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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.

Rachelle & Paul are ALMOST married!

The engagement session we shot with Rachelle and Paul was really fun for us…. and also a little different for us.  The couple was great and totally on their game with smiles and poses.

We loved it because whenever they looked at each other they would just bust up laughing… such a cute couple in love!  It was awesome.

The part that was “different” about this session was that Scottie and I switched roles a little bit.  Usually Scottie is the “lead” shooter.  Which means he poses couples with his vision, while I stand further back with a lens that zooms in close and I focus on catching the intimate moments that happen “between” the poses.  This time, I led the session for a good part of it and Scottie got the sneaky shots!  Scottie was VERY excited because it can be exhausting to lead all the time, so he just got to chill in the background and let me take over this time.  Luckily, Rachelle and Paul were very easy to work with and I was totally relaxed around them, so I was good and ready to take over the session!

Scottie and I always joke about who’s the better photographer (don’t worry, we’re still great at encouraging each other as well!) and him being the lead most of the time puts him at an advantage to get the shots that you get to “design” a little more and you can take all the time in the world to get that perfect shot.  Second shooter is at the mercy of chance… to chance that you can click the button at the EXACT right moment of the couple interacting, not a moment too soon (aka blinking pics) and not a moment too late (aka guys wiping lip gloss off pics) and to chance that your camera settings are perfectly right to catch that perfect moment in the perfect setting.   So basically, now that I’m leading more sessions… watch out Scottie!

(This is my favorite photo that I took when I was leading)!


(Oh and this one…)


(… and these… well, you get the idea. Basically I had fun leading)!:-)

Back to the happy couple…

Rachelle and Paul confided in us when we first got there that they were worried about being awkward in front of the camera.  I was totally shocked when they told me that because they seemed so natural!

Some couples do better when we pose them and some do better when we just put them in the right lighting and tell them to hang out together.  Rachelle and Paul did amazing when they were just interacting.  We loved capturing all the tiny intimate moments between the two of them!

Hopefully they felt good enough about how the engagement session went that they can spend their time worrying about things other than photography on their wedding day (i.e. tripping down the aisle, passing out before you say “I do”, and bees being drawn to the flowers… you know, all the important stuff!).  Don’t worry guys, I’m totally kidding about this stuff,  I’ve been to countless weddings over the years and I’ve never seen any of this happen!  This is why we do the engagement session… to give us all a little practice session before the wedding!  Now we know that they feel the most comfortable when interacting with one another and they know how to hold a long kiss with people looking on and cameras shoved in their faces!

Rachelle and Paul, thanks for being so friendly and easy to work with!  We can’t wait to see your smiling faces standing at the alter with all your family and friends smiling back!  Click to see the rest of Rachelle and Paul’s Tempe Town Lake engagement session.

Lee and Suzanne’s wedding on Top of the Rock!

The main goal of Lee and Suzanne’s wedding (other than for them to be joined as husband and wife!) was to have a great time with their friends and family. 

So they planned an intimate morning wedding at The Buttes Resort

…and had a brunch reception (complete with an awesome chocolate fountain) at Top of the Rock Restaurant there. Top of the Rock has a special place in my heart because it is where I wanted to go to every year for my birthday dinner when I was a little kid.  My parents were always confused why I wanted to go to a fancy place instead of  somewhere for kids.  One year they finally asked me and I said it was because the door handles there are made out of rocks!  We started going to Chucky Cheese after that.

And let me tell you, they definitely succeeded in their goal to have a great time with family and friends!  It was so fun watching them interact with their loved ones before the ceremony, during family portraits, and at the reception.

Well, especially at the reception I should say!  I’ve never seen people get down and dance so hard during the afternoon before!  I’m sure a good part of that had to do with their AH-MAZING DJ, Chad, from All American DJ.  We’ve worked with him on more than a few weddings and every time he is super professional, fun (but not obnoxious), and he gets the party going with some great activities, all while managing to keep the attention on the right people and off of himself…. perfect.  He was a success, yet again, at this wedding where everyone was on their feet most of the time.

