Monthly Archives: August 2009

Dear Mr. Technology… please forgive me

Dear Mr. Technology,

I know we’ve never been the best of friends.  That computer curse you put on me (the one where every time I come within 10 feet of a computer, it breaks) surely didn’t help our relationship.  But I can’t say I’m not partially to blame as well.  I know I probably hurt your feelings when I hurled my phone across the room in anger and  said that I wished you were never born.  I hope you know that I didn’t mean it, you mean a lot to me.

I am ready to put the past behind us.  I would like for you to accept my apology so we can move forward on a good note.  I know that most of the problems I’ve had with you have just been misunderstandings on my part and I am fully aware of all that you’ve done for me.
For one you allowed me to have a husband who is capable enough with computers to remedy my curse (that’s how I know you felt bad about giving it to me).  Even beyond that I know I wouldn’t have my beloved ipod if it weren’t for you (in fact I would still be sitting around listening to someone not-so-talented playing piano in the parlor to get my music fix if it weren’t for you).
Without you I would probably be out lifting boulders or some kind of other manual labor rather than sitting in my nice air conditioned (thanks for that one too) home office working on my super cute Macbook Pro.

I know my life is as comfy cozy as it is because of you and I’m sorry I haven’t been more appreciative.

I realized we were due for this conversation when I was standing on the stadium floor, waiting for one of my favorite bands to take stage, and my husband leaned over and handed me his iphone.  As I stared at the screen I was filled with awe and wonder as I discovered that while we were there doing one of our favorite things in the world…. we booked a wedding!  While we were out having fun, you were hard at work for us!  Now that is a true friend.

So can we call our battle a wash and start again as friends?  I sincerely hope so.

Thanks for all the good times.

Love,
your friend (hopefully)
Breanna

img_7543Soundtrack for this moment provided by: Mr. Technology (oh and also Apple)!

P.S.  And a special thanks to Shoot Q…. the specific means by which Mr. Technology worked his magic while we were at the concert!

Genuine Love (aka Emily & Jon’s Wedding)!

On a scale of 1-10, I’d say I’m about a 7 when it comes to being sentimental and emotional. That means I don’t cry when someone proposes on the big screen a at a baseball game, but you can find me silently shedding tears when the main character dies in a movie… I consider myself right in the middle when you’re talking about girl sentimentality. So to find me crying during both a wedding and a reception for people I haven’t known for very long… well that must mean that there’s something really special about the people involved.  And that was me (hiding my tears behind my camera) at Emily and Jon’s Scottsdale, Arizona wedding… at multiple points in time.

I’ll start by explaining the couple.  Emily and Jon have been dating since high school (or somewhere around the end of it), only they have hardly ever lived in the same place for long!  I don’t know the whole story, but it has something to do with going away to college and lots and lots of trips over seas… or something like that (forgive me if I’m getting the details wrong on this… just post comments with the corrections)!  All I know is that Jon was living in South Korea up until about a week before their wedding!  Fortunately, he was still being a very good fiance’ and using Skype to help her with all the planning!

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You’d think the extreme long distance relationship would be what stands out the most about this couple, and it would be if it wasn’t for the fact that they are one of the funniest couples I’ve ever been around!  They had a slideshow at the very beginning of their ceremony, and let me tell you… you didn’t have to know them very well to be moved to out loud laughter and open mouthed moments of shock at their antics!  The pictures captured their personalities perfectly and it showed how much they really, REALLY love being together.  They truly are best friends and that fact was reinforced through many of the details throughout the day (including the repeat playing of the song “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat that says “lucky I’m in love with my best friend”- perfect for them).  I have to brag and say that one of the pics from the slideshow was a picture we took when they were in the bridal party at another wedding we shot.  We were flattered to be included and to be given the chance to show off the pic again (below).:-)

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So now that I’ve talked your ear off about the uniqueness of their relationship story, the hilarity of their personalities, and the beauty of their friendship, you’re probably sure that pretty much covers how awesome this couple is.  But oh no… there’s definitely more!  And this has to do with the pieces of their life that make up all of this and have brought them to where they are now.  What I mean by that is, both Emily and Jon have come from unbelievably beautiful families.  I met some of their family members on the day of the wedding for the first time, and even with being that new to my introduction to these people, it did not escape me that there was something very, very special here.

