now that you’ve had a glimpse into Katy and Shaun’s world back home and the people in it… lets talk about the Hawaii wedding chapter of their lives!  Katy and Shaun rented a big house right on the beach to share with their bridal party…

…and a bunch of their guests rented other houses all along the same beach to share with one another.

So basically it was a 24/7 party, overlooking one of the best views you can imagine, in absolutely perfect weather.

To kickoff this week of heaven that Katy and Shaun put together, we had a potluck on the beach in front of one of the houses the guests rented.

Since our job was to capture the whole feel of the week (not just the wedding day), we got to join in on this party (and many others) and reap all the benefits that being guests at a Hawaii wedding has to offer!

For Scottie, one of these main benefits was volleyball.  A bunch of Shaun’s friends (including Shaun himself) have either played professional volleyball at one point, or have played so well for so long that they might as well be professional.

This was great news to Scottie who has been looking forward to the day for awhile now where he could play with serious volleyball players again. So of course he saw his chance and jumped in for like a 4 hour or something volleyball showdown (that happened to take place in front of this beautiful mountain backdrop of course).

(Scottie is the giant in the back there).

(There’s Scottie again… the one who looks like he’s about to get beat down!).

He held his own too I might add, I was pretty proud of him for busting out all his latent sporting skills (we’ve both re-discovered a lot of our forgotten skills since we’ve been out from behind our computers for over 3 weeks straight now)!

After Scottie played a game involving Katy he said “When she was playing all I could think about was that scene in ‘Meet the Parents’ where the bride gets hit in the face with a volleyball the day before her wedding.”  Thankfully, Katy’s nose was still in tact by the end of the game… but I thought that was pretty funny commentary all the same!

Scottie also jumped into another event that I politely declined (more like bolted in the other direction and pretended not to hear as soon as the words “5:30 am” came out of Shaun’s mouth) and that was a spectacular sunrise hike.

Scottie didn’t escape as quickly as me and since Shaun is one of those people who could convince you to get up at 5 am for a root canal you don’t need, Scottie found himself lacing up his boots and heading up a mountain in the dark early the next morning.

For as good of a “motivator” as Shaun is, he proved to be every bit as honest because once they were at the top, Scottie saw as much beauty as Shaun had promised and more.

In fact I almost (almost being the key word here) wish I had gotten up that early just so people could at least think that there’s a chance that some of these amazing pictures are mine!

Alas, they are not.  I slept through a chance of a lifetime and Scottie’s pictures of perfectection will forever be known as Scottie’s pictures alone. 

And yet, I can say in all honesty that I’m still glad I slept in that morning (am I lame or what?!).

Another thing I slept through (in this group you’d think I was a freak for needing to sleep EVERY night!) was golf day…

…and again Scottie got some great shots. 

But that’s OK I’m holding on to my pride because of my volleyball shots… and just wait until you see my wedding pics!;-)

We have a little healthy competition going on between us if you can’t tell. Good job Scottie, I’m proud of the freaking amazing pictures you took this week… and the next 3 photos are my favorite series from our entire trip.

(Poor brown shirt guy, he didn’t get the blue shirt memo…)

(So his teammates traded him in for the photographer!)

(Poor brown shirt guy, he’ll just never be good enough.)

Ha ha, those crack me up. :-)  Oh and to end the story, don’t worry… brown shirt guy changed his shirt the next day and found he had friends again!

Anyways, I heard the golfing was a ton of fun and everyone came back with awesome raccoon eye sunburns to prove it!

So now that you all think I’m stupid and lazy for missing such cool morning events… I will say that I got my fill of late night activities! Starting with a “beach crawl” which is basically a pub crawl but with beach houses instead of pubs.

Each house that the guests were staying at had a different theme for their drinks and appetizers that somehow fit the story of Katy and Shaun (for example the last house was occupied by all Katy’s college friends so the theme was “college” and they served lots of beer, jungle juice, and pizza). The grand finale of the beach crawl was to end up at the bar where Shaun’s band was playing that night.

Shaun says that when he thought about what he wanted to do in Hawaii the week of his wedding the first thing he thought was, “well I’ll do what I love… I’ll play with my band”.

(Two very different faces that both show how much he loves what he’s doing).

He told us this months and months ago and he’s been looking forward to it ever since.

There are no words to describe how much I loved this band.

(By the way, you can like our page on Facebook to tag yourself in some of the photos).

Lets just say that as I sat there listening to a particular song in which Max (one of the groomsmen) was smoothly rapping in Portuguese (at least that’s what language I heard someone say it was)…

….among a bunch of incredible musicians who were pouring out their hearts over the noise of a bar…

…that was packed full of their friends swaying to the music and laughing…

…I had another moment where I considered pinching myself to make sure this incredible moment in life was really happening.

So even with all the amazingness that gushed out of these events, I’m still not done telling you about this week of wedding events.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you everything since including all of it would work better for a great book rather than one measly blog post and I know you are probably all reading this at work and are starting to get nervous that your boss might walk in…that’s right, we have analytics that tells us you all look at our stuff during work hours!