Lee and Suzanne had taken dance lessons for their wedding (we got some shots of them practicing at their engagement session), and by the looks of it, you would think the rest of their guests had been taking classes with them all along as well!  The father/daughter dance was particularly one of our favorites since they did a really fun song (I believe it was “Another One Bites the Dust”) and just had a blast with it (that’s the pic on the left above)! Of course the mother son dance gave it a run for it’s money since it was totally beautiful and full of genuine emotion.

Lee & Suzanne, we were very proud of you on your first dance as well… your lessons paid off!

Somehow Lee and Suzanne had enough time to plan, not only a really fun reception, but also to add in some beautiful details as well!  Here’s a few shots of the little things that made up the bigger picture of their wedding day…

(Just a minor detail there… it’s only the marriage license!):-)

And here’s a few more of my favorite pics of the happy couple!

Congratulations Lee and Suzanne!!  We’re glad your wedding was a success in all ways and we wish you all the best!  Click to see the rest of Lee and Suzanne’s Top of the Rock wedding photos!

February 22, 2010 - 1:04 pm

Diane Pettey McDermet - …sigh. I can’t put into words how joy-filled the kids’ event was and you two did a terrific job as photographers!
thanks!
Diane (mamma-of-the-bride)

Vicki & Zach FINALLY get an engagement session!

You may remember Tim from my brother’s wedding.  He was the main photographer there since Scottie was pulling double duty as a photographer/ groomsman and I got the chance to be a full- fledged bridesmaid!  So because we love his work enough to choose him for our own family member’s wedding, here Tim pops up again as the main photographer for Vicki & Zach’s wedding!

One thing we love about Tim (other than his mad photography skillz and just his genuine, intriguing, intelligent self ) is his desire to truly help people.  You may remember our blog about Abby and the work she does in Africa (especially since it’s right below this one) well, Abby is Tim’s sister-in-law!  Tim is saving all the money he makes doing photography to go to Africa with his wife to visit Abby next summer.  We’re more than thrilled to help fund Tim’s worth while goal.

When he’s not working with Radiant, Tim is a High School English teacher (this is starting to sound like an add on eharmony or something).  Judging by his extraordinarily creative vocabulary (and his chosen profession) I figured he was a good writer, but I was still surprised by just how good he actually is when I read the blog he wrote about Vicki & Zach’s engagement session!

And now, some words from the man himself!!

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They say, “Good things come to those who wait.”  For Vicki and Zach’s engagement shoot, this couldn’t be more true.

We were originally scheduled to shoot in December, at Tempe Town Lake, but the Iron Man Triathlon foiled the plans – not many people want short-shorted people adorning the background of their engagement photos.  We blindly rescheduled for January, a few weeks after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

A few weeks before the rescheduled shoot, we realized the PF Change Rock and Roll Marathon was scheduled for the same day!  Coincidence?  Nay.  Frustration?  Yeah.

We settled on Scottsdale Civic Center Park – home of the infamous “LOVE” sculpture on a chilly Sunday morning and the day couldn’t have gone better.

Vicki and Zach were such a pleasure to work with.  Comfortable in their own right and with one another, they were photogenic to say the least.

We cruised around the park, and with Scottie as our guide, hit some great spots for shooting.  Vicki and Zach appeased our creative risk-taking as we placed them on cold metal walls and had them dance around in plain view of passersby.

All in all, it was a great shoot and I am very much looking forward to photographing Vicki and Zach’s wedding in May. Click to see the rest of Vicki and Zach’s Scottsdale Engagement photos.

June 8, 2010 - 4:17 pm

Tim B hanging out with Jon A on Vicki and Zach’s big day! « Radiant Life - [...] any of you remember Vicki and Zac’s engagement session, you remember that we had an associate photographer for Radiant both shoot and blog their [...]

