Monthly Archives: May 2010

Nicole, Kevin, some photos, and more than a few pine trees

It’s no secret that Phoenix gets quite scorching in the summer time.  Being that it’s May, we’re on our way to meltdown.  The only reason many of us Phoenicians can stand it the way we do is because just a couple of hours away there are several BEE-AAutiful forests that come complete with fresh air and a cool breeze!

So when planning their engagement session, it makes perfect sense that Nicole and Kevins thoughts wandered over to that cooler weather.

It fits even better when you know that Kevin used to live and work up there as a firefighter (pine trees + dry weather = lots of fires).

So we headed up to the place he used to call home to get a couple of shots of them with happy smiles adorning their faces, rather than tears mixed with sweat, which is what we would’ve gotten had we stayed in Phoenix for the session!

You never know what you’re going to get when you spend time in Payson.

This time we found an old truck that wasn’t quite abandoned, but lonely enough that we felt OK using it as a prop for a couple of shots!

We also stumbled upon this random dog!

No, not really, this is Nicole and Kevin’s dog whom they love dearly!

While in Payson we also found some cliffs…

…cows…

… and of course plenty of wide open spaces…… that lend themselves to some great shots of the sky overhead!

Thank you to Nicole and Kevin for giving us a good excuse to escape the heat for the day (rather than making us work out in it!).

And thank you to their dog who did a great job with the “sit” and “stay” commands.

We had a great day hanging out with the 3 of you and we hope you love your pictures as much as we do!

Click to see the rest of these Payson AZ engagement photos!

Molly & John’s “Playing in the Park” engagement pics

Have you ever tried to work with people who are so fun that you’re afraid you’re never going to get anything done?  We were a little bit worried about that with Molly and John!

I can’t believe we’ve ever been able to pull ourselves away from them because every time we’re together we have so much fun!

As it turns out, having people who like to spend as much time in their lives playing around as they do, is a great thing for a photo session!

We were definitely able to capture the play time!

(They desperately wanted to do a cheesy prom pose.  I think we got it)!

Which is great because we’re quite content with people that look nothing but happy (and really, really ridiculously good looking of course) in their pics!  Let me just say right now that there are no limits to how many Zoolander quotes a photographer can use.

Not wanting to leave her out of the fun, Molly and John brought their cute little dog, Wrigley, to the session as well! Who was very well behaved I might add!

As you probably already know, most of us girls dream about our weddings (and now engagement pictures) from the time we’re little. In the midst of those fantasies, the word “love” tends to pop up a lot! 

So of course when Molly saw this statue in some engagement pics awhile back, she decided it was a must for her photos!

We wanted to make sure to keep these photos unique from others you see from that area, so we did our best to shoot the statue from different angles than most do (in other words we decided not to have them climb to the top of the “o”… it’s a little scary anyways!).

While we were in the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza (which is overpopulated with photographers) we decided to search for some new areas to once again, make sure this shoot stood out from the others taken around there.

(I’ve definitely never seen a pic like this from a Civic Center engagement session before!  It’s not really what one might call “romantic”!)

(And most people don’t make it down to what we called “bum alley”! I know it doesn’t look like a bum alley, but that’s ’cause Scottsdale bums are much cleaner than others.)

John and Molly told us that they love both beautiful views and hiking.

Lucky for them, we live in Phoenix where there are mountains galore right in the middle of the city!  So we headed on over to Camelback in hopes of stumbling upon a beautiful sunset. And we found it!

Thank you so much Molly and John for not being afraid of being yourselves in front of the camera and for making sure we had a great time during our “work day”.  And thanks for being adventurous explorers who were willing to wander into the depths of downtown Scottsdale with us (I know, it’s so terrifying isn’t it?!).  We’re looking forward to seeing what other “wig shop” type of shots we’re going to get on your wedding day!

Click to see the rest of Molly and John’s downtown Scottsdale engagement session.

Chris and Jillian’s night on the town… and engagement session!

I can’t even begin to describe how much I love, LOVE this session!

Chris and Jillian took us seriously when we told them we really wanted to do something creative with their engagement session.

Jillian is hooked on all kinds of bridal blogs and she’s seen a lifetime’s worth of engagement sessions since she’s been engaged. When you’ve been looking at that many sessions, it becomes very difficult to think up something you haven’t seen before (or 10 times before even)!

Jillian had been seeing a lot of bohemian type of sessions out in natural looking fields so she went rebel (as I sense is her natural bent anyways) and did the opposite.  A fancy night out on the town was their final decision.

We were a little nervous at first because we’ve never done 90% of a session in the dark, outdoors.  Even weddings usually have some day light before the reception.  Not to mention at a wedding, we can set up some lighting equipment since our location is a little more permanent than it is when we’re wandering the streets, following people around on an engagement session.

Lucky me though, I happen to be married to a lighting master!  I joke with Scottie at least once a week about how he’s a lighting guru.  So this session was his time to shine!

Armed with a MacGyver (I’d say McGruber but he always blows himself up) type of set up including umbrellas, rubber bands, and a human light stand (that would be me), Scottie had a recipe for success!  And succeed he did!

Although I’m really loving this Urban Outfitters-esque photo I took during the same time period…

Chris and Jillian met at Rula Bula on Mill and they had their first kiss there too!  So we headed over there to reenact their first meeting…

…and their first kiss…

… on location!

