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  • We are the Chansons!

    We are the Chansons! We are Scott and Breanna Chanson and we live and breathe to tell stories…. We were married in 2005, and as we stood saying our vows at the altar, neither of us could've predicted the incredible story our life together would develop into. Since we began shooting weddings in 2006, we've had a whirlwind of unforgettable experiences. We've shot all over the U.S. as well as internationally. We've gained an invaluable following of loyal fans who have encouraged us to continue on… even through the rough times. We've developed ourselves into teachers and mentors for other photographers and small businesses. We've expanded Radiant by adding a new photography team and creating a home base in both Los Angeles, CA and Phoenix, AZ. Through all this, we've discovered that the two most important things to us are people and their stories. Radiant Photography exists to help us meet amazing people and allows us to tell their stories. We hope you enjoy this shared experience into one another's worlds.

MOPS/MOMSnext Fundraiser Photo Sessions (by Josh & Kelley)

Over the course of November and early December, Josh and I (Kelley) had the opportunity to work with two awesome and inspiring groups at Desert Springs Bible Church (DSBC) here in Phoenix. When Sherri and Nicole, the coordinators of DSBC’s MOPS and MOMSnext groups, approached us about doing a photo fundraiser for their programs, we were on board right away!

So many of our friends have benefited from the awesome work MOPS/MOMSnext does, and we’ve always appreciated their mission. So, we got to work setting up family photo sessions that would benefit these programs. In the end, we not only got to help support these programs, but we also had the pleasure of meeting and working with 12 awesome families that signed up!

What are these programs? Great question, and who better to answer that question than Sherri and Nicole, the woman behind MOPS and MOMSnext at DSBC.

K: Hello ladies, can you please take a second to introduce yourselves?

Sherri: Hi, my name is Sherri Wouters. I am currently the Coordinator of MOPS. I have 3 kids, ages 5, 3. and 1. This is my 6th year in MOPS at Desert Springs!

Nicole: Hi, I’m Nicole Durr, Coordinator for MOMSnext. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Bob, and we will be celebrating our 13th anniversary this year.  We have two children, Ryan (9) and Mackenzie (8).  I have worked for The Hendrickson Law Firm for the past 15 years as a paralegal, and my husband and I own our own central vacuum system company, Vactrax. 

K: Wow, it sounds like you are some busy ladies! I know both of you are involved in either MOPS or MOMSnext, what exactly are these programs?

Sherri: MOPS is Mother’s of Preschoolers, or mothers of children. We serve families with children who are infant – kindergarten aged. MOPS is more than just a mom’s group, it’s here to encourage women in this stage of their life. We welcome all women, and we provide mentoring, leadership development, honest conversation, relevant teachings, creative activities, and, of course, childcare (for that much needed break for moms). With a Christ centered focus, we are here to bless and encourage moms! 

Nicole: MOMSnext is very similar, except we serve moms with school-aged kids. 

K: I know you both put quite a bit of your time and energy into MOPS/MOMSnext. Why are these programs so important?

Sherri: Unfortunately, after many women have children, they start to feel like they don’t have a support system. Many of them don’t know other moms, and they feel like no one understands what they’re going through.

These programs are here to encourage moms and offer that support system! Just last week, a mom sent an e-mail inquiring about our MOPS group. I called the mom that day to extend the invitation to our group. The mom explained that she and her family had moved here 3 years ago, and she still doesn’t know anyone! She is at home with a 2 year old and a 2 week old, and some of her struggles are the exact same struggles that almost every mother faces. It was such a blessing to her to have someone reach out, invite her, and then be able to take part in our meeting! She’s now loving being connected to our group of moms!

Nicole: It’s true, these programs are both so important! We want to help moms know they are not alone, by coming alongside and supporting each other.  Life with kids is a crazy adventure, and we want to embrace the beautiful mess while relying on the message of Christ.
 

K: How did you first get involved in MOPS/MOMSnext?

Nicole: I was invited to MOPS in 2009 by a friend.

Sherri: I got involved in MOPS after I had my first child. None of my friends had kids yet, and I suddenly found myself searching to find others who were in the same boat as me. I noticed a blurb on MOPS in the church bulletin one day, and I attended my first meeting soon after. I’m now in my 6th year with MOPS. It has encouraged me as a mom, as a wife, and as a woman!

K. So you joined up a few years back… What made you decide to become involved in MOPS/MOMSnext leadership?

Nicole: I joined the leadership team in 2010 because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to make sure the moms that came to MOPS/MOMSnext knew they were cared for. I also wanted to be a part of something that would help my relationship with Christ grow deeper.  

