Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Radiant team is growing… meet our newest photographers!

Kids grow up so fast these days! We know this to be true now that we’ve watched our little baby, Radiant, double in size over the past couple of years!  We’ve gone from a brand new company, to a fully booked wedding calendar, to destination wedding photographers, to having too much work to handle, to our newest announcement…. Radiant Photography is adding on a second team of photographers!  Josh and Kelley Johnson are now officially a part of Radiant!!!

I KNOW!!!  It’s a big deal and for us it’s a dream come true!  I’m not kidding when I said we’ve had more work than we can handle.  We’ve been on overload since day one of Radiant and while we’ve loved the ride, we are also excited to bring in some help to handle all this goodness!

So what does this mean for you? Well maybe not all that much, but hey, you can be excited for us right?!  For our fans, it basically means that you’ll eventually have twice the amount of photos coming your way and that we’ll need twice the amount of love from you so we can all spread it around amongst ourselves!

And if you are a future bride or groom who couldn’t quite afford Radiant in the past, it means a glimmer of hope for you!  Josh and Kelley have not only learned from us through their constant Radiant stalking, but also through the actual training we’ve given them, so their style is quite similar to ours. The biggest difference between us and them is that we have been doing this whole photography thing longer so our experience brings in a higher price for us.  So basically, Josh and Kelley are going to give you fantabulous photography for a steal!  Book them soon before they get TOO MUCH experience and become high rollers themselves… it won’t be long the way they’re going!

Enough about the logistics, lets talk about the people!  We’ve shown you a little bit of their work when they helped us out with Jeff & Laura’s and Dash & Morgan’s weddings.  Now you get to hear a little more about Josh and Kelley… interview style!

Breanna:  I’ve heard the jokes about how young you guys look… so how old are you REALLY?!

Josh: I’m 25.

Kelley: And I’m 23.


B: So NOT 17, right?

Josh and Kelley: (just laugh and shake their heads).



B: So where are you guys from?

Josh: I’m from Silex, Missouri, a tiny speck on the map about an hour north of St. Louis.

Kelley: I’m from Monroe, Washington, a small town about an hour north of Seattle.


B: Tell me a little about your professional lives outside of photography.

Josh: I’m currently a freelance graphic designer and the editor of Design Shack, a website devoted to teaching and discussing web design. I also write regularly for PhotoTuts, a popular photography tutorial site.

Kelley: Before deciding to pursue photography professionally, I was a fourth grade teacher.


B: Just so we’re clear on that everyone, Josh is already an expert in the photography world, OK?!  Just believe everything he says from now on and that will save us all some time. Oh and Kelley is a rockstar.  She put aside all her fears and quit her full time job to jump into photography full force.  See, I told you… rockstar.

B: Do you guys like, care about stuff and stuff?

Josh: We both love music. In fact, when we’re not working, we’re volunteering in the worship band at the church we’ve attended for a number of years. I play guitar and Kelley sings.

 

B: How did you guys meet?

Kelley: I became close friends with Josh’s cousin Jessica while in high school. I even stayed with their family for a little while. Josh worked with Jessica’s dad and was always hanging around the house where I was staying. One year for Christmas we all took a road trip to Missouri to visit Josh and Jessica’s family. A couple of twenty-five hour car rides can help two people become quite close! We have been together ever since.


B: So how long as that been?

Josh: We just celebrated our four year wedding anniversary.


B: And about that… tell us a little about YOUR wedding!

Kelley: The best part about our wedding was the “hair in the wind” glamor shots that were taken during a sand storm that hit right at picture time (hooray for desert weddings)! I am pretty sure there is still sand in my wedding dress.

Josh: It seems like the whole day went by so fast.  We were so excited to be married that we almost forgot about everything else that was happening that day.  Being from almost opposite sides of the U.S. and having our wedding in Phoenix, it was one of the first and only times that most of our friends and family were all in the same place.  So if we could do it again, I think we would try to take in every moment and really enjoy celebrating and having fun with all of our friends and family.



B: If the photos were the best part of your day, I’m assuming your photographer was pretty good!

Josh: My aunt and uncle are photographers so they shot our wedding as well as helped out with just about every other aspect of the day.


B: Did they play a part in you becoming a photographer?