Scottie is actually going to write about the final event (so it will be much shorter!) which is the Groom’s dinner that was held on deck of the U.S.S. Missouri.  If you do a quick scan of your brain to find your old high school history lessons (it’s right there past the lyrics to every Bon Jovi song ever written and the phone number to your secret crush’s parent’s house) you’ll find that this is the ship on which the Japanese soldiers stood 65 years ago when they signed the document of their surrender at the end of WWII.  It’s a huge piece of history that most people tour during the day… but we got to party on it at night!  Of course an experience like this doesn’t slip past us without some once in a lifetime photos coming out of it (and I didn’t sleep through this one!)!  See the photos on our blog about the Groom’s Dinner HERE.

If I had to sum up all the events of this week would be to say that even If I decided to make up this entire blog with a fictional story about the week, I couldn’t have written this week any better than it actually happened.

The people, the places, the activities… all of it was just so so SO perfect!

Katy and Shaun, you were the incredible dreamers behind all this and I hope that it was all you wanted and more!  We tried all week to tell you how much your wedding meant to us (and there is still so much to that story that we’ll have to tell you when we come visit you in Venice one day soon) so we hope this blog has helped at least give you some idea about how much we really do mean that!

We love you guys and we’re so excited to post the blog about your wedding day very, very soon!

(There are many more photos from all the events to view and purchase. Click here to see ALL the photos from Katy and Shaun’s Hawaii wedding week events!)

Family Ties

Scottie and I are at the age when everyone around us has babies… and second babies… and toddlers… and third babies!

And with all these babies comes baby pictures!

A lot of my cousins are having kids now and we’ve been doing a lot of photo sessions for them to capture this period in their lives.

We’ve been doing so much of it, that we’ve gotten behind blogging about all the sessions so I’d figure I’d catch us up all at once!

First we did photos for our cousins’ Jamie and Lindsey’s baby, Jameson. 

We took Jameson out to Scottsdale Civic Center where she had her first experience with grass!  She wasn’t too thrilled with it, but we were glad we got to be there for that first in her life!


Next we did our cousin Kelly & Jim’s baby, Madeline.

Madeline has an amazing bedroom… …pretty much the room I dreamed about having when I was a little girl, complete with hot pink walls and a chandelier!

Madeline’s big brother Jack is having to get used to having a new baby in the house so we made sure to make him feel included in picture day and get a few shots of him as well.

Awhile later we did photos for my cousin Amy and her little girl, Tatum.

Tatum is the ultimate girly girl…

…so we thought a super girly tea party was the way to go for her picture day!

As you can see, Tatum LOVES the camera.

She also loves spinning in flowy dresses (including her special pink “princess dress” she wore that day)…

…and pretending to be a model so we got quite a few shots of her teaching her mom the runway walk.

I could hardly take the pictures I was laughing so hard!

Our whole family always tells me (Breanna) how much Tatum reminds them of me when I was little.  I have to admit that I too was an ultra girly girl.

Only the pinkest pink and the shiniest of everything would do for me!  I was also a pro at dress spinning, tap dancing (only Tatum is lucky enough to have REAL tap shoes), and model walking.

So of course as soon as Tatum and I get some camera time together, we take full advantage to have a little super model photo shoot.;-)

Recently we did a session for our cousins’ Ashley and Tyler and their baby, Cayden.

We combined the session with our cousins’ Bethany and Brandon’s baby girl, Rylie.

We had people talking, kids yelling, dogs barking, and babies crying.

It was a mad house with so many of us there… but it was SO much fun!

We were so glad we combined the session because we were able to get photos of the kids together.

(I love this one!  Someone there said, “Look!  He has the same panicked expression that every guy gets when a girl starts crying!”).

There is one family member left that we still have to schedule a formal session with (although we take plenty of pictures of her when we’re just hanging out)… that’s our niece, Kylee.  Even though we haven’t done a session with my brother Paul and his wife Anna’s beautiful little girl, we have had our fun with her!  We were testing out some of photobooth props one day awhile back when my (Breanna’s) mom happened to be over with little Kylee so of course we had to do a little experimenting with them!

More to come of Kylee soon… especially since she’s way older now than in these pictures!

In fact, there will be many more photos of all the kids as they continue to grow (at quite an alarming rate I might add!).  We are so blessed to have a family that we love so much who all still live in the same city!  We’re so thankful that we get to be around to watch everyone in this next generation grow up! Thanks for so many fun sessions guys!

A tour around Venice and a party to beat all parties… Katy & Shaun are working their way towards the alter!

Oh wow, I LOVE Katy and Shaun!

No, not just because their flying us to Hawaii to photograph their wedding… although I do admit that does bias me towards them a bit!;-)

If you’ve ever met Katy and Shaun, you know what I mean when I say that there’s no way to NOT like them!

We first met Katy and Shaun when we went to visit them at their home in Venice, California.

My first impression of Shaun was of someone who threw open the door with his arms spread as wide open as the door, ready to greet us with giant hugs.