Sherri: After being in MOPS for 3 years, and being strengthened and encouraged by my leaders, the MOPS coordinator asked if I would like to be a leader. I knew right away that this was my chance to start giving back to these moms, the same way they had given to me in my first few years in MOPS.

K: It sounds like you two really have a heart for serving these women! What kinds of things do you ladies do at your MOPS/MOMSnext meetings?

Sherri: Our MOPS meetings always start with a full breakfast! As mothers of little ones, we don’t often get to sit and just enjoy a meal, so this is something that’s really wonderful for us. After we eat, our meetings differ. We may have a speaker, a craft, or maybe even a game. No matter what, we always make time to break into our smaller groups and have discussion and time for prayer!

Nicole: Our MOMSnext meetings are pretty similar. At our meetings, we share a meal, talk about what’s going on in our lives, and have a chance to hear from speakers whose words inspire us, teach us, and make us want to be better. 

K. How have you seen MOPS/MOMSnext impact the lives of the women in these groups?

Nicole: There are so many stories/lives impacted by the MOPS/MOMSnext ministries. I love to watch a new mom come in alone, and then find her laughing and planning playdates by the end of the meeting. True friendships are formed in these groups!

Sherri: I don’t have one specific event or story, but I do know that every year we have at least one (if not more) woman come in feeling the typical kind of craziness that mothers experience. Over the course of our meetings, you can see more and more contentment flow over these women each time we meet. In fact, they get upset if they have to miss a meeting! Women in our groups are really connecting with the other mothers and being filled up so they can be the best mother/wife/woman they can be!

K. It sounds like the MOPS/MOMSnext groups at DSBC are doing amazing things! Thank you so much for letting Radiant Photography, and Josh and I, have the opportunity to help you guys in your mission to empower and uplift these awesome women!

And a HUGE thank you to everyone that supported DSBC MOPS and MOMSnext by signing up for these photo sessions. Josh and I had a blast meeting and working with all of you, and I know the MOPS and MOMSnext groups appreciate what you’ve done to help!

Keri & Jason’s “Uniquely Them” Wedding (by Scott & Breanna)

If you know Keri and Jason, you were not surprised that their wedding wasn’t what you’d call an “ordinary” wedding.

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Of course every wedding is unique, but Keri and Jason took unique to a whole new level.

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(OK, they didn’t actually PLAN for a giant Ronald McDonald to be sitting outside their venue, they just got lucky on that one!)

For starters, they had their wedding at The Ice House in Downtown Phoenix.

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The Ice House was, historically, exactly what it sounds like. It was the place were they kept ice (not an easy task in the desert back in the day!). Now it’s a gorgeous event venue, unlike any other in Arizona.

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(Help Keri and Jason spread their wedding photos by tagging and sharing their photos from our Facebook page!)

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Which was the perfect spot for Keri and Jason… who are unlike any other bride and groom.

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They also got ready at Hotel Palomar which has another unique spot (one that Scottie and I LOVED taking pictures at) and that is the Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails.

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(Notice the “Blue Hound” – hence the name- in the photos!)

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Now, you may be saying, “well that stuff is uber cool and all, but lots of weddings are uber cool, I don’t see why this one is SO unique as you say”. OK, that’s because I haven’t gotten to the things that REALLY set Keri and Jason apart from the rest.

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For one thing, instead of a traditional religious officiant, or even a friend who is licensed to do weddings, Keri and Jason decided to go with something that I (Breanna) have never seen in all of my wedding experience…

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…they hired an actual comedian to be their officiant! They saw his set and loved his style so much that they asked him to do the honors at their wedding! What a great idea and awesome way to entertain their guests!

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The other thing that was unique about their wedding, is that Jason happens to be a very handy craftsman and was able to come up with this gorgeous creation to highlight their last name at the reception! SO impressive!

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And now for the most unique of unique things about their wedding. Drumroll please… they hired midgets to be servers at their cocktail hour!

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They also came into the grand entrance in place of the bride and groom! Of course the bride and groom DID come into their reception, just not the first time they were called!

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Apparently Keri loves little people, so she wanted to invite them to be a part of her wedding! Now that, is something I’ve never seen at any of the hundreds of weddings we’ve photographed!

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So way to go Keri and Jason for making your wedding fit you perfectly and reflect the fun and hilarious people you are! I love that you made your wedding your own and I hope you enjoyed every second of it!

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Congrats!

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Click to see the rest of Keri and Jason’s “Uniquely Them” Wedding Photos.

