Monthly Archives: July 2011

A day in their vineyard… Doug and Bobbie’s engagement session.

A wedding in wine country is something that photographers in Arizona can only dream about.  And we were some of those dreamers ourselves until the day we got a call from Doug and Bobbie asking us to shoot their wedding and engagement photos in Paso Robles, CA which is part of the central coast wine phenomenon.  Yay!!!!!

We were SUPER excited and when we took a trip to the area for Doug and Bobbie’s engagement session, our already sky high excitement level shot through the roof as soon as we saw the place!

(See what I mean?  It’s AH-MAZING!!!!).

The first thing Doug and Bobbie wanted us to see, was the winery that they are getting married at. So we headed over to Carmody McKnight Estate Wines to taste a little wine, see the beautiful sights, a take a few photos.

The location was even more incredible than we imagined!  I can’t wait to see what it looks like on the wedding day!!

What we didn’t expect, was the friendly family welcome we received when we arrived!! Carmody, McKnight, and family all came over to meet us and then rushed back to the house to prepare a DELICIOUS gourmet dinner for us to enjoy when we finished taking photos of Doug and Bobbie.

I felt like I was in a dream land as we sat around with this incredibly interesting family and heard about their lives. Gary Carmody was an actor who is well known for his role in “Land of the Giants” and is now an artist and creates the labels for their wines.

Marian McKnight Conway was crowned Miss America in 1957.  Their daughter Kathleen made us the incredible meal and also makes a great popular wine called “Kathleen Cabernet Franc”. Kathleen’s boyfriend Greg, is the very talented vineyard manager who has several viticulture partnerships going with major companies and universities worldwide.

As if that isn’t enough to spark great conversation for an entire meal, Doug and Bobbie are also quite intriguing people themselves with some great stories!

Doug used to be an Indy Race car driver and he once upon a time owned a surf company. Bobbie put herself through college while raising 3 kids and now works as a CFO for a non-profit organization that helps foster children.

They both spend a good amount of time traveling- Doug does a lot of worldwide hunting and fishing and they both love spending downtime in their surf house right on the beach in the British Isles. Oh yeah, and they have a really sweet dog!:-)

So there we were, hanging out with interesting, talented, and fun people in a stunning environment, while drinking the wine that was actually made by the people around us… it was just an amazing moment that we enjoyed immensely and will remember for a long time to come.

After a lovely dinner with a lovely family, we headed off to Doug and Bobbie’s vineyard (Last Frontier Vineyards), where we relaxed on their porch in the fresh air while looking up at the stars,  had some good laughs together, drank some of their own home grown wine, spent the night, and then got up early to take more photos around their property.

(Scottie took this one at night of the oak tree that stands right smack dab in the middle of their vineyard. Beautiful.).

Their ranch/vineyard sits on 160 acres that is just a site to see.  I couldn’t believe the variety of things they had on their property!

Everything from rolling hills of grass, to lakes, to boulders, to the actual grape vines. So much beauty to take in!

It was so fun to be out so far away from everything else and to know that everything surrounding us was related to their passion of farming.

Doug and Bobbie spend a good portion of their time out there and Doug works his fingers to the bone on the land during their busy seasons.

We hopped in the car and drove around to get a feel for what their lives out there are like and how we could best capture that in photos.

It was a difficult job, trying to contain all that beauty into a few measly photographs, so I hope Doug and Bobbie feel that we did the job!:-)

(Click here to see the full version of this photo!).

Thanks to everyone at both places who brought us in to your lives and extended so much hospitality to make us feel welcomed in your homes.  Doug and Bobbie, we LOVE your place and we are so happy that the two of you are getting married.  Scottie and I talked on the way home about how fun it is watching you guys interact with one another and how easy it is to tell that you are in love.

We think you guys are great together and we had such a fantastic time getting to know the two of you better.  We feel blessed to have you in our lives and we can’t wait to be a part of such a big day for two such wonderful people! Congratulations on finding each other!

Click to see the rest of Doug and Bobbie’s photos.

Beach Epicness in full force for Maricela and Russell’s Engagement Session!

For Maricela and Russell, one chapter ends as another begins, and we were there to capture this important transition for them.

