Monthly Archives: April 2011

The wonderful Taylor and her wonderful location!

“Um, wow” is all I have to say about both our location and our senior during this shoot.

Well, OK that’s not ALL I have to say… c’mon, you know me better than that by now!  But seriously, both of those two factors were amazing.  It started with the first email I got from Taylor asking for a Radiant senior session.

The thing was, we were getting ready to pack our bags and head to California for the summer, all the while finishing up our busy wedding/senior season, as well as squeezing in last minute family sessions from people who were either realizing it’s about to get hot or that we’re about to leave… all that to say, we were VERY busy when we got Taylor’s email.

We were so busy in fact, that we had decided we weren’t going to be taking on any more Arizona sessions until we got back from California in the fall. Anyone who wanted a session with us before then, was going to have to come to California for it (like we’d have to force anyone to get away from Phoenix in the summer time!)!  And then…I got Taylor’s email.

I looked at Scottie with my pretty pleading, girly, puppy dog face and said, “Scottie I LOVE this girl, can we PLEASE PLEASE pretty please do her session?!”  He sighed before turning to read Taylor’s email over my shoulder.  Half way through the first paragraph, he said, “OK, we’ll do it”.

So what is this magical hold she had over us?  I don’t know, maybe it was her constant complimenting of our talent, or maybe it was the way she used tons of smile faces and lots of great adjectives to get her point across.

Whatever the specific reasons were, the one thing I know is that her personality totally came through her email and I knew right away that I was going to love working with her!  So of course, Scottie and I happily agreed to it.

As soon as we met Taylor in person, all my suspicions about her awesomeness were totally confirmed.

She was sooo fun to work with.  Actually it wasn’t just her, but her mom was super cool herself!  Scottie had to practically drag me away when our session was done because I wanted to hang out with the two of them all night!

Now to the location.  While we were totally sure about Taylor, we weren’t quite as sure about her location choice.

When she mentioned the DC Ranch country club, for some reason “snooze fest” popped into our heads (sorry Taylor, but it’s the truth!).  I don’t know, I guess I pictured a bunch of elderly women sitting around in chairs while their husbands wandered the golf course in plaid shorts.  Just so it’s clear to everyone… this was not at all the case and we were totally wrong!  We loved the place right away!

It was so unique looking with all it’s nooks and cranny’s, beautiful views, creative/detailed architecture, and not to mention it’s absolutely fantastic lighting!  It also helped that we had the whole place to ourselves since it was unusually dead that day.

If you know me at all, you know that I can never get enough of white twinkle lights hanging from trees… and neither can Taylor.  We both loved it so much that we sat around dreaming about the weddings that happen under that tree.

Scottie picked up on our dreamy girl state (he’s good at that), and had to practically snap his fingers in front of our faces to get us de-mesmerized so he could start shooting away at Taylor posing among the object of our affection.

Amazing shots, Scottie!!  Best glowy, happy, glittery, white light photos EVER!  Totally of girl dream land quality.

Taylor, we are so glad we decided to shoot your session because, thanks to you, we couldn’t have enjoyed it more!

You and your mom definitely have to come visit us in Venice this summer… I’m already planning which stores and coffee shops I can take you guys around to so that we can finish that conversation I kept trying to find the time to have in between shots!  See you soon!;-)

Click to see the rest of the wonderful Taylor’s senior session!

Some skill, a little luck, and a guy who’s up for anything… Ted’s senior session.

When I heard that music was Ted’s thing, I knew right away where I wanted to do his session…

….at the music wall!

Ted loved the idea so we met up there one beautiful afternoon and started our little walkabout/photoshoot tour!

I say that because we decided to just wander around the area to see what we’d find. Luckily, there was quite a bit!  Of course you have the awesome old brick walls, but who knew there’d be amazing shadows on it?

And who would’ve guessed the railroad tracks would’ve looked so amazing that day?

Sure, we’ve shot around there before and we kind of knew the area, but there was definitely some level of luck involved in what we found at this location!

And luck was surely on our side that day because we LOVE some of the unique looks we got out of Ted’s session!

We felt like we saw things we’d never seen there before… which is always a great creative bonus.

Thanks to both Ted and his parents for being willing to let us lead them aimlessly on our photoshoot walk!

You guys were so much fun and we really enjoyed your session.  We hope you liked it as well and that you love the pictures even more!

Click to see more of Ted’s awesome senior session!

Jeff and Laura’s wedding: a family affair

A wedding day is an entirely different experience for me (Breanna) when I’ve done each of the following with the groom…

1. Built a fort that in my mind rivaled the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse (though it was really like 2 planks of wood haphazardly nailed together with a dried up Christmas tree as the back wall…obviously it was the best fort ever.)

