Monthly Archives: April 2009

Radiant Love Honors Kiara, Andy, and family

Do you ever see those people who just make you think, “wow, they deserve some kind of reward”.  Well, we do.  That’s why we accept nominations (from anyone!) for our once a month, Radiant Love Honors award!  This award is for anyone you know who is showing Radiant Love to the community around them.


Kiara and Andy were nominated by Kiara’s brother and sister-in-law for the love they show to the abuse victims they work with and to the children they open up their home to. Click to see all the photos from Kiara and Andy’s free family photo session.  Here’s their story (and of course photos to go along with it!)….


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1.  Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Our family doesn’t have the option of blending into a crowd, and we have come to see that as a blessing. God has taken us down a road less traveled as we grow our family, and that has provided many opportunities to bring glory to Him and serve Him in our daily life. What a privilege!


Andy is a licensed architect. His eye for design, creativity, and ability to imagine a project from start to finish makes him a natural in the field. Andy has been unemployed since November, and although that has been challenging for us, God never ceases to amaze us through the ways He provides.


I  (Kiara) am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom right now, and find that I thrive on the flexibility in my schedule, even if the demands of raising our children, homeschooling, and keeping up with the various ministries God brings our way keeps me very busy!


Lucas is six, and he is enjoying Kindergarten at home. He loves to study bugs, plants, and animals, and would spend the whole day outdoors if we let him! He is a very creative little boy.


Destany is four, and she is our sweet little social butterfly. She loves to work in the sandbox with her brothers, play dress-up, and take her friends on pretend journeys to California.


Keandre, ever the class clown, just turned two. He is out-going and cuddly, and takes life in stride whether we are having a quiet afternoon, or the house is teeming with noisy children. He thinks life is just one big adventure!


Until very recently, we were also fostering two of Keandre’s biological siblings, Niko and Mya. Niko is seven years old, and he lived with us for one year. Mya is four and was here for nine months. They just moved in with their foster-adoptive family, and we are very thankful that they will continue to be a part of our lives.



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2. Please share a few of your favorite ways to show Radiant love to the people and community around you.

We love children, and I suppose there is a side of us that must like chaos, too. We seem to have enough of it in our lives, anyway! Life is always an adventure, and usually that adventure includes welcoming extra children into our home.

In the last few months we have had as many as 8 children staying with us, ages 20 months to 7 years old. We are thankful we can be available to care for these little ones, and we love seeing our children learning to share their blessings as well.


Our passion for adoption began long before we were married. I learned early in life that not all children have parents who are able to care for them, and that grew in me a desire to be available as an adoptive parent. Andy, brave man that he is, agreed even before we were married that he was open to wherever God would lead us. Growing our family through adoption does not seem unusual to us. God adopted each of us into His family, and calls us His own. It only feels natural to love in that same way.


We adopted Destany through Christian Family Care Agency when she was just 3 days old, and it was a wonderful, if bittersweet experience. Our hearts broke for Destany’s birthmother, who loves her very much but was not in the position to parent her. We have been very thankful for the opportunity to maintain contact with her, and she and her two sons have become our extended family and a special part of our lives.


After we adopted Destany, we felt the need to connect with other adoptive families. This led us to start a local group for adoptive and foster families, called Arizona Transracial Adoptive Families. Over 130 local families are involved, all who have adopted their children domestically, from Haiti, or from various parts of Africa. We love to sit back and watch the children run and play together, relaxing in the knowledge that in this community they will never feel alone in their life experiences.


Another passion of ours is abuse recovery ministry. I had some very difficult experiences as a young teen that propelled me into a dark and painful time in life. When I was 17, one of my abusers was arrested and I had the opportunity to begin my journey to healing with a wonderful Christian counselor. Through her I learned what God has to say about abuse, betrayal, and brokenness, and it was a relief to know God wants me to come to Him with my pain and anger. Today I am involved with Mending the Soul Ministries, and lead abuse recovery groups for women. It is a blessing to walk alongside women who are courageously facing their painful pasts and discovering hope and healing.

Click to see the rest of the photos from this family portrait session.



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Destany actually took this one of her mom and Keandre.  I held the camera and she pushed the button (so technically she owns this picture!).

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Click to find out more about our Radiant Love program or to nominate someone for a Radiant Love Honor.



And I had to add this pic of Scottie teaching Destany how to use the camera!!  She did a pretty good job too!

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Katie & Lawrence’s E Session

Our first meeting with Katie was different than any we’ve had so far because the friend she brought with her was one of our brides from a little while back.  So if I were to let on to all of you how cheesy I really am I’d sing… “make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.” Anyone learn that one in childhood or was it just me?  ANYWAYS, it is fun to have that extra connection and a mutual friend with Katie.

Our first meeting with Lawrence (this engagement photo session), was another blast from the past, just because he looks exactly like one of my old friends from High School.  So from the beginning, we already felt like we knew a lot about both of them!

