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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.

The wind vs. Christy’s hair (at her senior portrait session)

Ever heard of the “wind-blown look”?  Well Christy knows what that means now!

While we were rejoicing that we were still quite a bit shy of  100 degree weather when we went out to do her senior photo session, we definitely felt like we’d been transported to the windy city for the day!

Luckily Christy has the type of hair that looks fantastic blowing in the wind and she was chill enough to make the decision to stop fighting the fly away hairs and just go with it.

(I love this one… you look so beautiful, Christy!)

Once she got into her posing groove, there was no stopping her… not even a few stray hairs could hold her back!

We noticed right from the beginning of the session that there was a major quality that stood out about Christy (besides the fact that she was genuinely nice to us and didn’t treat us like the old fogeys that we are)…  she was CONFIDENT!

Such a rare quality to find in a teenage girl… and Christy has it!

She held herself with grace and poise the whole time and even though there may have been moments where she doubted herself (or us, as was probably the case with this experimental pose below that Scottie was trying out)…

…she played it off and did a great job owning herself and the moment and being comfortable with herself (and with us).

The comfort thing was helped by the fact that we spent quite a bit of time with Christy at her sister’s wedding when we were the photographers and she was the bridesmaid.  It helps people relax with us when we’re not total strangers.

It probably also helped her to relax that her mom was there and her mom happens to be one of those people who makes everyone feel comfortable when you start talking to her.

So there we were… a comfortable group, standing in the wind, looking for just the right lighting, while holding our cameras waiting for just the right moment. And voila!  That moment came and Christy was ready and waiting for it!

(You know I’m right when you see pics like this, huh!  She did a great job and was a fantastic model!)

I’m serious when I say that both Christy and her mom, Lisa, put us at ease (and hopefully we did the same for them) and allowed us to relax and immensely while enjoying the time we spent doing our “job” that didn’t feel like a job at all!

So Christy and Lisa, I can’t stress enough how awesome you guys are to work with (I already gushed over them once in the blog about Christy’s sister’s wedding).  You are wonderful people and we feel privileged every time we get a chance to be recipients of your kindness.  Thanks for choosing Radiant again!  And Christy… good luck with college, we hope you love it!:-)

Click to see the rest of Christy’s Phoenix, AZ senior portraits!

June 3, 2010 - 12:12 pm

The Harmons: Old Family Friends with New Family Pictures. « Radiant Life - [...] We were so impressed by this family that the blog I wrote about the wedding was mostly about how amazing the families involved in the wedding were!  After Jon and Emily got married, we had the opportunity to shoot Christy Harmon’s senior pictures. [...]

Kristine & Aaron’s chill engagement session

Kristine and Aaron are one of those couples that after meeting with them the first time, we were like “we SO hope they book with us”!  They just seemed like really cool people that would be really fun and easy to work with.

Then the engagement session came… and we realized how totally wrong we were!

Oh my gosh, I’m SOOOO kidding!  Ha!  I freaked you all out for a second there, didn’t I!?  No, really they were even more wonderful than we expected!

They were so very kind, and really relaxed in front of the camera.

Overall, I’d say I really appreciate their chill attitude.  Being chill is a personal goal of mine since I get wound up way too easily.  I’m now going for the, “get passionate over important things and stay chill about everything else” feel in my life!  So I’ve loved watching Kristine handle all her wedding dealings with such smoothness.

She seems to be the perfect balance of getting things done and being relaxed about it.  Way to go, Kristine… I’m learning from you!

Meanwhile you have Aaron over there being a wonderful groom!  You can tell he’s working hard to appreciate all the work his awesome fiance is putting into this wedding, but he is also chill and just enjoying the process as much as he can.

Not to mention, he treated us wonderfully even while he was doing something he probably wasn’t that excited to do (most guys aren’t super excited about picture day… until they realize how much we “force them” to make out during it!!).

So thank you to you both for being so easy going, kind, and yes… cool looking.  Taking pics of such good looking people definitely makes our job easy!;-)

We can’t wait to see your “ridiculously good looking” selves blow us away at your wedding! (that’s a Zoolander description for all you readers out there who are older than 35 or younger than 20).

We truly are looking forward to working with both of you more!:-)

Click to see the rest of this beautiful couple’s Tempe, AZ engagement photo session!