Josh: Yes! They’ve always been a huge inspiration to me and are the reason I became a graphic designer and a photographer! My uncle taught me a lot about how cameras work and let me borrow his equipment.  I’ve always been fascinated by quality photography and instantly fell in love not only with the art but the technical aspects as well. I’m a complete nerd so the realization that photography was such a deep subject with so much to learn was a pleasant one for me.

Kelley: I’ve always loved photography and knew that there was something in it for me. Sadly, whenever I would take a step towards learning more about photography it seemed that there was always a more “realistic” option that I should take.  When it came down to it, being a photographer seemed like fun, and as far as I knew grown-ups should have real jobs, not fun ones.  So, while I considered studying photography while in college, I ultimately decided to pursue a profession in education instead. Throughout that time I always had a camera in my hand and enjoyed capturing important moments throughout our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Various recent opportunities have allowed me to pursue my dream job!  It seems I am living the dream. I get a real job and it is fun!

B: Rockstar.  I’m glad you got over that whole “being a real grown up with a real job thing”… it’s totally a myth.



B: How would you describe your photography style? Aside from “almost as cool as Scottie and Breanna’s” of course!;-)

Kelley: Intimate, but fun and upbeat. We want to get to know the people we work with because that relationship and level of comfort translates so well to the camera, especially if we can get them to relax and just have a great time!

B: Awesome.  I love hearing you guys talk about developing great relationship with your clients… showing love to the people we work with is what we’ve built Radiant on.  It just makes me excited to hear someone else talking about it too!  Especially when that someone is working with Radiant!

B: Bragging time.  What are your special photography ninja skillz?

Josh: We each have skills that really seem to perfectly complement each other. I am into all of the technical jargon and theory, Scottie and I can talk about photography equipment, settings, and light rigs for hours.

Kelley: I lean a little more away from the techy side and much more towards the artistic side.

Josh: I can spend five minutes thinking through and planning the perfect shot but I know Kelley is going to walk up and instantly take an amazing (and often better) photo without a second thought!

B: It’s a little freaky how I sometimes feel like we’re looking in a mirror when we talk to you guys. *Ahem* artists rule, geeks drool! *Ahem*


 

B: What are you guys focusing on when you’re at a wedding?

Kelley: We are both very keen on capturing those little moments that no one else sees. A groom whispering into his bride’s ear, the flower girl spinning her dress when her mom isn’t looking, the groomsmen horsing around; these little pieces of reality help define the day much better than the standard posed photos that follow.

Josh: Weddings are emotional roller coasters for the participants and when you look at our photos we want you to feel what the people were feeling at that time.

B: FYI everyone, this is the stuff that Josh and Kelley are AMAZING at!!!!  They’ve capture stuff at weddings that I didn’t even see happening… despite the fact that I was standing right next to them the entire time!


B: So why did you guys choose Radiant?

Josh: The ever-expanding portfolio of work from Radiant speaks for itself. I’ve always been a fan of good photography and Radiant was hands down the best local photography team I could find.

Kelley: We were huge fans of Radiant long before we were offered a position with them and continue to have a lot of respect for what Scottie and Breanna have built. We couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to be joining the team.

B: What are you the most excited about?

Josh: Honestly, the best part so far has just been working with and getting to know Scottie and Breanna. We’ve really only known each other for a short time but have become fast friends. Kelley and I have thoroughly enjoyed learning from them and just hanging out!

 

B: And the feeling is mutual.


Click to see some of Josh and Kelley’s recent favorite work… and then like our Facebook page to follow along with where this new path takes us all!

Some links that might be helpful: https://sleeklens.com/product/the-starter-pack-lightroom-presets/https://thatsweetgift.com/photo-studio-support-kit/

 

Dash and Morgan’s “Best of the Best” Wedding

There is only one way I could even consider describing Dash and Morgan’s wedding and that is to say that it was “the best of the best”.

I mean that whole heartedly in every single way.  All that was involved fit this description…from the decorations, to their friends and family, to the vendors (if I do say so myself!), to the actual party.

Every single part of this wedding was exceptional in every single way.  Let me see if I can even begin to describe the majestic awesomeness that was this wedding!

So lets just start with the obvious… it was freaking beautiful, okay?!

