I have to say that as Scottie and I have been thinking about Radiant lately, we’ve been getting more than just a little excited. We are incredibly happy with where we are and where we think we’re going so we just want to take a moment to bask in that relief/excitement… ahhh. We also have been so overwhelmed with the sheer volume of people who have been coming out of the wood works to show us a ridiculous amount of love and support. As overused as this phrase is “we wouldn’t have made it here without them”, it is undeniably the truth. I think there are plenty of people who have done so much and have no idea how much they’ve changed our lives and then there are others who have done things that may seem very insignificant to them, but have been a big deal to us. Since we’re never going to give an acceptance speech for a Grammy or design an album cover for a CD, it’s unlikely that we’ll have the opportunity to publicly thank the people who so dearly deserve it. So we’re taking this opportunity to do just that. I am so afraid to put individual names in here because it is inevitable I will forget some since I’ve only been planning this blog for a few hours rather than a few years and my memory is not always the best. But I do want to use names because I do really want to honor the individuals who deserve it. So forgive me if I forget your name, it’s not because I don’t value you, it’s just because I’m not quite as smart as I wish I was! I do want to warn you that if we were doing this as an acceptance speech, it’s long enough that they would start playing the music to get us off the stage in the first half of it… so no hard feelings if you just want to scan for your name and move on, we know you have a life to get back to.
Just for the sake of being unconventional and keeping you on your toes, we’re NOT going to start by thanking God, our family, or our best friends. We want to start with thanking some very specific couples who chose Radiant Photography to shoot their wedding in the past and then have been some of our biggest supporters, referrers, encouragers, Facebook commenters, and are at this point our good friends. These are the people who have made us realize that we really are doing something valuable with our time and our lives when we invest in the memories they have from the most significant points in their lives. They value and cherish every single second we’ve spent pouring over their wedding photos and they deem our creative touch as worthy enough to want all their friends to have the same experience they’ve had with us! These are the people who have gone way out of their way to say more than just “thank you”, but who have told us (though maybe not in these exact words) “we want to devote our time and energy into helping and supporting you because we love who you are and what you do for people”. So thank you with all our hearts to:
Tracy & Paul
Wes & Moriah (and the rest of their family)
Krystal & Dave
Julie & Andrew
Emily & Mike
Katie & Lawrence
We would’ve quit a long time ago if all of you weren’t in our lives.
So since all of those people I just listed are our friends now, I guess I’ll move on to friends! We have such amazing friends that I have the same things to say about them as I do about family so I’ll combine the two! These are the people who listen to all the complaints, work around our over busy schedules, suffer through our short fuses that come with too much stress, and most of all… celebrate our success with us. We try to focus on the good whenever we get the chance and thankfully, we have an amazing family who really does care to hear about that. Every once in awhile we get really really excited about the things going on with Radiant and we get the urge to share. Luckily our family gets excited with us and lets us be honest about our successes without thinking we’re just full of ourselves! I call my mom on a regular basis and say “OK I’m going to brag for a bit, because I know you and dad are probably the only people who brag about me more than I do about myself so I’ll give you some material”. So thank you from the bottom of our little photographer hearts for listening to both the bad and good, reading our success story emails, proof reading boring stuff for us, lending us things, storing things (props to my mom and dad for letting us fill up their garage), and taking the time to look through the many links to photos we send you. Thank you for choosing to care about the things we care about because you love us. Our relationships to all of you guys are the highlight of our lives. In fact, we should probably be sending success stories about our relationships with you all to everyone else, instead of sending success stories about our business to you! :-) Thank you to both sets of our parents and grandparents… we could never even begin say enough to thank you… there truly are not enough words in the world to explain (so we’ll spare our readers their time and leave it at that!). Thanks to the rest of our family: aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins (especially to Jeff, Amy, Bethany, and Kelly for your excitement about Radiant). Thanks to our friends: Erik & Chelsea, Amanda, Sharon & Pat, Jay & Chelsea, Sandy, Mark & Meg, Chuck & Toni, Molly & Ryan, and Tim & Liz. You guys are all UNBELIEVABLE and we hope to learn how to be as good of friends to all of you as you have been to us!
Here are some pics of our family playing around in our photobooth at Christmas…
(My cousin Bethany and me!)
(Bethany’s husband Brandon, Scottie, and my cousin Jeff)
(Cousin Jeff, Brandon, Cousin Ashley, my brother Ross, and Scottie)
(My cousin Amy and her daughter Tatum… I love any pics of the two of them playing together like this!)
(Best pic of my aunt Gaylene ever!)
