Category Archives: Families

Need a senior session? Radiant photography founders and owners, Scott & Breanna, would love to be a part of it! Here’s some of the work they’ve done with families!

Shannon and Mark’s Crazy Awesome Family Photo Session!

And the winner of the Radiant Photography Sportsmanship award… Mark and Shannon Smith (studio audience cheering sounds)!!!

Actually, who are we kidding, Shannon, you did great but we all know Mark REALLY deserves this award!  I mean seriously, being married to a very creative wedding planner can’t be easy, especially when it comes time for family photo time!

You should hear some of the crazy things Mark has done to satisfy some of Shannon’s creative whims!  He says he has a line, but since he’s such a great guy, I’m guessing that line’s a pretty soft one.

I mean, I at least know he’s willing to set up and tear down an entire bed 3 separate times for one photo shoot and that he can do it all with a smile on his face!  Oh yes, I did say THREE times, that’s actually the exact reason I considered giving this award as a tie to Shannon as well… because she too had quite a great attitude throughout the shenanigans that defined this shoot!

Let me tell it to you from the beginning.

We were in search of a field. With one tree. And green grass. Oh, and we happen to be in the desert. Needless to say, finding this particular looking location was not the easiest task in the world. Add to that the fact that we needed to have the ability to set up a full metal frame bed in this particular location, and we had quite a challenge on our hands!

We did finally find a place, and it happened to be about an hour and a half outside of town… make that 2 hours- 2 STRESSFUL hours- when you are driving with a giant bed and mattress flopping in the wind as you head down a 65 mph road going only 40 mph, hoping the entire time that your mother-in-law’s mattress isn’t going to start growing mold as the rain pours down on you.

This is how Mark’s morning started out. Mhmm, I told you he deserves this award, but wait, I’m not done yet.

So the rain wasn’t looking too good, the wet mattress wasn’t looking too good, and Mark’s face wasn’t looking too good… it was at this point that Shannon decided we should all turn around and head back into town in hopes of finding another location for this shoot.

As we pulled in and faced an entirely empty vast space of dirt… with a few brown desert plants scattered here and there.  Shannon’s face fell as she saw her dreams of a grassy dreamland blowing away with the dust around us. However, she remained in good spirits in spite of it all… and Mark was back to his normal chill self by the time we reached the straight up dirt lot.

Luckily, the irony of the ending up in the EXACT opposite location from what Shannon dreamed about just struck us all as funny at the exact same time.  It was at this point (as Shannon was actually laughing about her misfortune) that I turned to her and told her how impressed I was with her.

Seriously, when your entire job and skill set revolves around planning hundreds of details and enabling them to all align JUST right… it’s not the easiest thing in the world to let go of when things DON’T go right… especially when it’s your own event that you planned! But there she was, letting it roll right off her back and adjusting her vision of the shoot, while just laughing and throwing her hands up in the air.

This dirt space was on the Indian Reservation. And (as we soon found out), they don’t take too kindly to you setting up a bed on their land. Just as the bed was all put together and we were ready to start putting the sheets on and get their kids out of the car, a tribal police car pulled up.  Let’s just say, she wasn’t in the best mood and her shift had already ended.

She told us we had 3 choices:

1. Pack up and go right now.

2. She could tow our trucks AND our bed (I’m not sure how exactly she planned on pulling that off).

3. She could site us with a $10,000 ticket (no exaggeration, that was seriously the amount).

Hmm… let me think about this for a second….Yeah, it was a unanimous decision… we packed up quickly.

Sooo… now we had a bed in the truck, a couple of tired guys, two kids who were being unbelievably patient thus far but probably couldn’t make it much longer, a quickly setting sun, and a group of very discouraged people. Now what?!

Luckily, Shannon got on the phone and started pulling her wedding planner card with a few of her connections. And within 10 minutes, she had us a place!  A BEEEEAUUUTIFUL place, nonetheless (seriously, call Sassy Soirees if you want things to really get done for your wedding!!)!

We were going to an actual fancy golf course, I couldn’t BELIEVE they were going to let us set up an entire bed there! It was a miracle! There’s no way we would’ve thought they’d say yes, or else we would’ve called them from the beginning!

So we showed up at the wonderful, beautiful, safe haven of even green lawns at Ocotillo Golf Resort. Ahh… a sigh of relief. Just knowing we were actually given permission to be there felt good… let alone that the lighting was perfect, the scenery was stunning, and the cooped up little boys had plenty of space to run around in (as long as all the grown ups served as a human shield between them and the lake).

Yes, we’d finally found our spot… and it couldn’t have been better!

Shannon really had set up an amazing plan for this. She’d ordered a large sized version of a Peter Pan book, bought the boys adorable matching pajamas, and even grabbed some real feather pillows for a very messy pillow fight!