A True Life Changing Experience.

Do you ever have those experiences that completely transform the tone of your entire day within an instant?  That’s how I feel every single time I read my friend Abby’s blog.  Now you might be thinking “wow, she must have some really hilarious kids, a very intense home improvement project, or an especially cute little puppy to have the ability to affect you that much”.  Umm, not so much.  Abby lives in Africa in a home for street kids.  She takes care of these kids like they are her own and she deals with situations, emotions, and tragedy that is beyond my comprehension… and way above the abilities of most 20 somethings I know, and of most 60 somethings I know actually!

(so… she’s the white one! Abby or the people on her team took all of these photos.  These are not Radiant Photos.)

The lives of street kids in Africa is something so difficult to hear about, that most people would rather not know about it.  As a result of war, the HIV/AIDS virus, and severe poverty; 13% of all children under the age of 18 in Uganda have been orphaned. Once on the streets, these children experience significant levels of all kinds of abuse and mistreatment. They are hated and feared by the rest of the community, even though they are only children.

The kids are forced to sleep wherever they can.  Since they are in danger of being taken by the corrupt police force, being kidnapped to be sold into slavery, or just receiving random beatings while sleeping, they never get to feel “safe”.

(This is where one kid chose to sleep so that it would be harder for people to get to him).

Here’s where some of the other street kids sleep.

These children, who are left to fend for themselves in a community that is out to destroy them, are the children that Abby provides shelter, food, medical care, education, counseling, friendship, and family to.

She has 14 of these children in her home in Kivulu and she (along with others in her organization, “A Perfect Injustice“) support another 100 street kids through a program that meets 3 times a week that provides many of the same things that the children who live in the home receive.

(Here’s Abby, providing medical care at the clinic.)

(There are much more graphic photos of her doing this on her blog, but I figured there were some people who wouldn’t appreciate seeing those!)

A Perfect Injustice” also financially supports other street kids who have been sent to boarding schools where they receive the care, attention, and education they need.  Thanks to the commitment and love that Abby and others have shown towards these kids, all these children are now being healed (medically, emotionally, and relationally).  They now stand a chance for the kind of life that every child deserves to experience.

(birthday party!)

(They love soccer)!

(I think this photo is my personal favorite.  This pictures just says “family” to me).

Now that we’ve been exposed to what she’s doing over there, we couldn’t help but participate!  We support various non-profit organizations through our “Radiant Love” program so we’ve supported Abby in the past… and we can’t help but support her again now.  So for every wedding we book from now until we change organizations (at an undetermined date), 10% of our shooting fees are going towards supporting these kids and the changes they are working so hard to make in their lives. (Click to read more about our Radiant Love Program and click here to see organizations we’ve supported in the past).

Nothing I can say could ever communicate what’s really going on with Abby and these kids in Africa.  Luckily, Abby has an extraordinary talent for writing (and photography!) and uses these skills to reveal her heart and explain her world to everyone who takes the time to read about it.

So please, PLEASE take the time to read at least this one blog post from her regular blog that we believe is life changing.  If you don’t love it, then you never have to read another blog by her again (even though we might still share her posts on our blog from time to time)… but I think you’ll be hooked!

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Danger! Hatari!

location: Kamapala
mood: heartbroken
music: Immanuel Jal

Street kids are not dangerous, no, street kids live in a world of danger.