The chapter that is ending in their life is their long distance relationship!  Hooray!

Russell grew up around Laguna, California and is now ready to make the transition to Phoenix, AZ to be with his beautiful future bride.

The chapter that is beginning is what the happy couple originally called us over to capture… and that is their impending marriage to one another.  In other words, this is their engagement session!

It just happens to be combined with a sentimental farewell to home for Russell.

Since Russell knows the area so well, he took us to the best of the best places in Laguna where we were able to get some happy beach shots as well as some romantic moments.

We found out during the session that Maricela and Russell have declared a Radiant photo war between themselves and their friends, Maureen and Matt, who’s wedding we shot this past spring!  Apparently, Maricela and Russell have decided that there is no way they can beat Maureen and Matt in the cuteness category (Maureen and Matt ARE pretty freaking cute!) so they decided they wanted to go for the gold in the “Epic Photo” category.  So”epic” was the theme of the day!

Of course, we discovered about 2 seconds into the session that Maricela and Russell severely underestimate their cuteness (watch out Matt and Maureen, they might give you a run for your money!)…

…and they seem to have a pretty good grasp on how to mix a little epic into their cuteness!

So we spent some time hanging out on, above, around, and near the beach in Crystal Cove and then we headed over to a great hiking spot to put on the final touches to the day.

Thanks to the both of you for putting the work into scheduling, planning, location scouting, and traveling (Maricela) for your engagement session!

Your effort was well spent and we hope you are as happy with the results as we are!  Good luck with all the final touches to your big day, we are so so so SO excited to get to be a part of it!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Maricela and Russell’s very epic beach engagement session!

Amanda and AJ’s Anticipated Engagement Session

Amanda and AJ have been dreaming about having Radiant Photography at their wedding before Radiant Photography even existed.

At least that’s what it seems like anyways!  Amanda is a pretty snazzy photographer herself and has been a fan of ours for awhile.  We were in contact a bunch before she even got engaged- just talking photography and things like that- so when AJ popped the question to her, we heard about it right away!

Amanda sent me an email saying she was engaged and that even though none of the details about her wedding were worked out yet, the one thing she knew was that she was going to find a way to have Radiant there!

Well she worked her magic and we are now officially on the docket and have loved hearing all the details of her wedding as they’ve been coming to fruition!  It’s been so fun to be along for the process from pre-engagement to almost married!

As the time neared for Amanda and AJ’s engagement session on Coronado Island in San Diego, California, the anticipation was building!  Every once in awhile I’d get random emails or posts on Radiant’s Facebook wall from Amanda saying that she was counting down the days to her session… as were we!

Not only did we get to work with people who really love what we do, but we were getting to do it on freaking Coronado Island!!  It doesn’t get much better than that for us!

(This exact street corner is the spot that inspired this entire session.  Amanda took a photo of this corner years ago and has been in love with it ever since!)

Amanda’s family had heard all about us at this point and they were eager to get in on this whole “trip to Coronado” thing so her parents came along for the ride!

And let me tell you, it was quite a ride!! We had the best time that day!  We went to lunch at one of my favorite places that I (Breanna) was so excited to revisit, and then we headed out for our shoot! Now do you see what I’m talking about when I say that Coronado is awesome?!

Just in case you still don’t believe in the amazingness factor of Coronado, here’s a few more to convince you!

It’s such a fun place to be too… especially if you’re with people as cool as we were with!

Scottie and I had a 2 hour drive or so home to make that night, but we had so much fun with everyone that we couldn’t resist going out to eat with them again after the session!  We sat around for hours with them listening to family stories and learning about the people we were going to be hanging out with on one of the most important days of their lives.

(See all the plant stuff they are standing on?  That spells out the word “Coronado” that you can only see from the air… or in this screen shot from Google Maps below).

(Crazy huh?!)


Thank you guys so so so much for such a wonderful day and for being the exact kind of client that we absolutely love working with!

Seriously, you have no idea how much it means to us to know how excited you are about having us at your wedding.

Seeing your excitement and getting to work with people as cool as you, reminds us once again of why we love our job.

Click to see the rest of the photos from AJ and Amanda’s Coronado Island Engagement Session!