It seems like many people consider a wedding to be the one time that it’s OK for everyone to be selfish. You know the story, the bride is mad that not everyone is looking at her, or the mother of the bride gets upset if her dress isn’t prettier than the dress the mother of the groom is wearing… and it gets worse and worse. Of course this kind of thinking doesn’t make much sense considering that a wedding has to do with the uniting of two people into selfless love, but still… the story we’re fed our entire lives is that wedding days are all about ME.  So here was a family that disregarded that myth completely.

The bride was NOT demanding her bridesmaids pay attention to her every need and jump (out of fear) when called, but rather she was laughing with people and greeting everyone that came in with a welcoming smile.  She was so considerate to all her bridesmaids, family, and vendors… but not in a way that was trying to please everyone (therefore pulling her apart in too many directions), but just in a genuinely caring way.  It was so obvious that this day was about so much more than herself or her love for her fiance… it was about her love for EVERYONE around her general.  For someone to be really thinking about how to care for others on her wedding day (in a way that is not out of obligation or a desire to be a people-pleaser) is a pretty much unheard or thing and it is such a testimony to what a beautiful person Emily really is.  She was shining on the outside AND the inside on her wedding day.

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The mothers of both the bride and groom were NOT chewing out the florist because the bows on the flowers were not the right color (they were the right color, that’s just an analogy) or sitting around gossiping about one another, but rather they were talking to people calmly and basking in this special moment of love for their children.  Both mothers were just radiating kindness to both Scottie and I.  When they smiled at us, it was like we could feel their happiness and joy flowing out of both of them (rather than the usual stress and frustration that lies behind the mothers’ eyes at too many other weddings).  Both mothers were just full of genuine compliments and caring comments towards us the entire night.

The fathers blew us away as well.  It was extremely evident that both fathers were heavily involved in their families lives in a way that supported and encouraged all family members to excell in their own individuality, while remaining united in love to their families.  I know that’s a huge statement, but we just couldn’t ignore the strong leadership their fathers both expressed through a level of humbleness (rather than arrogance or dominance).  Both fathers were very verbal in their affirmations and praises of their children and of each others’ child.  They uplifted and spoke so highly of everyone around them, that you couldn’t help but tear up just from knowing how it must feel for a child to hear their father speak of them AND their new spouse in that way.

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And then there were the siblings.  Again, the sense of involvement in each others’ lives was apparent.  You could tell they were hardly able to contain their excitement for the wonderful things that were happening in their brother and sister’s lives.  Not to mention, the siblings were just as fun as the couple and the speeches reflected that very well (most the time I was laughing too hard to hold the camera steady).  The friends of the couple who were in the party were just as excited for this couple and their speeches were laced with a genuine awe for their friends who they look up to as examples.

Here’s a shot of Jon and his brother…

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This is Emily’s brother giving his awesome speech (and apparently Jon heartily agrees with what’s he’s saying)!

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So you try sitting through speech after speech that reflects the kind of love and genuine family bond that you’ve seen demonstrated all day, where a mom cries when talking about how much her son has affirmed and encouraged her since he was a little boy, and a father talks about his emotions throughout the progression of his little girl’s relationship from a crush to marriage and see if you can keep from tearing up… it’s really hard!

So thank you to Emily and Jon (and families) for letting us witness such a truly beautiful moment in the lives of such truly remarkable individuals.  We wish the best to all of you.