We had another boy shot by police officers a couple of nights ago. He was doing nothing, absolutely nothing wrong and he was shot in the leg for it. A couple nights later he got very, very badly beaten again.
All of last week as well was too difficult for our street kids. The police and bad people continued to come in at night and beat the children up, steal from them, and arrest the older boys. One of the male social workers who works in Kisenyi (the primary slum the kids in our program live in) told us that we had reduced numbers of kids coming that week because there were many that were beaten so badly they couldnt travel the short distance over to our programs.
I will never forget the boys who came up to me just last week to tell me that they were hurting because they were beaten by police the night before. Joseph put his arm around my shoulder and told me as tears began to fall down his face that his body hurt because he kept getting beaten at night. When I told him that I prayed for him every night and that we were all working to do something about it he began to walk away sadly.
Last night I was talking to a volunteer who was staying in a babies home in Kampala. She told me that she had come to Uganda because her friend was telling her it was such a beautiful, safe and easy country.
That hit me so hard that I couldnt say anything (until I slowly recovered and tried my best to politely agree with her). How can one city have two worlds that are so completely different. How can a girl enter and leave a country and believe that it is a place that is purely safe, easy and beautiful?
I am having a hard time lately, I entered so easily into the world of street kids. Entered into their hearts, their lives, their dreams…
“I want to study.”
“I want to have a home.”
“I want to go home with you.”
“I want to have a job.”
“I want to be safe.”
“I want to not be beaten at night.”
And now I am beginning to enter so quickly into their pain, or at least a piece of it and it is not easy. Street children are so tough, stronger than any child, any person should ever have to be. You would never believe what they go through when you see their beautiful smiles, they still have found a way to grasp joy and love.
Street children are… children. They should be going to school and getting hugs when they enter the house. THey should not only be tucked in at night but have a bed or at least a blanket to sleep with.
And yet my children sleep in alleyways and gutters. They get sick because they eat from garbage cans. They get arrested and put in prison. They cant go a week without getting beaten. They cant keep a pair of shoes because they get stolen off their feet. They get abused in every way.
When I first came to Uganda several years ago I really wrestle with God about how He could allow people to suffer the way that they do. I dont struggle with that anymore. I have poured out my heart to Him, I know He listens. I know that He feels more pain than sweet Joseph when Joseph is kicked with police officers steel toed boots, when he is beaten by battons and hit with rocks. God has a heart that not only hears but resonates with street children, He is one. I see Jesus’ face in my kids. I feel so close to God when I am with them. I feel so alive.
God has a heart for the suffering and He has given us a large call to do something about those that are opressed and abused. One day He will lift up all of those who have suffered injustice and He will punish those who have oppressed the orphan and the widow.
It hurts my heart yes, it actually breaks it but it is so worth it to enter into their worlds and to bring them light. To tell them about a God that loves them. To play with them. To lift them up and tell them that I love them and what they are so good at.

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Posted on Jul. 12th, 2009 at 10:11 am

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Of course Abby has many more AMAZING pics on her blog and also some videos that help you really connect to the kids that she’s dedicated her lives to.  Here are some of my favorite cute kid pics of hers!

(Abby has stories about all these kids on her blog).

(Abby said that he carries his little brother rain or shine, even when he’s stuck wearing snow bibs (and sweating profusely because of it). She said it took so many shots to get this picture because he would never push back when all of the other kids crowded as close as possible for the picture).

(She said it was really hot out this day, but he loved the jacket so much, he wouldn’t take it off)!


Scottie and I have committed to reading at least 1 blog post from Abby every day for the next 2 weeks.  We want to be reminded every morning that there are bigger things going on in the world than we see every day in our tiny little lives.  We hope you will join us in this commitment to be inspired every day by how love can change everything.

January 28, 2010 - 3:22 pm

chelsea hudson - yes, i do love this. i love it. abby is another shining example of what Christ-Compassion looks like… that is a great challenge you and scottie are doing. we all need to rouse ourselves from this self-obsessed slumber and apathy that is so prevalent in our culture. God HELP us all to be your hands and feet and hugs and grace and peace to such a hurting world around us.

Wes and Moriah returning to Radiant… with a tiny new addition!

Do you know Moriah?

If you’ve lived in AZ for very long, the answer is probably “yes”.  It seems like Moriah knows everyone!  In fact, every time we show her wedding album at a bridal show, every other girl that stops by points to her photos and says “hey, I know her!”

