Yearly Archives: 2009

Pam and Kyle’s Engagement Session

Pam and Kyle are a great example of our main purpose for throwing in free engagement sessions into all our packages… getting to know our couples better!

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We first met with Pam and Kyle about 4 months ago for about an hour, which is hardly enough time to spend with someone to get to know their personalities, their style, what relaxes them during pictures, and which side is their best side!  There’s nothing worse than a couple of strangers hovering over your shoulder while you read private notes from the love of your life on your wedding day, or getting all up in your face with a camera while you’re crying with your dad while he’s getting ready to walk his little girl down the aisle.

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It’s so much better to have one of your friends show up, who gets all excited with you about how beautiful your bouquet turned out… who then turns around to snap a few quick shots of your best friend’s face when she see’s you for the first time in your wedding dress… who also happens to be the professional photographer that you hired.

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That’s what we aim to be.  We want to be the friend who’s enjoying your whole day with you, while capturing the genuine emotion of it all, rather than the person who shows up when you’re about to get your dress on and makes you feel like you have to stop telling stories about your aunt’s hilarious antics at the rehearsal dinner last night, so you can stop and smile at the camera.  Lame.

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Not to mention, the second a stranger puts your a camera in your face, you’re bound to freeze up and lose the moment.  But when a friend does it, you’re a lot more likely to live it up and just be excited that this wonderful moment is being frozen in time forever! That’s how we get pictures of bride’s looking right at the camera and laughing while they attempt to pick a wedgie in their wedding dress (of course that photo only goes public if they want it to)!

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My point with all of this, is that it takes a lot of time with someone to build a relationship so we were totally glad that Pam and Kyle were up to go grab some coffee with us before their session.  By the time we were following them around, shoving cameras into their faces, they seemed much more relaxed, plus we knew how to make them smile a little bit more to bring them out of their shells even more (you can judge for yourselves by clicking to see the rest of their engagement photos)!

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We consider engagement sessions practice for the wedding day, so if this was any indication about how Pam and Kyle’s wedding is going to go… we have a lot to look forward to!  Thanks guys, we had a great time hanging out with you!

0006100392Click to see the rest of Pam and Kyle’s Tempe, Arizona engagement photo session!

Radiant Photography is now a debt free company!!

We have reached a huge milestone that we’ve been working towards for the past 9 months (no, we didn’t grow a baby)…. we paid off our debt!  Now the only debt that we have (both as the Chansons and as Radiant) is school debt!  No more credit card payments, no car payments, no mortgage payments (only because we don’t have a house though- ha ha), and no -absolutely no- business debt to make payments towards!!  Hooray!

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So if you are planning your wedding during this recession and you are worried about your vendors going bankrupt and shutting down while holding onto your down payments… never fear, Radiant will still be here!  No one’s going to come take our business because of the money we owe them and no one is going to tell us we can’t come shoot the wedding that you have paid us to shoot!

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img_7660img_7694(These photos were taken with our Radiant photobooth set up, minus our usual white backdrop)

We are not saying this to brag about how good we are with money (in fact we wouldn’t have been in debt in the first place if we were money geniuses) we say it because we have been waiting for the day we can whoop it up and get excited about this feeling of freedom and we want all of you to celebrate with us!  We’re also saying it because we wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if we didn’t publicly give credit where credit is due.  We didn’t do this on our own, we actually took a class on how to become debt free and we had an AMAZING group of people taking this class with us who rallied around us to make sure we actually made it to this day!

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Not only that, but the person who led the class was a wonderful woman named Karyn LaRocca who is also a personal budget counselor.  Karyn met with us personally and was always available to help us figure out all the specifics of our finances (which is a big deal because our finances get pretty complicated since we own a business).  Karyn is super passionate about helping people dig themselves out of the hopelessness that debt can bring.  She really truly just wants to see people live their lives to the fullest without the unnecessary stress, relational tension, fear, etc., etc. that debt brings into life and she is very skilled at helping people do that.  Her compassion for people in difficult financial situations is what motivates her daily, so you never have to feel judged or intimidated as you open up about this major area of life that most people are not used to talking about.  If you need help “reclaiming financial control” as Karyn says, then please make sure you call this lady!  Thank you, Karyn, for your passion and dedication to helping people find freedom in life and for working your fingers to the bone every day just so you can help people like us.  We know you pour your heart and soul into your business and we pray that it really pays off for you in the end.  Bottom line… Karyn’s amazing and you should call her!