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P.S. I had the hardest time deciding what pictures to put in this post because so many of them communicate all the stuff I’m talking about.  So you really should check out all the pictures from Emily & Jon’s wedding.  And speaking of how fun everyone at this wedding was… check out all the wedding photobooth pictures (like the one below)!

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Becca & Ryan tie the knot!

When Scottie got a call from his old friend Ryan who wanted us to do his wedding photography, he was so excited!  And when we heard WHERE the wedding was going to be at, we got REALLY excited!  No, it wasn’t Oro Valley, AZ that lit up our faces, it was the church in Oro Valley that really did the trick.  It sits on top of a hill and is complete with a glass wall background to show off the stunning scenery.  Oh and did I mention it’s completely made out of brick?!  BEE-autiful!

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Becca, you’re such a perfect bride!

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I think this is how most girls envision their wedding day when they’re little… a good looking groom, a fantastic location on a beautiful day, surrounded by family and friends.:-)

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I can’t top the comment this picture got from one of our fans on our facebook page, so I’ll just copy it… “who would’ve thought cactus and dirt could be romantic?”

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I have to say that I’ve never liked the desert as much as I do in this picture!  As a lifelong Phoenician (translation: people who live in Phoenix, AZ) I have to try really hard to appreciate the scenery that I’ve taken for granted my whole life, and this picture does help!

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Wow, wow, wow, this picture is all Scottie’s doing… and I freaking LOVE it!  I think Scottie goes, “hmm… if I could be on a movie poster for Boondock Saints 2 (his favorite tough guy movie), how would I want to look?” and then that’s what he does to create these amazing groomsmen photos that he manages to get wedding after wedding!  I guess I should start watching more… I don’t know… princess movies? No… maybe some Charlie’s Angels or Ever After? Apparently just anything with Drew Barrymore will do the trick.  I should figure out something so I can take photos of the bridesmaids that can hold their own against these.  The competition is on!

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OK, so I don’t even know where to start with this picture!  I’m just standing there, snapping my shutter away like usual when all of a sudden the air around me seems to freeze.  I pause to take in my surroundings.  A new song has started but for some reason everyone has cleared the dance floor… everyone except for one person.  I look on curiously as this kid stands in the middle of the floor with his legs spread apart, his head down, sunglasses on, tapping one foot to the beat.  All of a sudden, the song picks up and so do his moves!  He gracefully slides across the floor in a style of dancing that’s so cool, I’m too behind to even know what to call it!  He proceeds to do an entire perfectly choreographed routine through the course of the hip hop song that’s blaring through the speakers!  It was unreal and I’ve never seen anything like it!!  Well maybe I did when I used to watch Star Search when I was young or something (I know I’m supposed to compare it to something cooler like “America’s Got Talent”, but don’t judge me!).  I’ve definitely never seen it in real life though!  So keep an eye out for this little red head whenever you watch the Disney Channel, or when High School Musical 7 comes out!

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This picture couldn’t have worked out better… perfect timing… perfect angle… perfect background…. and somehow, perfectly matched clothing (even for those who were not groomsmen)!  So I don’t know if this picture can be counted as our doing, or just to good luck!  But either way I love it!  I love any wedding photo that shows true comradarie among friends like this. :-)

Click to see the rest of the photos from Becca and Ryan’s Arizona Wedding Photography.

JoEllen and Ryan’s creative, hilarious, and sentimental wedding day!

My very favorite thing about JoEllen and Ryan’s wedding was the unbelievable amount of creativity that shone through every aspect of every detail throughout the entire day!  It’s one thing to be ridiculously talented in the creative department…. it’s another thing to know exactly how to apply that to your wedding to make it perfectly represent you.  JoEllen was definitely able to pull it off in a way that most people couldn’t have even come close to.