And to Moriah’s credit, out of all the tons of people we’ve met who know her, none have had a single bad thing to say about her!  And how could they?!  I mean she’s MORIAH… and since knowing her, that name now represents one of the most caring, friendly, loving, social, wonderful girls I’ve ever met (I’m not even exaggerating).

(doesn’t she just look like a nice person?!)

Needless to say, we feel beyond blessed that we had a chance to shoot her wedding two and a half years ago and to continue developing a relationship with this girl who treats everyone like they are the most valuable person in the world.  Who doesn’t want to be friends with someone like that right?!

It would be impossible to talk about Moriah, without mentioning her husband Wes, who treats her like the true princess she is!  Okay, I’ve reached a level of cheesiness that I’m highly uncomfortable with… I just couldn’t help it because I could gush all day about these amazing, beautiful people.

(Scottie took these awesome pics of him while I was getting shots of her.  You can’t help but notice the way he’s looking at her…  I think he loves her!)

(Once you see them you may think that when I refer to them as “beautiful people” I’m talking about them on the outside, but of course I’m referring to all the beauty that’s hiding behind those breathtaking eyes they both have)!

We’ve mentioned before that one of the best parts of our job are the people we meet along the way.  We not only gain some great friends through the time we spend with them preparing for their wedding, but we also get to follow them through all the major celebrations in their lives.

Going through the entire wedding process can be a pretty bonding experience, so then to get a chance to see these same people as they begin preparing to be parents for the first time is an opportunity that we feel very honored to have.

All that to say, we were VERY excited when Moriah called us and asked us to do her maternity photos!  You would’ve thought we couldn’t have been any more excited… and then we heard about the kind of session she wanted to have and… well she just made our week!

Her goal was to be different than most maternity sessions she sees and also different from the style of photo sessions her and Wes usually have.  They have a lot of green grass, sunny, happy pictures (aka the Christmas pictures we did for them this past year) and she thought it was appropriate since she is having a boy to go a little more rustic this time.

Her vision for the session consisted of her wearing a white dress, standing among yellow/dead looking fields and also posing in front of a few rustic looking places. Translation: A freaking cool session that fits PERFECTLY with what we like to do! :-)  Good job being ridiculously creative, Moriah!

There are a lot of open in fields around Phoenix, but the trick was to find tall, yellow grass.  It just wasn’t really happening.  Luckily, Wes and Moriah found this cool little fake Old West looking town.  We were a little skeptical when we first heard about it, but we should’ve known to trust their opinion… because it ended up being perfect.

We even got a few tall, yellow grass shots there (thanks to the teeny tiny patches that we were able to make look bigger than they actual were)!

Here are some more of our favorites from Wes and Moriah’s session

So as always, Wes and Moriah, we had a blast with you guys and we feel so honored that you’ve allowed us into your lives and had us there to share in all the biggest moments of your lives.  We’re thankful you’ve decided to “keep us around”. :-)  Congrats on the pregnancy, we’re VERY excited for you guys and we can’t wait to meet little Camden when he gets here!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Wes & Moriah’s Scottsdale Maternity photo session

January 27, 2010 - 8:17 pm

Moriah - Love love love love!! You seriously made all of my dreams for this session come true! These pictures are completely breathtaking. I can’t even explain how excited we are about these. We love you guys and can’t wait to share these pictures with all our loved ones! Can’t wait for the newborn session! :)

January 28, 2010 - 4:12 pm

Bethany - These are amazing! And I love her white outfit…probably will have to steal that idea for my shoot. :) Can’t wait!

October 29, 2013 - 8:12 pm

Johanna - Where were these taken in Scottsdale? They are gorgeous!

October 30, 2013 - 6:25 pm

Breanna - Hey Johanna,

Yes, these were in Scottsdale! Thanks for the compliment!