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Karyn can also help you get hooked up with a Financial Peace University class, which is the one we took that brought us to this wonderful day!  If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with people in your class who are as wonderful as the ones we met in our class (even though I don’t think that’s possible since the people in our class were the most amazing people EVER)!  Once you start discussing finances, it’s amazing how many other extremely important issues come to the table as well, like marriage, family, life crises, depression, etc….which is probably exactly why we SHOULD find people we can talk to about money so that we don’t have to go through all these things in life alone! We really do believe we made life long friends as we spent time bonding over these deep issues in life that are usually considered too taboo to talk about in our culture.   We can’t even begin to describe how grateful we are for the Brannans and the Ellisons for walking through all of this with us and for constantly encouraging us, while being very open and genuine about their lives at the same time. You guys seriously, actually, really did change our lives and we will never be the same… for the better of course.  We love you, and your friendships mean the world to us.  Thanks for getting involved in all the messy parts of our life and for working so hard to help us clean them up.

One last hoorah for us…. yay, yay, yay, YAY!  Radiant Photography is DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!!!

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P.S. CALL KARYN!

Alyssa & Dan (Radiant beauty, Radiant relationships, and Radiant love)

There’s no way to write this blog without just gushing about how Alyssa and Dan and are both wonderful, amazing, beautiful people!  They are two of the most authentic, thankful, gentle, and all around loving people you will ever meet.  When we met with them we were absolutely enthralled with them.  We spent hours just hanging out and laughing with them at our meeting after we went through all the businessy stuff.00110015

Of course they won us over pretty quickly as they talked about their passion for our photos and their love of Radiant as a company.  How can you not like someone who goes on and on about how amazing you are?! ;-)  Lady Bird Johnson said, “Art is the window to man’s soul. Without it, he would never be able to see beyond his immediate world; nor could the world see the man within”.  So when someone sees and understands who we are just by looking at our photos, it creates an instant connection between us and them.  And that’s what we felt when we first met Alyssa and Dan.  We love, LOVE what we do so we pour our hearts into the photos by investing tons of our thoughts, time, and attention into the people we work with.  We realize we are being trusted with a very valuable, one-time only task and we take that seriously.  This is more than just a job to us… it’s a trusting relationship, it’s our passion, and it’s our way of showing love to others.

00210022(It was very important to Alyssa that we got a shot of Dan’s face when he first saw her… now I know why she wanted that picture so bad!)

All that to say, most people just think we take pictures and that’s all.  So when we met Alyssa and Dan, who not only understand what we’re trying to do, but cling to it and feel exactly everything we feel while we’re creating our art… we fell in love.   When we looked at them we saw people who care about beauty, relationships, and love (Radiant’s 3 core values) as much as we do!

0006(Beauty… Alyssa’s choice to have this unbelievable bouquet made by “The Garage by Ivy”  is a testament to her appreciation for true artistic beauty.  Seriously all the flowers at the wedding were amazing!)

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(Relationships… their friends at the wedding were all fantastic people who really loved Alyssa and Dan, which is a testament to how much Alyssa and Dan value those people and relationships).


0329(Love… Alyssa and Dan both put their heart into the community around them.  This is a photo of Alyssa with all the high school girls she invests her time into mentoring, and that’s a testament to how much Alyssa and Dan value loving others by giving back to the people around them).

Enough with the serious, this wedding was a ton of fun so it’s only appropriate that the blog matches the wedding!  I’ll start with the groomsmen.  Let me just tell you that I felt like such a moron trying to take pictures while I was busting up laughing every 5 seconds.  These guys were hysterical!  Thanks to all the groomsmen who decided to have a good attitude about picture time and to make it more fun for us too!

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0019(Don’t worry, they weren’t actually gambling for the rings!)

0044(The guys weren’t the only fun ones at this wedding… the girls totally kept me entertained the entire time! They even had me come out and dance with them a little at the end of the reception!)

Not to be outdone, the kids at this wedding were totally hilarious as well!  I’ve got tons of pictures of them in my blog about kids at weddings if you want to see photos of them!

I think I’ve rambled and gushed enough now, and I really just want to show you some more of my favorites from this wedding (after you finish reading, click here to see the rest of the photos from their wedding)!

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Alyssa and Dan… you guys were both so amazing to us and you treated us wonderfully.  We are very thankful you chose us for such an important task and we absolutely LOVED working with you.  Thank you for being so genuine and so caring towards us.  Congratulations and we hope to see plenty more of you in the future!