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The Aharoni’s Extended Family Session (by Scott & Breanna)

When an extended family gets together all at one time, it’s a big deal. One that calls for some photo commemorating!

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Which is why the Aharoni’s called us (Scottie & Breanna) to do a photo session around Thanksgiving, when they’d be together!

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And what better place to do a fall photo session than sunny southern California, right?

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Wrong. It was very cold that day which made it very hard for people to unwrap themselves from their warm and cozy blankets to brave the wind chill and look happy about it!

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But they managed to survive with smiles and all, so thank you to the very brave Aharoni family for facing into the wind and deciding to be happy about it on photo day!

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We hope you love these photos and that you remember the time you spent together very fondly.

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See more from the Aharoni’s Extended Family Photo session here.

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The Abrahms’ Santa Monica Family Session (by Scott & Breanna)

What better place for a Santa Monica family’s photo session than…

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… Santa Monica!

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That’s what the Abrahm’s family thought as well when I asked them where they wanted to do their session!

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So we went down to a grassy area near the beach in Santa Monica and got a few shots of the family sitting and smiling for the camera all together…

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…along with a little bit of playing together…

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….before we went down and had the REAL fun on the beach!

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By REAL fun I of course mean chasing birds, shoving sand in your mouth, and getting as absolutely sandy, wet, and freezing cold as possible!

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I mean, what else is the beach for?!

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So we took the time to do all of those main events and more as we caught this family doing what they do best… being a family together!

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Thank you to the Abrahm’s family for giving us the time we needed, being relaxed during our session, and most of all for being such a fantastic family that we had a great time taking pictures of you just being together and having fun!

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Click to see the rest of the Abrahm’s Santa Monica Family Photo session here.

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Shannon’s Fabulous Wedding Planning Style (by Scott & Breanna)

I think most people would agree with me (Breanna) when I say that the people you work with can make or break a job And that’s why Scottie and I thank our lucky stars that we get to work with Shannon Smith from Sassy Soirees Wedding and Event Planning on a regular basis!

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Shannon is that kind of wedding planner who… well, let me just quote to you what I wrote about her in my blog about one of my favorite weddings together, Michelle and Derek’s (by the way, this is actually the CONDENSED version of the Shannon gushing I did in that blog!):

“Michelle and Derek hired Shannon Smith from Sassy Soirees and if their smooth and beautiful wedding day was any indication, I’m sure they’re very happy they did! As always, Shannon winds and unwinds all the complicated details and pieces that have to flow together into one smooth string, and she did it in a way that seemed completely effortless and allowed the couple to just sail through their day as all the beautiful and wonderful pieces of it just “magically” happened all around them.”

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(By the way, Shannon’s husband, Marc, was the caterer for that wedding, and let me just say that this is a family of many talents!).

Shannon not only does a great job for her clients, but she also takes amazing care of her vendors to keep everyone happy and working together as a functioning team on the wedding day. This is huge because if she’s doing a great job pulling the details of the team together, then everyone (including us!) are freed up to do our particular jobs to the best of our abilities, so the entire wedding day is the best it can be!

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Because Shannon really DOES have such amazing wedding skillz (notice that’s skills with a Z so you know she’s REALLY good!), she wants to make sure that her website shows off her impeccable style as much as possible. So she decided it was time to do a photo session with us to have some shots for her up and coming newly designed site (coming soon!).

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Of course we were happy to comply with her photo request! Not only because we love working with her and jump at every chance we get to do so (see her adorable family pillow fight photo session here!), but also because she told us she was bringing her precious daughter, Lola, to pose as her flower girl to show off the idea of having flower girls throw glitter instead of flowers down the aisle!

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Shannon, I’ve thanked you so many times in private for how much you help us out at weddings, that I decided to make one of those many private thank yous public so that everyone can see that I really mean what I’m saying about you here! Here’s something I wrote you last year:

“Shannon, as always we LOVED working with you and can’t wait to do it again soon! You are so good at letting us do what we need (like listening to our input on the wedding day schedule), getting us what we need the day of, and coordinating bookings with your couples so smoothly! You really do free us up to do our best and it’s so so so great to work with a planner who does that for us! Truly, THANK YOU for making our job so easy. You are WONDERFUL at what you do! Much Love, Breanna”

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If you want to see more Scottie & Breanna + Shannon’s work, here are a couple of my favorite weddings we’ve done together:

Michelle and Derek’s Surprise Wedding

Ross and Megan’s very sunny and very happy wedding day

Amanda and Javier and their Wedding Day ‘Amandiers’

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See more of Shannon’s Fabulous Photo Session here.