And Katy followed suit with the kind of warm hug that you thought only your grandma could give (Katy, when your old enough to actually be a grandma, I think your hugs will probably win world records).

See, I told you it was impossible to not like them!  Who doesn’t want to hang out with someone that warm and friendly?!

That first night, we stayed at their house way past their bedtime (which we’re so bad about doing because we keep pretty ridiculous hours, just check the time stamps on some of our Facebook updates! And by the way, if you’re not a fan of us on Facebook do it now before you miss any more of the good stuff!).  So maybe we’re just rude, but we really felt like we couldn’t leave because we were having such a great time with them!

They showed us all around their house and told stories about practically every item in the place because it all has so much meaning to them.  We got to meet all their friends that will be at the wedding in Hawaii with us via photographs and hear hilarious stories about all of them (that’s right, we know all about you already!) as we toured their life in photos.  Shaun’s an excellent story teller by the way, I could listen to him all night!

The next time we hung out with them went the exact same way… this time we were meeting up to do their engagement session (aka, these photos here).

(I loved watching them interact together!)

When we asked them about their lives and what kinds of things represent them best, they again directed us to their home that is filled with so many sentimental memories.

Shaun spends a ton of time working on and hanging out in his garden, so we decided it only seemed appropriate to start out their session in their home and showcase his pride and joy (it really is a STUNNING garden!).

Next, we headed down towards Venice beach, making a stop along the way at the Spinning class they first met in (Shaun declares to this day that he never would’ve been caught dead in one of those classes, but was forced into it due to physical therapy, or by what some would call “fate”).

Again, we LOVED hearing all their stories about the city history and culture, as well as the parts of their lives that are interwoven into it all.

When they talk about Venice, you can tell they feel like they’re the luckiest people in the world just because they have the privilege of living there.

I can’t say I disagree with that either, I (Breanna) am a little jealous!  Phoenix has it’s perks, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Venice.  If you know people who live in the LA area who are getting married, make sure you tell them about us!  You can help us slowly make our way over to the thrilling life that awaits us there!  We don’t even charge travel fees to shoot weddings in Southern California! (End commercial here).

(Doesn’t this look like such a nice, peaceful ending to a hectic day?)

After the session, Katy and Shaun treated us to one of the best dinners we’ve ever had in our lives!  It was at a cool little place called The Tasting Kitchen and as to be expected, we had such a great time hanging out with them there!

We sat there at the table laughing with them late into the night once again (sorry we always leave you guys so sleep deprived!).  If we weren’t convinced from our first visit to their house that we’d made great new friends, we were beyond certain after hanging out with them this night!

Luckily, we still had one more Katy and Shaun adventure to go during our visit that weekend!

Katy and Shaun are known amongst their friends (and the friends of their friends) for their spectacular annual parties.  They have several regularly occurring theme parties that people are ready and waiting for each year with costumes in hand.

Lucky for us, we happened to be in LA on the very same weekend that one of these parties was sweeping through.  This party was entitled “Bourgie Fashion Prepster Buenos Aires Hollywood Palermo Gringo Polo Summer Solstice Party”.  If it gives you any clue to how lucky we were that we actually got invited to such a trendy shindig… I had to google like every other word in the invitation (the only part I understood was something about the “John Stamos Fashion Mullet”).

Yeah, I can admit that I (Breanna) was definitely not cool enough for this party!  So thanks Katy and Shaun for taking a chance on us Arizona geeks and risking us embarrassing you in front of all your Fashion Prepster Buenos Aires friends! Ha ha!

Even with all the amazingness flowing through the Buenos Aires-esque breeze at this party, one of the best parts was getting to hang out with their friends/ future wedding guests (in real life this time, not via photos).

Of course these perfect little hosts couldn’t just have a one day, amazing and beautiful wedding in Hawaii, they have to make the entire week a fantastic party for all their friends to enjoy!  So we are headed over there in September for 5 days of planned out fun with their guests!  All kinds of tournaments, tours, etc. are happening in Hawaii and we get to be hanging out with many of the same people from the party, just snapping our cameras away at it all!

So now that we’ve met their close friends, heard background stories about why they’re all important to Katy and Shaun, we feel like we’re headed over to Oahu to hang out with our own friends (instead of strangers).

Seriously, could there be a more perfect way to go to Hawaii than to get to share in peoples lives, wedding, and relationships like that?!  Not to brag, but sometimes I think we have the best job in the entire world.  How else would we get to meet and work with such beautiful people as them?!

THANK YOU Katy and Shaun for bringing us into your world so early on and letting us get to experience life as you see it so that we can better capture it and reflect back the true stories and emotions behind your wedding day.

Your gracious, honest, and humble attitudes will serve you very well when it comes to your wedding pictures because we really feel like we’ve been set up well to tell the true story of your wedding day with heartfelt honesty.

I mean, look at how intense the story of just your engagement session is!  I might have to write your wedding blog in like 3 parts!  Thanks and we can’t freaking wait to see you there!!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Katy and Shaun’s “Tour of Venice” engagement session!