2. Played and pretended everything from house, restaurant, under water tea party (he was too nice to ever refuse an invitation from me and his little sister), office, cops and robbers, mermaids (don’t worry, I’m sure he was a “merman” or a crab or something), school, and over 1,000 rounds of Marco Polo and TV tag.

3. Created, directed, designed, and performed- in front of an audience- a full rendition of the Nutcracker Suite (costumes and everything) though none of the participants involved knew anything about ballet.  If I remember correctly, we did a great job of skipping, rolling, crawling on all fours, and sword fighting, all with pajamas and capes on…. you know, typical ballet stuff. We have a video of it somewhere, though I believe my dad got bored and turned the camera off after the first 10 minutes.

So as you probably can tell by now, Jeff and I grew up together.

He’s my 1st cousin and 3rd brother.  Meaning, he was my cousin who was around enough that he was like another brother of mine.  Oh and in case you were wondering whatever became of our fire hazard fort, the next generation of kids in our family somehow convinced everyone that a rotting Christmas tree wasn’t good enough for their fort and were able to enlist adult help (including my carpentery master of a husband) to make a full on real tree house! Kids these days… so spoiled!!  Since when is a molding fort with a bee hive next door not a good place for kids to play?!

As you can see, Jeff and I had a ton of fun growing up together.  The coolest part of this whole story is that Laura is way more fun than Jeff.

Just kidding, but they are at least even!  So now, the fun continues as we live our adult lives!  We’ve already made Laura perform in front of audience when we put on a family dance party one night to teach the next generation of kids how it’s done… and she totally stole the show!

She plays dress up really well too… if you haven’t seen their AH-MAAAAAZING retro airplane engagement session, you HAVE to check it out, she looks incredible (you do too, Jeff!)!!  I haven’t gotten to invite her to an underwater tea party yet, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it will happen one day.  In other words, she fits right in with our family!

I’m totally serious about that.  I love Laura and I was so so so happy when Jeff called to tell me he was going to marry her and make her stick around with us!

Due to their fun loving spirits, Jeff and Laura had only one condition to us being their wedding photographers… we weren’t allowed to do it if we couldn’t have fun while doing it!

It was really important to them that we enjoyed their wedding and didn’t view it as work.  Scottie and I both knew that we would enjoy the wedding more if we were shooting it… but we’ve also really missed getting to be a part of the celebration rather than just onlookers.  So our solution was that Scottie and I would shoot everything  that happened before the reception…

…and at that point, we’d turn over the photography responsibilities to other photographers we hired while we partied it up as guests!

So that’s exactly what we did!  In other words, all the awesome reception photos you see here- like the one above and below- are not ones either Scottie or I can take credit for!

Scottie and I love shooting weddings for people we already know well because it’s so fun feeling like we’re such a part of something so huge in the lives of people we care about.  It’s also so fun hanging out in the getting ready rooms with our friends!

Not to mention, it’s nice to be working with a couple who’s so comfortable with us.

It’s just fun all around!

So true to our word, Scottie and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves during the reveal moment…

(Ha ha, we could see both of them, but they weren’t allowed to see each other yet!).

…posed photo time…

…at the ceremony…

…and throughout everything in between!


Then we lifted all the responsibility from our own shoulders and passed it to Josh and Kelley Johnson while Scottie and I hit the dance floor!

(Look it’s us! We’re actually dancing at a wedding AND in a photo!!!).

Josh and Kelley are another married photography team in the Phoenix area (who also happen to be freaking cool people!!) and we’ve been semi/sort of mentoring for awhile now.  When we came up with the idea to have someone else shoot the reception, we immediately knew that Josh and Kelley were the people for the job!  And they did not disappoint!

They both have a phenomenal artistic eye, they excel at capturing real emotion, and they are hyper aware of everything going on around them at all times so they’re ready with less than a moment’s notice to catch anything that happens in front of their cameras!

This is not the only Radiant wedding that Josh and Kelley will be in on, so stay tuned for more from them in the future!

As you can see, Jeff and Laura’s wedding was amazing from beginning to end!  It was a fabulous day, everything went smoothly and there was just an overall feeling of joy in the air.

It couldn’t have been better.

Congratulations Jeff and Laura, I’m so glad the day was so great for the two of you and I’m so excited to have one of the coolest girls around as the new addition to our family.

(Another amazing Josh and Kelley creation… do you know how hard it is to get a good sparkler picture?!  Awesome job guys!).