It was beautiful and so so SO adorable to watch this family together in action.

I grew up with 2 brothers, so I know boys and I know how they run. But oh WOW do these boys run FAST!!!  And in exactly opposite directions nonetheless.

Often, the younger child sticks like glue to the older sibling, but not in this case!  This little one had his own places to go and things to do… and Shannon or Mark (whoever wasn’t after the other one) was off and running at full adult speed to catch them!All of them laughing and having fun together the entire time!

(See, getting caught isn’t always such a bad thing!).

So overall, this family holds up very, very well under pressure!  The kids, waiting an extra 2 hours in the car and still laughing and playing when they finally got out…

…Mark, doing fast manual labor several times in a row while being responsible for keeping his family safe during a slightly scary trip, and still smiling and laughing by the end… Shannon, watching something she’d put so much time and attention into falling apart before her eyes, while still taking the time to remember what’s actually really important in this situation… having fun with her family and creating great memories with them.

Good job, Shannon and Mark, I seriously am so impressed with the attitude you both had about this session! Scottie and I agreed that even though we already really liked the two of you…. we now like you that much more after seeing how amazing you both handle things not going your way in life and bad days.  Not everyone can laugh about life the way you can and we were both thoroughly impressed.

The first thing I said when I got in the car after giving up on our first location was how amazed I was that Shannon was handling this so well. And the first thing Scottie said after we finished the shoot was, “that Mark is a really amazing man”.  So if it’s not true that you guys are fantastic, you have us fooled really well!

Good job guys, you all win the award and we’re so proud of you.

Click to see the rest of the photos from Shannon and Mark’s Crazy Awesome family photo session!

The Work Family and their hilarious world.

Ah the Work family… how could you not love them?!

They are one of the most hilarious, loveable bunches ever!

We had the opportunity to  get to know this family last year when we did Ted’s senior photos. So we know from past experience that as soon as this family comes together, they turn into a hilarious goofball comedy team that makes doing anything but laughing (including taking pictures) practically impossible!

(Ted’s on the left).

Seriously, this family is so much fun to be around that when they called us to do a family session in their backyard, we couldn’t wait!

And then the rain came.

Luckily, it stopped raining just in time for us to run out and grab some shots of the stunning scenery that makes up the beautiful view they wake up to everyday.

Not only did we have a gorgeous landscape to work with and really fun people but we had their AWESOME cats too!

I’m pretty sure this was the first time I’ve ever touched a hairless cat before and it was definitely the first time I’ve ever taken pictures of one… let alone two!

To my pleasant surprise, their lack of hair makes all their other features stand out that much more… their eyes specifically!

So take the Work family’s fun personalities, their grand backyard view, their fantastic modern style and decor (which I have to mention because I really loved what they’d done with the place), and their unique little pets… and you have the recipe for an exceptionally wonderful family shoot.

Thanks to the Work family for bringing us into your fun little world, we were thrilled with it! We hope you love the way we captured it all and told the story of your family.

Click to see the rest of the Work Family Photos!

The Mykytiuk Family together for laughter and food on picture day!

It seems like only yesterday that Zach needed his senior pictures done.  But really it was actually a long time ago and we haven’t really seen the Mykytiuk family much since then.

So we were thrilled at the opportunity to get to spend a little more time with them when Annie and Paul called us to take family pictures for them.  Only this time we got to meet the WHOLE Mykytiuk family!

We quickly discovered that if there’s anything better than a few Mykytiuks, it’s tons of Mykytiuks! Talk about a boisterous family!

We did the normal posy-posy stuff and then we could barely stop them from working on strange body contortions, family pyramids, and fake fighting scenes.

Definitely not the kind of poses you expect from a family session!

(This one was no pose, she was actually just that scared to go on her sister’s shoulders!)(This is the parents breaking up a pretend fight… or at least they told us it was pretend!)

I wish we could take credit for how fun some of these pictures are… but it really was just them being them!

We had lots…

… and lots…

…of laughs that day.

And to finish it all off, we crowded around their big family style table and joined them for dinner… after we took a few photos of it of course!

I was happy that we got to capture the type of meal that just screams family.

Whether it reminds them of Christmas, Thanksgivings, Birthdays, or whatever… I’m sure these photos of a big family meal together will conjure up all kinds of nostalgia for the Mykytiuk family for years to come and forever remind them of what it means to be family.

Thanks for letting us be a part of the fun and the memories!

Click to see the rest of the Mykytiuk family photos here.

The Jones Family…smiling pretty for their Carlsbad photo session!

Ah the Jones Family.

These people have been a part of my life since I (Breanna) was 12 years old. I was friends with Ryan back then and once I hit my freshman year of high school, his sister (Tara) became my mentor.

(Ryan on the right…)

(Tara on the right).