The details…

… the ceremony…

(You can’t beat a ring bearer running full speed down the aisle towards his mom!).

(I love how Dash is looking at his mom in this picture!).

… the location…

(Pictured above is part of the cocktail hour set up… and also a showcase of future purchases I plan on making for my home. Consider this photo my Christmas list.).


… and OF COURSE, the bride!

I mean, just look, look, look at Morgan’s dress!!!

I (Breanna) got so excited when I saw it that I might have peed myself a little.  Layers and layers of elegant fabric, flowers, ruffles, and cream colored accents…. this is the stuff that girly dreamland fantasies are made of!

I felt like I was 5 years old again and seeing Cinderella at Disneyland for the first time-  I almost fainted out of girly overload every time that fabric swished and twirled around her.

(The accessories to go with the dress).

Of course the dress was just like one in a million of the beautiful details at the wedding.  I can’t even begin to describe all that was there that day, you really need to go look at the entire collection of photos from the day to get the full affect.

Remember the “best of the best” phrase?  Well not only does it describe the look of all the beautiful details there that day, but also the quality of the hard workers that made those things happen.

I have to start off by mentioning that we were so excited to have Josh and Kelley Johnson be a part of photographing this wedding with us!

(I can’t get enough of this pic that Josh and Kelley took, it looks like heaven for stemware!).

You might remember that they helped out on my cousin’s wedding so we could chill for the reception with my family, and now they are back for round two with Radiant on this wedding!

(Remind me to ask Josh and Kelley next time I see them if they have magical powers.  How else could they get photos this amazing?!).

They helped turn Scottie and my limited human potential (meaning we can’t be everywhere at once!) into… well, not quite complete omnipresence, but a lot closer to it!  They were at all the places we weren’t to make sure that every little beautiful detail of this wedding was captured and not a second was missed!

(Another couple of Josh and Kelley masterpieces!).

We were once again blown away by their mad skillz both as photographers and as professionals and we were so very very thankful we had them there to help us!

(I’m so jealous that I didn’t take these photos myself!).

Thanks guys!:-)

Amina Michele and her team from “Some Like it Classic” were the designers of this wedding and my hats are off to them all as well.

Granted, Amina had an amazing support team surrounding her, but she still did the work of like 10 people all on her own and she did it with perfection and precision.

It was so fun to talk to Morgan about the things she was looking forward to about her wedding day and then to hear it from the perspective of Amina who was helping to make it all happen.

(Morgan’s reaction at the first sight of the cake she’d been dreaming about!).

Amina was almost as excited as Morgan was about all the bits and pieces she was working on, you can definitely tell this is her art and that she prides herself (rightly so) immensely on her work.

The more I talked to the two of them prior to the wedding, the more excited I got too! And the more I watched the details unfold, the more I admired Amina for her outstanding abilities and for the love and value she placed on the work she was doing… and the people she was doing it all for.

Amina and the Some Like it Classic team were only a piece of the behind the scenes work, so if you’re looking for wedding vendors yourself and want to know who some of the  pros at this wedding were, send me an email and I’ll get you the info… because I am convinced that all the vendors we worked with on this day were all the “best of the best” in their fields.  They had to be to make this day look, feel, and flow so perfectly!

Not to beat the “best of the best” thing into the ground, but there is still another major aspect to this wedding that fit this phrase to a T and that is the friends and family of Dash and Morgan.

(Her dad watching as his little girl prepares to walk down the aisle).

(Family dance party time!).


Of course we fell in love with Dash and Morgan during our first meeting with them, so we should’ve automatically assumed that their friends would be wonderful as well.  However, we were still stunned by just how amazing the people Dash and Morgan surround themselves with actually are!

When Scottie and I got married we referred to our bridal party as “The Dream Team” since we felt like it was all the best people in the world brought together in one group for one weekend… what couldn’t they do?!  But I have to say that Dash and Morgan’s dream team does give ours a run for it’s money!

We first noticed this when we were doing photos of the bridal party.  You have to envision the scene here… you have about 20 people (which is a large enough number to make it very difficult to get complete focus from everyone), who only got a few hours of sleep the night before, standing around outside in 95 degree heat (in direct sun for most of it),  and half of these people are wearing black tuxes.