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Everything from the personalized bags for the bridesmaids, cuff links made out of Lego’s, homemade flower clips for her and her bridesmaids hair, and hand painted letters to decorate the cake table and head table… all of it was done by her!  And when I say she made all this stuff, I don’t mean that it was a bunch of stickers and giant rhinestones with Elmer’s glue showing through the sides… I’m talking stuff that looks like Martha Stewart herself made!  It was the kind of DIY things that end up in wedding magazines.  Needless to say, I was beyond impressed! You can see all of these details in the rest of JoEllen and Ryan’s wedding photos.

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My other favorite thing was the way the bridesmaids decided to take over when the wedding nerves stress level was beginning to escalate.  They were hilarious.  Whenever they wanted JoEllen to relax and laugh they’d start singing “I’m On A Boat” (a song by comedian, Andy Samberg) which she would inevitably join in on and then she’d start feeling better immediately.  And of course when that song came on later during the reception, everyone went wild. :-)  The other thing they’d do (including both JoEllen and Ryan) would be to make “that’s what she said” jokes… and I was really impressed with how long they could go on with it (that’s what she said).  It made the day pretty funny… which is very fitting because they’re a very funny couple!

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I also really loved how involved some of the older members of their family were.  Not only was EVERYONE dancing… regardless of age, but they also had a lot of special family traditions that the elderly members of their families got to pass on.  It was so cool!  Special songs were sang and speeches were made. It was very much a family affair, that included all family members equally. Everything from the ceremony to the reception had very sentimental, emotional touches to make the day truly special.

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So overall, it was a very special day with a fun couple (not to mention a super stunning bride), hilarious people, creative details, and a wonderful family. Thanks for letting us be a part of it guys!

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Click to see the rest of the photos from this Phoenix, Arizona wedding.

Radiant Community Fusion

Ever since we started Radiant we’ve said we want to build a strong, loving, vibrant community around it.  But I think that’s what tons of people say whenever they start something like this.  I knew I wanted it, but I don’t know if I believed it was possible… so imagine my surprise when it started happening!

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(By the way, since we didn’t have pictures of us with all of the people we talk about in this blog… we just went with general pics that show some of the relationships that have either been formed or strengthened through Radiant).

We recently went to dinner with our friends, Erik and Chelsea.  We’ve been friends with these people for years (before we were even married) and they have both recently entered the wedding business.  Erik is a DJ and Chelsea makes beautiful, custom wedding invitations (so let us know if you need to get in touch with either of them of course!).  The vibes that came from this meeting were just amazing!  It was like back and forth… idea, idea, idea… they were being thrown around like we were juggling right there in the middle of the restaurant.  Combine the idea fusion with their heartfelt support and encouragement they were doling out like it was free candy and we left that restaurant walking on clouds rather than concrete.  It is so cool to be working in the same industry with our close friends and finding ways to partner up and create a collaborative thought that extends much further than simple photography.  It’s a vision for a way of living and loving others together.  Beautiful.

Two nights before that dinner, we met with some of our other old friends, Mark and Meg, about doing their wedding photography (I’ve been friends with Mark since I was 15).  Meg always speaks truly from her heart, and this night was one of her more eloquent nights of expression.  She moved me to tears as she spoke of her love of our work and the emotions our photos stir inside of her… so much so that they moved their wedding date just so we could be their photographers (we were booked on their original day)!  I thought her speech that night could never be topped… at least that’s what I thought before I read her email she sent me as a follow up to our conversation that said,

“More people should have pictured memories as stunning as you make them. I really believe that you & Scottie capture everything it is to be… to be… something I’m not sure there’s a word for. It goes FAR beyond a pictoral landmarker on the proverbial road of life. I never look at your work and feel like I’m just looking at someone else’ point in time. It’s always like I’m there, celebrating all that it is to be alive and well and happy and living life to the fullest. Mark and I are extremely grateful for you two.”