April 22, 2010 - 4:14 pm

Moriah - Haha you are a crack up, I totally started laughing at your second sentence…I could actually hear you saying that! This couple did look like a fun couple to shoot! Good job guys!

Rachelle and Paul Gettin’ Hitched!

While I’m so very happy for Paul and Rachelle and excited for them to be married… I have to admit that I’m kind of sad their wedding is over!

Scottie and I had so much fun preparing for their wedding with them!  From the first time we met them, to their engagement session, to their final meeting… whenever we’d get together, it seemed like we just sat around talking forever!

Both Rachelle and Paul are great people and we’ll miss having a reason to get together with them now!

You can tell just from looking at these pictures that these are some friendly, happy, and very sweet people!

Just look at those smiles, how could you not like these people?!:-)

But even though Paul has a great smile, I don’t think it’s his best expression… check out the way he looks at her.

(This was the first time he saw her as she was walking down the aisle).


I think the look that came over his face whenever he looked at her was my favorite part of the entire day.

Of course, her face says “I love you” too!

Yep… I think it’s safe to say they are very in love.  Awww! (Come on, just give me this one… you have no idea how often I refrain from girly, wedding day, lovey type of sappiness when I wrote these blogs!)

Just to make sure these 2 lovebirds didn’t get too caught up in their own little world… they invited some really fun friends to share in the day with them!

For every photo of the bridal party laughing, there’s a photographer struggling to hold her camera still while laughing just as hard (Click to see the rest of the photos from the wedding).  Rachelle and Paul had some great friends and we loved hanging out with them!Of course, whenever there’s a fun bridal party, there’s a bride and groom with a great sense of humor lurking nearby!  (This was seriously one of the best garter removals I’ve ever seen.  He removed more accessories off himself than he did off of her!)

(Although you can tell by the picture on the left, that he eventually got what he was looking for off her!)

(Living it up at the party thrown just for them.  Aka their reception!).

Here are the celebratory cigars that made their guests even more excited to be a part of this party!

I’ve gotten ahead of myself.  I skipped the ceremony and went straight into the reception!

(Ironically, this picture combo skips the ceremony as well.  Straight from the beginning to the end.  I love both of these moments though… I love the initial nerves and the ending joy!).

Paul and Rachelle got married at Eagle Mountain Golf  Club in Fountain Hills, AZ.  If you read our blog much, you know that Eagle Mountain is one of our very favorite places to shoot.

(It’s so beautiful at Eagle Mountain that sometimes the photos look fake! But we promise, it’s just that beautiful!)

We LOVE the ceremony site, the fantastic view, the staff there, and of course their food!

It’s just an all round spectacular place to have a wedding and we tell everyone about it!

I guess since I’m already on a roll going backwards in this story, I might as well go with what’s working.  So now that we’ve reached the end of the blog, I’ll show you the pictures of them getting ready to do all the things I already showed them doing!  Ha!

Thanks Rachelle and Paul…

… for being good looking enough to give us such great photos!  Ha ha!  We are so happy that you have each found someone who makes you look at each other the way you do! Congratulations, we hope you are very happy together… and we think you will be!:-)

Click here to see the rest of Paul and Rachelle’s AZ wedding photos.

Ashley & Don Get Married in Mesa!

When Ashley and Don found out they were competing with another couple who wanted to book us for the same day as their wedding, they went ahead and dove in head first no questions asked.  So when we finally got a chance to meet with Ashley and Don I think all of us were relieved at how well we got along and that it did seem like we’d be a good fit for their wedding day!

(He’s a cop… hence the handcuffs!)

If you can’t tell by her veil blowing around in these pictures…

…it was a pretty windy day! But somehow Ashley managed to look amazing through the whole thing!

Look at her… not a hair out of place.  Definitely a beautiful bride!

When we first heard that Ashley and Don were getting married at Tre Bella in Downtown Mesa we were a little skeptical.  Mostly because we live 10 minutes away from there and we had never seen a wedding venue in that area!  Once we made the trip to go check it out, we were amazed!

By glancing at their store front exterior, you wouldn’t think much of it… but once inside wow! Tre Bella has a great modern look that many of our brides have a hard time finding in AZ, not to mention they have a huge selection of linens, decor, etc and it’s really cool stuff!