We kept telling Chris and Jillian that the more creative they got with their session, the more creative they push us to be (which is one reason we hopped on the lightrail)!

And the more you challenge our norms, the more likely you are to see us have a break through and find something new that we’ve never tried before!  And that’s exactly what happened!

(As proof of what I just said, this is one of my favorite pics that I, Breanna, have ever taken!)

(Oh while I’m at it, I’ll keep bragging and show you a few more of my favorites of all time that I’ve taken… since so many of them happen to be from this session!)

So take note that if you show up to a session with us and we look a little nervous… it’s probably a good sign!

And if we show up to your session and see you wearing cool Ray Bans like these, we’ll know it’s a good sign as well!

Thanks Jillian and Chris, I don’t know what to say other than you guys rock. Period.

Click to see the rest of Chris and Jillian’s freaking cool engagement session!

Lots of laughs at Dave and Sarah’s engagement session

When you live with someone you get to know them REALLY well.  Well enough to know how crazy they’re willing to get in a photo session.

So when Scottie’s old roommate Dave, called us to shoot pics of his wedding for him and his soon to be wife, Sarah, we were psyched (do people still say “psyched”?  Oh my gosh I feel like I’m turning 90 tomorrow)!

Not only were we excited to get to work with a friend and meet this girl who’s special enough to be “the one” but we were also excited because we knew we’d have a blast together on picture day!

Knowing that Dave is a ridiculously fun guy, we weren’t going to let him escape with standard “smile at the camera” type of pictures… we decided to force him to show his true colors in his pictures!

Dave has done quite a bit of acting in his day and he has some great faces that he’s perfected for his craft.  We asked him to give us a special performance that included a couple of special faces.  He obliged and he even let us take pictures of the faces! The one I’m going to show here is the face he used to give when rude customers approached him while he worked in a fancy retail chain.

(I really like Sarah’s face in this pic too! ha ha!)

True story!  He would actually make this face at snotty old ladies and they would quickly decide they could figure it out on their own!  (He gave me permission to share that story by the way!).

Turns out… Dave is not the only one who likes to laugh….Sarah is just as fun!

(We always joke about people riding the mountain lion, but not many people actually do it!)

So we worked to capture her craziness right alongside his in these photos!

(This was her spinning her way into a kiss… so cute!)

Okay, okay, I’m sure their families will want to see at least a couple normal pictures of them!

And at this point, Dave and Sarah might be at their max of embarrassment and are ready to see some “lookin’ good with a capital G” kind of shots as well!

They do have other fantastic qualities aside from being so much fun… we just decided to focus the most of the fun part since that works well for pictures!  So here are a few other sides to them…

….here they are smiling big as the happy couple…

… here they are being in love…

… and of course, here are a few more of them having fun together as they so often do! (OK, so they have even more sides to their personalities than that!  But you’ll just have to check out the rest of the photos to see some of those!).

Thank you Dave and Sarah for being such fun loving, happy people who also happen to look great in pictures!

We are so SO very glad we get to work with friends (by the way Sarah we love you and are so happy you’re marrying Dave!) and we can’t wait to live it up and have a great time while snapping away at your wedding!

Congratulations to you both on finding each other!!!

Click to see the rest of the photos from this Scottsdale, AZ engagement session!

Play time at Brenna and Nate’s engagement session

As soon as I found out that my friend, Leeann had been the one who told Brenna and Nate about Radiant, I was ready to shoot their wedding!  Anyone who’s friends with Leeann has to be cool!

Then when Brenna and Nate told us they wanted to ride around on their beach cruisers for the engagement session, our suspicions about their coolness were confirmed!

So we went over to Tempe Town Lake for a nice cloudy morning bike ride/photo session.

It seriously was the perfect day for that kind of session.  It felt more like San Diego rather that Phoenix, so we all just relaxed and pretended that we were on vacation (or at least I did… maybe everyone else likes to live in reality more than I do)!

(I call this the “yay, we’re on a pretend vacation!!” pose).


It didn’t take us very long to figure out that these 2 were very much at ease in front of the camera.

Nate’s had enough band pictures taken to know how to do the tough guy stance (not quite angry, and just enough cool) and Brenna has done her fill of acting/modeling to know how to do things like stare off into the distance without looking like she’s gone into a trance.

All I had to say to Brenna were things like “do that one thing where you look like a super tall runway model who just threw her back out” or “look like you’re day dreaming in a world where dogs can talk” and BAM she’d pop into position!

OK, maybe I didn’t say those things exactly, but I did feel like they were that random and she still knew what I meant right away!

(By the way, check out Nate’s band, Seconds to Breathe… they’re good enough to share a stage with Incubus so they’re good enough for me!).

Once they got on a roll, we pretty much stopped even attempting to pose them!

(This pose is a Brenna and Nate original)!

It was around that time that we realized that we were just beginning to see the REAL Nate and Brenna coming out!

We loved it so much, that we decided to keep on shooting even once we had plenty of pictures because we didn’t want to miss a minute of their craziness!

Seriously, I felt like I couldn’t even take my finger off the trigger for an instant or I’d miss something like this!

Brenna and Nate, thank you SO much for planning a fun engagement session and for being willing to be yourselves and have fun throughout it!  We really did feel like we were on vacation instead of working!  We can’t wait to come enjoy ourselves (with our cameras ready at all times of course) at your wedding!

Click here to see the rest of Brenna and Nate’s super fun engagement session!