We started out at a nearby church because Katie had seen some pictures that were taken there that she really liked.  We then moved on to DC Ranch (one of our favorite locations to take photos in Scottsdale, Arizona).  The ironic thing about this engagement session was that they repeatedly stressed that they really didn’t know what they were doing and that they were not very good in front of the camera.  Um… excuse me?!  At first I thought they were being sarcastic because both of them had obviously done some modeling work before.  But it turns out, they really thought they were awkward…. I beg to differ!   They seemed like professionals for sure!

Click to see all the photos from Katie & Lawrence’s Scottsdale, AZ engagement session.

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Kelly & Scott’s Big Day!

Here’s a word problem for you…. if 2 people want to get married and 1 person lives in Chicago (where the temperature is 49 Degrees Fahrenheit)and 1 person lives in New York (where the temperature is about 40 Degree s Fahrenheit) and they want to get married somewhere that is around 75 Degrees Fahrenheit, where should they go?  Apparently the answer for Kelly and Scott was Fountain Hills, AZ.  Lucky for us, they chose to get married at Eagle Mountain Golf Club which is one of our favorite places to shoot!  They have unbelievable views of the city, rolling grassy hills, and it’s far enough away from the busy city that it’s quiet and the skies are beautiful…. this is where we get our best sunset shots!  Plus Nic, the guy who plans all the weddings there really knows what he’s doing and we get better pictures because he helps the couple plan the wedding around the photography time. (You can see what we’re talking about if you click to see the rest of Kelly & Scott’s wedding photos). 

 

This is probably my favorite picture we’ve ever taken!!  We have others that are similar, but this one is just perfect!  We were so glad Kelly wore that cathedral veil…. very dramatic!

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The groomsmen in this wedding were really fun.  Check out the pictures we took of them before the wedding where they were just hanging out and cracking up the whole time!  I could barely hold my camera steady because they were making me laugh too hard!  But by the looks of this picture, you can tell they know the ceremony is serious business.

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You can kind of see that amazing Eagle Mountainview they have for ceremonies in this pic.  It was definitely fantabulous (if that’s not a real word, it will be someday).

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So it turns out that the groomsmen weren’t the only fun ones in the bunch.  They seriously had some of the coolest friends.  Most of them flew all the way out here for this and you could tell they were all very close to the couple.  There was a strong atmosphere of love there.  Oh yeah, and man did they know how to have a good time as well!!  Ahem, did I mention that we are available for out of state weddings too? (hint hint to all you fun guests)!;-)0053

Thanks, Kelly and Scott, for letting us be a part of your day.  We loved it!!  Click to see all of Kelly and Scott’s wedding pictures.

Megan’s senior session

Megan was a really fun senior to work with.  She had her own style and we LOVED it!!  We didn’t even really have to pose her.  She exuded confidence as she stood, sat, or lay down exactly how she would if there was not a camera recording her every move. 

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Megan is really into competitive ballroom dancing, so naturally she wanted her senior pictures to show what she spent most of her time doing in high school (I’m sure studying went somewhere in there as well of course).  We went up to her dance studio to do a quick mini  session before heading off to DC Ranch (which is a shopping center in Scottsdale, Arizona).

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My favorite part of this session was that she basically just allowed us to capture her as she really is.  Our goal is always to take pictures that allow a person’s family and friends to see them and say, “wow, that’s SO them!”.  Only, that gets difficult since almost everyone is camera shy.  Megan was like, “here I am, take a picture, hope you like it”.  And we did.

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Click to see the rest of the photos from Megan’s Scottsdale Senior photography session.

My Little Brother is a grown-up, married man now!

So my little brother Paul snagged himself a hottie and married her!  Scottie and I were both in the wedding (in Tempe, Arizona)… and Scottie was the photographer! Well one of them, there’s no way this would’ve worked (without being super tacky anyways) without the help of our good friend Tim Boyd (you can see more of his photos at www.studio-b-photo.com).

One of the best parts about the wedding was that our family all worked together to pull it off.  My dad performed the ceremony, her dad played the music, Scottie was the photographer (and groomsman), my other brother and I were both in the wedding party, her uncle was the DJ, and our extended family served as everything from decorators to flower petal pick-er-upers).  It was quite a family affair and it was SOOO fun!  Scottie and I are so used to working at weddings, we hardly ever get to just kick back and party it up a little bit.  This time, after all the pics were done we got to dance the night away with everyone! Click here to see the all the wedding photos.

So here’s the story told through pictures….

Here’s Anna, the beautiful bride (I told you she’s a hottie!)

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Man, I wish I could be as cool as him!

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I love how happy they look!  And that’s my blurry father in the far background (sorry dad!)

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The mother/son dance was awesome, look at my mom’s expression… so cute!

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The best cake war I’ve ever seen, it went on for quite awhile too! (the guy on the left is my other brother, Ross).

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“You should’ve seen the other guy!”  (he had cake in his eye, so I think that means she won).

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My favorite part about the picture is the (apparently) hilarious joke going on in the background. And I LOVE how hard Ross is laughing!

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I just put this picture in to re-inforce how much fun it was….not to rub it in to those who weren’t there or anything!;-)

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Click to see the rest of the wedding pictures from Anna & Paul’s big day!