I will just say from my past experience, this is not the makings of a smooth running bridal party portrait time.  The pressure was on us to make it speedy while ensuring that no one passed out on us or started throwing punches in the midst of a heat induced nervous breakdown- we were definitely a little worried.

(Good thing nothing came to blows because I think those rings could do some damage!).

But as we had groomsmen asking us if they were doing things right, everyone standing quietly and listening to directions, and people walking into the sun without complaining in the least, we realized we had a miracle on our hands.

(Like our Facebook page to tag yourself in some of these photos!).

Well, at least that was our first thought, but we soon realized that Dash and Morgan just have amazing friends!!!

Instead of causing us problems, the bridal party members were asking us if we needed anything and being truly helpful and considerate towards us!

They were so amazing that in her speech during the reception, Morgan actually thanked the groomsmen in particular (since you know, they tend to be the “endearing troublemakers” of a bridal party group) for being so wonderful and helpful throughout the wedding process.

I agree with her completely and want to send out a BIIIIGGGG hug to all of Morgan and Dash’s bridal party for not only being easy to work with during a stressful situation, but for actually treating us like a part of the group rather than as “those people who make me do stuff when I don’t want to”.

I think we still had the baffled deer in the headlights look after dealing with such a kind bridal party as we walked into the reception only to find EVEN MORE wonderful people waiting inside the reception tent!

As soon as the music came on, I froze on the middle of the dance floor with my jaw hanging open (not the safest place to be really) because I was utterly stunned by the sheer amount of people that poured around me and began to boogie like it was both the first and last party of their lives.

I don’t think I have ever seen such a huge group of so many fun people in my life!!!

Of course this amount of boisterous energy, unconcealed joy, and gregarious laughter kept our cameras up to our faces all night long!  We couldn’t have stopped shooting if we wanted to because every single second was a new hilarious moment, and every single shot was of a new person causing the crowd to cheer.

It seriously was one of the most incredible parties I’ve ever been to and I was at WORK this whole time, I can’t imagine how it was for the guests!  It was for sure the party to end all parties… and it couldn’t have been more perfect for Morgan and Dash.

Morgan and Dash, I know I stressed how amazing all your friends and family are, but I want to make sure I say how much Scottie and I love you two as well!

We had such an amazing time working with you guys, you welcomed us in as friends right away and made us feel a total part of this wedding as if we were guests rather than “hired help”. ;-)  Thank you guys so much for your friendship and for including us in this incredible moment in your lives.

Our excitement about your wedding grew and grew as we got to know you better and realized that we were going to come out of all of this with two new friends!

We were so psyched and honored that you picked us to handle something so important to you and we hope that you are even happier than you thought was possible with your wedding, the photos from it, and your lifetime together!

We can’t wait to see where life takes you… and we’re glad we at least know that it’s going to bring you to visit us in Los Angeles this summer to get your Unique Session done!  We’re excited to see the two of you (and Morgan’s dress) again then!:-)

Click to see the rest of the photos from Dash and Morgan’s “Best of the Best” Wedding.

 

Francesca’s colorful desert senior session

Francesca is no stranger to Radiant Senior Sessions.

She actually came along with Davina on her session awhile back for moral support and to help her relax and have fun.  Well Francesca was great moral support and as it turns out, she’s a great model too!

When the day came for her to be the one to shine in front of the camera, she pulled it off without a hitch!  She brought her sisters along for moral support and to get a few fun sister pics.

They also served the purpose of getting her to laugh for us!

Sisters just have that magical touch I guess!

Since Scottie and I had arrived early to the session, we spent a little time scoping the place out and trying to find new spots to shoot. As soon as I saw the yellow tree in the parking lot, I freaked out… it was going to be sooo perfect for Francesca!

When I saw her red dress, I realized it was going to look even more amazing than I had originally predicted.

Seriously, it doesn’t get any better than this!

It’s like all the color in the entire surrounding desert landscape all got sucked up into this single tree… so beautiful!

Throughout the session, we had fun hearing about Francesca’s upcoming college experience.

The thing is, she’s not only going off to college, but she’s leaving America to do so!  She got accepted into Oxford University in England!!!

(She wanted to get some pics in her uniform since that represents her high school years very well!).