Of course being right in Downtown Mesa has it’s perks… the cool alleyways and brightly colored walls are just a few of many!

We loved working with Kim at Tre Bella as well.  She works her butt off to make sure all her brides have the perfect day!  And I think it’s safe to say that she succeeded in her goal with Ashley and Don’s wedding… it was amazing.

While a great location, beautiful decor, and cool little details add a lot to a wedding…

(the feather details on the cake fit right in with the decor at Tre Bella!)

… those things alone are not enough to make a wedding as wonderful as Ashley and Don’s. You have to add in all their amazing family and friends to make it complete!

(Make sure you guys all fan our Facebook page so you can tag yourselves in the photos!)

We bonded with their family immediately and they all treated us like one of them rather than just as “hired help” or something like that.

We were talking and laughing it up with all the people involved in the wedding so much that it didn’t feel like we were working at all!

You can’t help but love a group with such cute kids!

(See, after looking at all those kids, I know that everyone reading this loves this group of people now too!)

So thank you to all of Ashley and Don’s family and friends who were kind of enough to go above and beyond in making us feel loved.  You guys are all great!:-)

And of course  a special thanks to Ashley and Don who let us be a part of one of the most important days of their lives… such an honor to us!  Thanks for being such a breeze to work with and for being kind and fun… and all those wonderful things that make you both the great people that you are!  Congratulations, we wish you the best!

Click to see the rest of Ashley and Don’s Arizona wedding photos!

April 15, 2010 - 7:05 am

Aunt Toni - Wow! I love the photos! Great job Radiant! It’ll be hard to pick out the best ones. What fun we had that afternoon/evening – and what memories for a lifetime. Congratulations, Ashley and Donny.
Love, Aunt Toni

April 15, 2010 - 12:57 pm

Shannon Hickson - Nice Job Brenna and Scottie!!! Thank you both so much for capturing some beautiful memories of Ashley and Don’s special day! You both were great to work with! Congrats Ashley and Don! The Best is Yet to Come… XoXo
Shannon

April 22, 2010 - 10:16 am

Betty Reaume - Ashley and Don,
So very special! Most beautiful. Thanks for sending.

Betty

April & Ryan let their bellies hang out.

When I started taking pictures, one thing I never even thought about was how deep it would take me into people’s lives!  There are only so many “jobs” (if you can call the fun we have work!) that allow you to watch families begin, bond, and grow… and we’re lucky enough to have one of those jobs!

It’s so fun to meet a couple before their married and start taking pictures of them all the way from their engagement, to their marriage, into their pregnancy, and the birth of their babies… as well as everything after that!  That’s the track we’re on with April & Ryan and family!  We met them after they were already married so we missed the first part, but we’ve been along for the ride since before their first child was born and now we’re on to their second child!

We first took photos for April & Ryan when they were preparing to have their first baby.

The next time was when they wanted to show off their newborn, Emily, to the world!

We then visited Emily again when she was 6 months old…

… and again at her first birthday party!

Now April & Ryan have their second child, Callie and… yep, you guessed it… we took pictures of baby Callie as well!

I call this little series “The many faces of Callie”…

Of course not to be out done by her little sister, Emily has many faces as well!

But these I think this is by far my favorite face…

The ” meltdown recovery” faces are pretty good too though!

These crying pics were actually inspired by a lady I used to babysit for who had GIANT, super close up pics of all 3 of her kids crying when they were little, all framed in a row on her wall.  I thought it was pretty fun and definitely unique!  As much as you hate those faces while they’re actually happening, I’m assuming that there’s some sense of nostalgia when you see a photo of it once the kids are older.  Ever heard that cheesy country song “You’re Gonna Miss This“?  That stupid song makes me cry every time, despite my stubborn refusal to cave to country sappiness!  Anyways, I’m not a parent, but I’m assuming it’s kind of like that.  If I really wanted to mess with your heads I would tell you to start over in this blog and listen to that song while you look at the rest of these photos… by the 3rd photo you’d be crying that ugly, gross, snotty kind of cry!  Ha ha!

Are you all done crying now?  Mascara wiped up?  OK good, now we’ll move onto some fun pictures so you have a chance to recover before going back to your own life again!