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Click to see more photos from Alyssa and Dan’s beautiful Scottsdale, AZ wedding!

Kathy & Tom’s fun family engagement session!

I recently had a very unique, very memorable experience… I met the smiliest family in the entire world.  That’s right, they smiled all the time.

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They stood, they smiled.

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They sat, they smiled.

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They did some playful rough-housing, they smiled.

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We asked them to do a serious face and… well, yeah right! We did luck out and get this one… but Natalie and Tom look like they’re about to crack!:-)

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It was seriously such a fun session though (click to see the rest of the photos)!  It was Kathy and Tom’s engagement session and they brought along the girls to get some family shots at the same time.  It usually takes about 20 min. of shooting before people start to loosen up in front of the camera, but this family was chill from the beginning!

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They were so playful and so interactive and affectionate that we hardly even had to pose them at all!  They just naturally got all cuddled up close together and made our job pretty easy!  Um, not to mention every member of the family was totally perfect looking!

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Congratulations on your engagement Kathy and Tom… we can’t wait for the wedding!!!

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P.S. at the end of the session we asked if there were any poses they really wanted that they think we missed, and the one below was the only one Kathy wanted to make sure we got…. I love it.:-)

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Click to see the rest of Kathy and Tom’s Phoenix, AZ engagement photo session!

A toast to the little boys in tuxedos and little girls in tiaras

This blog is dedicated to all the little people out there who have been forced to ditch out on a day of cartoons to sit quietly for hours in stiff, mini-tuxes or itchy lace dresses while listening to the grown- ups drone on and on about mushy stuff (gag).

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So many kids have passed by our way on wedding days and we don’t help their cause at all since we tell them to stand up straighter, stop hitting their sisters, and quit picking their noses when all they want to do is go climb the trees and get grass stains on their pants.

0233(You may think this kid got away with having a little fun, but I believe this was right about the moment he heard his first name followed by his middle name… uh oh).


0112(While it may seem that this little girl had the best day of her life… again, the dreaded first name/middle name combination was heard.  I always wonder when I’m going to hear my middle name used for being the first adult to witness these things and taking pictures rather than stopping them).


After forcing them to follow all our ridiculous photography instructions that make no sense to them whatsoever, we proceed to further insult their intelligence by pretending that “cheese” is a silly enough word that it will make them laugh.  And we wonder why portrait town is the place where tantrums are born!

alyssa_dan_bc1184(She’s not really throwing a tantrum, this is her own unique dance move.  I’m not about to embarrass some poor parent and put a tantrum shot in here… though we have plenty!)

Yes, we are the stupid photographers that make your day absolutely insufferable by making you smile when it’s clearly your nap time.

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We’re the ones who cause your mom to send you that nasty glare with the threat of timeout in it.

alyssa_dan_bc0280(Maybe not this one, she doesn’t look like she ever gets into trouble… then again, it’s always the cute ones that get you!)


We know the pain we cause you and that’s why we wanted to dedicate a little piece of wedding history to you.  It doesn’t make up for the drama, we can only hope it might at least give you reason to hold your tears in until after that one last picture (yes, the real last one…the one that comes after the one we promised was the last one).

alyssa_dan_sc0774(I think it’s safe to say she’s had one too many… photos taken I mean.  She’s trying so hard to pull through and keep that smile going)!


So raise your glasses and toast to the real heroes of the day…. the ones who endure the very worst that a wedding day has to offer… the kids.

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As much as they want to show their parents how miserable they are at this wedding they were dragged to, every once in awhile the kids surprise themselves by actually having fun!

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booth(I guess having the Radiant Photobooth there helps! And by the way there’s way more fun stuff like this on our Photobooth video so check it out if you haven’t seen it!)

And there’s no way I could write this blog without including my favorites… the kids who decide to REALLY bust a move!!!

00500052-1alyssa_dan_sc14890056(This was one of my all time favorite wedding moments!  Read the full account on my blog about Becca & Ryan’s wedding!).

Alright kids now we’re even, so we expect beautiful, patient smiles at every wedding from now on!  Ahh, we’re suckers, you know we’ll take one look at you in a cute little outfit with your hair all done up and we’ll be like putty in your hands!

P.S. We want to give a special shout out to all the parents we see chasing their kids around at weddings… we are in awe of you!

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