(My mom Kathy, my nephew Jimmy, and me)
This next group are the people who might be the most surprised to be included because many of them have no idea what a great impact they’ve had on our work and on our spirits as we’ve pushed through day to day struggles with our company. These people are other photographers who have in one way or another encouraged us, helped us, lent us things, taught us things… and done so many other things for us both big and small that have helped us get to where we are. Since these people may unsure as to exactly what they’ve done to help us, I’m going to explain a little bit about each one. Chelsea Hudson… you have become such an amazing, wonderful friend to us and it is SO good to have someone we know and trust to talk business with or just to relate to on normal life issues. Thank you for your immediate acceptance of us as friends and for teaching us how to have great relationships without the sting of competition! Jefferson Todd (the photographer who shot OUR wedding)… thank you for spending time with us and helping us figure out the ropes when we were newbies. You saved us so much pain and work (and tax penalties!) by allowing us to learn from your experience instead of having to learn the hard way. Thanks for caring enough to get involved. Becca Knight (from Studio 222)…. I know you may not think you’ve done much for us, but we want to assure you that you have! You were the first photography that we truly admired who began commenting on our blog. You made us feel “big time” even if it was just an illusion ;-) and we would get so excited every time you sat down to read our blog and comment. It was a big encouragement that someone who is as talented and cool as you are, really liked our work and our blog! Thanks for taking the time, we hope we’ll make it down to Florida and get to meet you one of these days! While I’m at it… thank you to ALL the photographers who comment on our blog. It’s a huge compliment to hear from others in the industry who are fans of our work. And as I’m sure you know well, we all have days where we just need that ego boost!! I feel weird thanking a messaging board, and maybe it’s lame but I don’t care because it’s absolutely necessary if this list is to be complete because really, we learned most of what we know about photography and the business from Open Source Photo. So thanks to David Jay and all those great working minds behind it that have brought us to where we are. Without OSP, we’d just be 2 people who liked looking at pictures a lot during our rare spare time between our 9 to 5 jobs that we hated. And most of all, we want to thank Tim and Shauna (from Visionyard Studios)… all of this started with them. Thank you guys for all the time spent working with us, helping us, critiquing us, and pushing us to be our best. And also thank you a million times over for all the laughs and the unforgettable moments. We never would’ve considered photography as a career and we never would have succeeded in making it one if it wasn’t for the fact that we got to start it all off with people we love so much.
(This is us with Jefferson Todd at our wedding!)
(This is Tim and Shauna with Visionyard. You have to just imagine Tim smiling… because he usually is! Ha ha).
And I’m not done yet!! We have a lot of other vendors who refer us to brides and who encourage us regularly as well (can you tell yet, that we REALLY value encouragement?!). Some of these people have worked with literally hundreds of photographers and have decided that we are one of their favorites. These people put their neck on the line every time they tell a bride to give us a call because it is a huge step of faith to recommend another company. If we mess up in any way… the reputation of the person who refers us gets damaged. So THANK YOU to all of our vendors who trust enough to put their reputations and the work they do on weddings into our hands to take care of. We are forever mindful that you are such a major part of our success and as a result, we are forever grateful to you for that. Thank you to:
Carrie (at Stonecreek Golf Club… see her on our blog)
Dawn (at Ancala Country Club… see her on our blog)
Nic and Gina (at Eagle Mountain Golf Club… see them on our blog)
April (at Arizona Golf Resort… see her on our blog)
Sue (with Suzan M. Flowers… see her on our blog)
Molly (with A Simple Touch Wedding Decor… see her on our blog)
And also Margie (with Party Presentations) as well as Sandy (with In Awe Weddings and Events). Thank you all for your badge of approval… we wear it proudly!
The people who put the most confidence in us are the actually couples who choose us for this oh so important task! I definitely have to thank all our brides who have put faith in us and trusted us with something that is so unbelievably valuable to them. Our couples have worked with us through all sorts of circumstances and they see us go through a gamete of emotions on the wedding day… and they still love us through it all! Thank you… all of you… for being so fantastic to work with. We really have yet to have a couple that we haven’t felt some sort of connection with. We’ve definitely been blessed beyond belief that you all have treated us so kindly and have always had nothing but grace, compassion, and encouragement to extend to us. You are ALL wonderful and we truly mean that with everything in us (from the top of our heads to the bottom of our tippy toes).
There’s no way to thank God without it being cheesy enough that everyone reading will roll their eyes (definitely overdone) but let me just say that I wrote a list in my journal when we first started Radiant of 50 HUGE things that worked out just perfectly, at the exact right time, fitting together in the most opportune way, that can’t be explained, that affected the functioning of the universe… all that made Radiant possible. Radiant is nothing short of a miracle, so thanks God.
And as any good award acceptance speech would say… “I’d like to thank our fans”. But to break the mold just a little bit I’ll say, “I’d like to thank our FACEBOOK fans” as well as our loyal blog readers. Your comments make our world go round. And in true Facebook fashion, I’ll keep my comments about you short and sweet… but very deeply meant.
I also want to thank Bearhug for letting us use their SWEEEEET music on our website. We looked the whole wide world over for the perfect sound for our site and we were positively elated when we found it (especially since they’re right here in good ‘ole AZ), but even more so when they actually said we could use it!!!! Help us repay the favor and fan them on Facebook!
If you made it all the way to the bottom, be sure to put a little smiley face as a comment before you leave just as a badge of honor that shows you made it all the way through our long-windedness, that way we can be sure to thank YOU for your patience next time!
Scottie & Breanna Chanson