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Wow.  To have friends who are such fantastic people to be around (you know the kind that make you feel better about humanity when you’re with them) who actually value our art as much as we do is nothing short of a priceless gift.  And even better, we get to be a significant part of their wedding!  And this may sound weird, but spending the entire day closely with someone on a day as intensely emotional as their wedding, really forms a special bond that either forms new friendships or enhances current ones… so we couldn’t be happier that Meg and Mark worked so hard to have us be there for that!

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We also have recently made NEW friends through our work with Radiant!  We shot Tracy and Paul’s wedding about a year ago and they called us up last month to come celebrate their anniversary with them in Sedona, AZ and take some pictures of Tracy in her Folklorico outfits (see our previous blog with the photos).  We had the best time with them that weekend (serious, AMAZING fun)!  And every since then, Tracy and I have been chatting on facebook or sending email sometimes 3-5 times a day!  Tracy is involved in the music scene in LA so she’s always updating me on my favorite bands and events I’d be interested in and I enjoy spending hours looking at pictures of thier new dog, Libby, wishing she was mine!  Now we have another photo session scheduled with the 2 of them at the Bel Air Beach club in Santa Monica and we’re planning a little trip to Disneyland together to celebrate her birthday while we’re there!  I can’t even tell you how much it means to us that Tracy and Paul like us and our photos enough to invite us out for a second and third session after their wedding!  It is so cool to get to meet amazing people like them and then to work with them repeatedly just makes life better than I ever thought it would be!  I love relationships that are formed over art!

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Other new relationships we’ve formed through Radiant just in the past month have been with other photographers!  One thing I’ve always loved about the industry is that there’s this movement for photographers to be open with each other and to share their secrets and tricks with each other, rather than being all shady and competitive.  Everyone is super friendly and so good at helping each other out… Chelsea Hudson is no exception to this!  She sent us an email just saying that she’s been seeing our name around and would love to get together with us (how cool is that?! She’s way bolder than me)!  Apparently we’ve supported some of the same non-profit organizations in the past, we live in the same state, we have similar styles, and come to find out later that our common thoughts and interests extend way beyond photography!  She called us later the same day to tell us about a local movie theater that was showing Kite Runner to donate all the proceeds to a humanitarian organization she likes!  Ever since then we’ve been addicted to each others’ internet lives! Commenting on absolutely everything we post on our Facebook pages and blogs (business and personal for both of those outlets), emailing, checking out each others’ work, etc.!  It’s SO fun!  For one she is UNBELIEVABLY creative in her writing!  I can’t get enough of her genuine style and wit!  She’s like the kind of fabulous that demands the word “fabulous” to be covered in bling!  She’s also been so good for me as an artist… someone to relate to me and challenge me (and someone who’s not also my husband).  It’s just what I needed!  My new friendship with her has made me feel different about everything I do with photography!

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And then there’s all of our facebook fans… some are old friends, some family, some newbies to us…. no matter who they are, it is them who make us feel like we have a real community around us.  The support, the comments, the sharing our page with friends… all of it brings tears to my eyes.  People are interacting with EACH OTHER even.  Our page is actually creating relationships!  We recently had two of our brides befriend each other through our page to share wedding tips!  Now THAT is what we want to create through our photography.  We want to help people build, grow, and transform relationships.  To me, that is the whole point of so much of what we do.  We are freezing moments in time for people to treasure… but what value does any of that have without deep relationships? A wedding photo of a couple standing side by side with smiles frozen on their faces, doesn’t hold a candle to a picture of a couple looking deep into each other’s eyes with each holding the other’s face in their hands.  Relationships are TRULY what it’s all about to us.  And by “it” I mean EVERYTHING WE DO.   We do it for love… for community… for deep friendships.  That’s why we have a heart in our logo. Not because we’re cheesy and we work with weddings, but because no matter how hard we tried to create a logo with something more original than a heart, we couldn’t escape it.  It’s what we are.  We do it all for love and it moves us to speechlessness to think that our ideal community is actually, truly being formed around our art.  That’s all we can ask for.

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