Click to see the rest of the photos from Jeff and Laura’s wedding.

Mac and Amy’s wedding: a historical tour of Phoenix with mad style!

I have to admit that during our first meeting with Amy and Mac all we really heard was “The Icehouse”.  Sorry, guys… we thought you guys were cool too, but the word “Icehouse” just seemed to echo in our brains for a long time afterwards!;-)

We were so excited because we’d shot there once before and have been itching to do it again ever since!

I’m sure you can see why!

If the Icehouse sounds like a weird name for a wedding venue, it’s because it’s only recently begun to be used for weddings… it’s actually the place where they manufactured ice in 1910 to ship produce on railroads.  After that time, it was used for the police to store crime evidence (crazy huh?!). In the 90′s a couple of artists bought it and now it’s used for all kinds of events… including weddings like this one!

Needless to say, it definitely has some history to it!  And as you can see by the pictures… it’s sooooo cool too!

(The Groomsmen were psyched about their gambling picture!)

(Like us on Facebook to tag yourself in some of the photos).

Let me back up a bit and tell the story from the beginning.  The day began at the hotel everyone was staying, Hotel San Carlos, which is another historical building  in downtown Phoenix (this wedding was like a regular old history channel special!) that was opened in 1928.

It was the first air conditioned, high rise hotel in Phoenix.  If you’re an Arizona history buff (and don’t already know all this) there is plenty more for you to read up on and the info on their site is pretty interesting.

Oh and by the way, apparently this hotel is haunted!  One final fact about Hotel San Carlos that is particularly relevant to Mac and Amy’s story is that it was the first high rise hotel in Arizona to have elevators.  And Mac knew just how to take advantage of these elevators.  He wanted to see his beautiful bride for the first time as the doors slid open… and it worked out perfectly.

(They wanted their bridal party around for the reveal moment to cheer them on.  I like how you can see the bridesmaids swooning in the background!).

(They exchanged gifts during their reveal moment.  Amy gave Mac this pocket watch and he gave her diamond earrings. Both gifts were a hit!).

(Two of my- Breanna’s- favorite ring pictures of all time!).

After spending some time shooting at the hotel (and the bar next door to it as you can see in the picture below)…

…we loaded up on Ollie the Trolley (yes, that really is the name of it!) to drive around downtown Phoenix for some photo opps.

Of course, the first stop we made on our historical tour around Phoenix was at the gas station to get some beer for the road.

It was soon time to head over to the Icehouse for the main event of the day… the wedding.

Mac and Amy’s ceremony was positively stunning.

With the old bricks, wide open ceiling, and the many little touches they both made to the look and feel of the place… the beauty was just unreal and definitely unique!

After their ceremony of perfection, a little time for celebrating…

…and a little more time for photos around their amazing venue….

…the doors to the reception area were opened and you could almost hear an audible gasp from the guests by what they saw.  In standard Icehouse wedding tradition, there was a huge warehouse looking room that was contrasted beautifully with all kinds of stunning details.

The biggest difference between Mac and Amy’s wedding and a typical wedding at the Icehouse is that Mac and Amy handmade and customized so many little details.

They spent lots of time setting up the lights to fit the room perfectly. The manzanita trees that you saw at their ceremony and also behind their head table, were all hand picked (from nature, not a nursery) and potted by them, and well…. I could go on and on about all the amazing details there.  You’ll just have to see them all in the pictures!

Riette, who works with Downtown Phoenix Venues, is the go to person for all the events that happen in many of the cool venues around that area, did an amazing job setting up all those little details and enabling the entire look to come together just right!  Props to Riette and her team for making Amy and Mac’s vision come to life!

Oh and one more thing about the details of the day that I can’t forget to mention… Mac and Amy were each in charge of a cake. Amy handled the groom’s cake and did an excellent job having it done in full Ohio State fashion (The Buckeyes were a constant theme throughout this wedding… even Amy’s garter had their logo on it!).  Mac took care of the actual wedding cake and rumor has it, he made it himself!!!

Seriously, that is amazing, isn’t it?!

I don’t think this wedding could’ve been any more perfect for Mac and Amy.

(More bridesmaid swooning).

They put so much of themselves into it and the results were so worth the time and energy!  Everything was beautiful…

…including the bride herself of course…

…their party was amazing…

…and they were just so SO happy throughout it all!

Mac and Amy, the best of luck to you both.  Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this and for doing such a good job planning everything and giving us great material to work with! :-)  Congrats!

Click to see the rest of Mac and Amy’s downtown wedding photos.