My recent photo inspirations lately have all had to do with allowing “imperfection”.  I’ve noticed more and more public, professional photos that are out of focus, showing people’s wrinkles, are grainy, etc., etc.  And I LOVE them!  I think it makes you think “wow, that picture has mistakes… there must be something really special about what it’s capturing for them to allow that one in”. So I’ve been trying to work my way towards accepting that it’s OK for people to know I make mistakes and focusing more on capturing emotion than on being a perfect, technical photographer.

(They make lens hoods that are designed to prevent sun flares from sneaking in, but I think the trend towards allowing them in now shows people’s desire for pictures to actually represent reality again!)

(People have stopped being impressed by how perfect you can make a photoshopped picture look.  Now they want things that look REAL!  I think that’s why the trend has moved towards old and worn looking photos where you actually add in grain and imperfections!)

I believe that truth and beauty go hand in hand and I REALLY value honesty, so I’m holding my breathe and including the photo on the left!  I totally missed focus (unless you count the 3 bubbles that are actually in focus!) but I am in love with what the picture is communicating.  So it’s a keeper, and now you all know that I’m not perfect. I’m flawed and I’m not a magic photographer… just a normal one who makes mistakes.

(I’ll admit right now that all the cool coloring in this photo only happened because the original coloring was pretty bad.  It was definitely a flawed picture that I chose to make look great even though it wasn’t. Sorry Scottie, I hope you’re OK that I’ve decided to tell the world that you’re not perfect either since this is your shot!).

It’s like when Lauryn Hill talks about how we all need to exhale and let our bellies hang out so we can walk around looking at one another and say “oh you have one too!?” and feel free! By the way if you haven’t heard this, listen to it NOW (I’ll wait to continue until you get back) it’s super freeing and inspirational (she rambles a lot but keep listening, there’s good stuff in it)!  The entire CD is the same way actually… just pure genuine, reality which is a big deal coming from Ms. Diva and she took a lot of crap for saying this stuff… so go buy it and support people who are done being slaves to their perfect image!  I know you guys can handle her rambling because you sure do a great job following mine!  Ha ha!  Now back to the topic at hand!

(Random topic transition photo!)

I love the idea of talking about genuineness (wow, spell check says that’s a real word!) in a blog about family.  In our culture, “family picture day” typically means wearing clothes you never wear in real life, making sure the only emotion you capture is happiness, and working your butt off to get your kids to behave in a way that will enhance the perfect image you’re going for in these pictures.  It’s ridiculous!  The definition for family should (in my opinion) always include intimacy and intimacy means emotion, whether it’s messy or clean emotion.

(I’m not sure what emotion this is, but I think it falls in the messy category).

(And I’d say this is one of the clean ones).

Intimacy also means going through a variety of experiences together.

And sitting and smiling in front of a camera shows such a small sliver of what life is really like for a family.

We want to communicate who a family really is… which for every family means imperfection.

(Sometimes being a family means getting bubbles in your eyes).

And that’s why we’re so thankful to April & Ryan for letting us take pictures of their child crying!  Thank you for being humble enough to allow us to tell the true story of your family.

I know our blog readers and facebook fans appreciate it too!  No one connects with fake families, that’s why everyone throws away the pictures that come in frames when you buy them!  People love seeing families that look like their own and remind them of what’s really important in life.

So thank you April & Ryan for taking us with you through all the major events in your life and allowing us to share these special moments in your world with all the friends of Radiant who value human emotion and real life.  You’ve blessed us all immensely by letting us observe your beautiful family changing and growing together! Click to see the rest of the photos from this family photo session!

March 23, 2010 - 5:47 pm

megan stanley johnson - this blog and it’s pics are amazing!!

March 23, 2010 - 7:34 pm

emily vande krol - What a beautiful family! These are pictures that they will cherish forever….can’t wait for you to travel with our family too!

March 23, 2010 - 7:34 pm

chelsea hudson - beautiful, beautiful post, breanna! seriously. you articulated much of what i try to communicate to clients… be real. be you. the best pictures are the REAL ones. shop in your closet, not the mall. meet me at the playground you go to most, not the manicured park on the other side of town. let the kids go and go and have fun with them! let me capture THAT and we’ll all be happy!