It wasn’t until a while into these friendships that I found out that their mom, JoAnn, had gone to high school with my mom!

So I have seen a lot happen in this family as Tara and Ryan have grown up, gotten married, and had kids.

Ironically enough, Tara became a photographer as well (no, she didn’t try to sway me in that direction when she was my mentor… we both did it independently!)!

So we have been following one another’s work for awhile now and when it came time to give her mom a mother’s day present, she decided that a family photo session with Radiant would do the trick!

The best part about it, was that I was once again enfolded into the lives of this fantastic family… and this time I got to be a part of family tradition!

(As you can see by this picture, we’re talking about a REALLY fun family tradition!!! Beach joy is the best.).

Every summer since JoAnn was a little girl, she has gone to Carlsbad, California for vacation. And once she married Doug, they began bringing their own kids to the same spot… and now they get to come along with their grandkids as well!

They stay at the Carlsbad Inn each time and they’ve become so regular with their vacations that they’ve become great friends with some of the other families that stay there every year too!

I am so impressed that they’ve been able to keep up this tradition for so many years… especially because it is one of the best family traditions I’ve ever heard of!

(Funny how it’s easier to get in the hole than out, isn’t it?!).

It was really fun to get to know the little ones in the Jones family now!  They all have such unique personalities and it was so fun for me to be able to spot certain parts of each kid that reminded me of both Tara and Ryan as I knew them when they were younger.

(Ryan, I’m not saying that you did, and I’m not saying that you didn’t, put sand in Tara’s mouth when you were little).

(She has always looked like Tara to me!).

(And this little one, actually reminded me of my own brother more than anyone else!).

(I love this slow motion one that starts out as a brotherly hug and ends with a hardcore belly bump into the sand!!!).

I was really glad that my husband got to spend some time with a family who was such a major part of my life growing up and that I got to get to know both Tara’s husband (Chris) and Ryan’s wife (Danae) better as well.

It was also so cool to watch these little siblings and cousins all play together!

Especially knowing that they are going to grow up coming to this exact same spot to play together for years to come and hopefully even once they all have kids of their own!

(I LOVE the way she’s looking at her dad in this one!!!).

(… and the way he’s cuddling up with his mom in this one!!!).

It’s so crazy to think that the children of these kids here will look back on these photos of their parents playing in the same spot when they were little.  Awesome.  And such a huge blessing for us to be a part of it all.

Thanks to all of you for taking a little time out of your vacation for us and for being such great models while trying to keep everyone together in one piece all at the same time!  It’s hard wrangling in such a big group for photos and you guys pulled it off perfectly!

We hope you love all the photos and we’ll see you all soon! 🙂

Click to see the rest of the photos from the Jones Family’s Carlsbad photo session.

Rocking horses, pink tutu, baby cowboy boots, and brightly colored balloons… Cayden and Rylie in the cutest session ever!

If these kids look familiar to you, don’t drive yourself crazy trying to remember where you recognize them from, because I’ll just tell you.

These little chubsters each belong to one of my (Breanna) cousins so they pop up on this blog on a regular basis.

When their time for photo day comes we usually combine them together, because well, it’s just sooo cute to have Cayden pulling Rylie’s bow off…

(It happens every time!)

…pinching her face or pushing her down as he attempts to stand up…

…or just being all round annoying as boys tend to be towards girls sometimes.

Don’t worry, she gets him back with all kinds of nasty slobbery kisses, and I’m sure she’ll get more creative with her revenge tactics as she gets older.

My favorite is when they fall into each other and bonk heads then both start crying! (I’m not mean… it’s just funny!).

Two babies for photo time is just so much more fun than one!

For this session that celebrated both of their first birthdays, their parents did a fantastic job planning the props and matching the kids!

(This is the standard shot we always get of Rylie and her dad’s feet… unfortunately it was raining hard by then so we had to do it on this ugly ground in the veranda. But I guess as long as you can see baby leg chub it’s good regardless of the details!).

I still cannot get over those amazing baby cowboy boots!!

One of the best parts about these photos is that you can’t tell how awful the weather was that day! Well, except for when you see the balloons blowing sideways or Rylie’s hair blowing straight up! 🙂

It was raining and SUPER windy so everyone was rushing around with the props and utilizing the few non-rain seconds we had while doing whatever it took to keep the kids warm and happy.

It definitely felt a little chaotic and unnerving, but everyone looks so cool, calm, and collected in the photos.  Phew!!

Another successful shoot for Cayden, Rylie, and their families.  Great job guys!

While I love the cowboy theme with a little soccer ball action mixed in, next time I want to see a session themed around the other types of careers they could have…. I’m expecting astronaut suits, basketball jerseys, lab coats, and mini business suits.

Let’s make it happen! 😉