She said the first time she will ever be in the area, will be the day she moves there… that’s definitely an adventure!

Francesca, I totally admire your bravery for doing something so outside the box and so unfamiliar, I think it will pay off big time and you will love it there!

Thanks for being both a supportive friend and a great model for the two different sessions you’ve been at.  We’ve had a great time working with you and we are so excited to hear about your freshman year.  Congrats and have fun!:-)

Click to see the rest of Francesca’s senior pictures.

Nick’s musical senior session

You don’t have to spend much time with Nick to realize that he’s in love.

I mean, he’s in love with music (sorry, was that misleading?!).

And as it turns out, his guitar itself is very dear to him (he bought it in a special place in London),  so it only made sense for him to bring it along to his senior session to get a few photos with his love.

Okay Nick, don’t worry, I’ll stop with the love analogies!

Nick also brought some of his favorite vinyl (which happened to be a collection that Scottie was jealous of) to include that in the pictures as well.

From what I know about Nick, I’d say this set up was probably very representative of what he spent a good amount of his time doing during his senior year!

Well, he probably didn’t do it sitting on steps and in tunnels of public parks… but we have to embellish a little bit for the photo time!

After we had a good amount of guitar photos we wandered around a bit to see if we found any great spots of inspiration.

We wandered through the desert (it wasn’t 40 years or anything, just like a few minutes), caught a few sunset shots, and then we ended up back at one of our favorite walls EVER where we were once again reminded of why we love it so much!

So we got a nice amount of walking in that day as well as a great variety of looks and shots for Nick and his mom to look through.

Nick, thanks for being so flexible and willing to just go with the flow, we hope you love how the pics came out!  Congrats on graduating and good luck next year!

Click to see the rest of Nick’s senior photos.

A beautiful family history: Chip and Kay’s Family session

When Chip and Kay told me where they wanted to do their family session at, I was like “um, WHERE?! Out in the middle of nowhere, seriously?!”

But when I told Scottie where it was, he got super excited and told me that was the exact area that we drive by when we go out of town and that causes us to say every single time “man, I really want to do a photo session there someday”.

In other words, as odd as it sounded to me at first, it turns out Chip and Kay picked the perfect spot for their family photo session!

So Chip and Kay packed up some of the coolest vintage stuff they could find and headed North with us to this particular spot just off the side of the highway that they had chosen.

When I say cool vintage stuff I mean REALLY cool vintage stuff!

Actually, their oldest son was wearing a shirt his grandfather actually wore when he was his age!

And their younger son was wearing an outfit that Chip wore when he was his age!

How awesome is that?!  It totally made me re-think the massive closet clean out I had planned for myself this week… apparently clothes can be a very cool piece of family history!

They also brought along vintage things for the kids to play with like books, yo-yo’s, games…

…and of course an awesome red wagon to put the finishing touch on it all.

Who would’ve guessed we could’ve had such a great time playing on the side of the highway!

(Brothers playing in the dirt together… love it!).

As the day wore on, the wind picked up and the kids started getting a little cold and hungry.  The solution to this was family cuddle time, with everyone all wrapped up in Kay’s grandma’s quilt with a few apples to share around.  So we took this opportunity to get a few shots of melt down management as well as of family togetherness time.

It was so cute to watch everyone squeeze together and laugh as the kids slowly started warming up and calming down.

I love when we get those chances to capture real moments like those for a family.  It’s such a perfect way to remember what life was REALLY like (both the good and the bad) at this stage with your kids.

This is life together and this is the stuff you’ll miss and remember fondly as you look back over the pictures.

It’s an incredibly beautiful thing and I was so thankful I got to be a part of this family’s “present” moments to help them remember them forever…

…as well as their past moments that are being represented through their inter-generational props. This entire session was such a great crosspoint between the past and the present, showcasing all that has made this little family what it is today.

And it makes me so excited to think that this past/present mix has now been frozen in time so that these pictures will continue to speak to this family’s future generations to come.

It’s nothing short of amazing and we are so thankful to have been a part of it.  Thanks, Chip and Kay, for inviting us in to your family’s intimate life experience… we feel very privileged.

Click to see the rest of the photos from Chip and Kay’s Family Session.