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Category Archives: Josh and Kelley

Re-visting Shanya and Clarence’s “Fun with Style” Wedding

Well it’s time for a new decade, but we aren’t quite ready to let go of the past! So we’re featuring a blog series called “The Best of the Twenty-Teens”! Everyone needs a little Shanya and Clarence in their lives, so we’re happy to oblige and re-feature them here (originally posted Nov. 15, 2012)!

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One of my very favorite things about the weddings we go to is seeing how couples decide to make them their own. I love how the unique things about each couple and what’s important to them, shows up over and over again at a wedding in both small and big ways. Which is why I was a BIG fan of Shanya and Clarence’s wedding.

From day one they knew they wanted their wedding to reflect their own personal style as well as to be a huge celebration that was tons of fun for everyone!

(Like our Facebook page to tag yourself in these photos!)

Shanya and Clarence had guests from literally all over the world coming, I heard it mentioned that they had someone there from almost all of the 50 states in the US… not to mention from so many other countries. This was like a dream come true for Shanya and Clarence. It’s so hard to have your loved ones scattered out so far… so to have them all under one roof at the same time, is the best kind of mind blow there is.

Out of all the things they were excited for about their wedding, it seemed to me (Breanna) that having all their loved ones together at the same time was the thing that was making them jump up and down in anticipation the most.

That being the case, they were going to party their little hearts out and make this a trip their guests would NEVER forget. So that’s exactly what they did. And a party wouldn’t be a party to Shanya and Clarence if they weren’t able to be their true selves. And in my opinion, their true selves are hilarious!

In fact, it seemed like every person at this wedding had a fantastic sense of humor! Even the person who is typically the most solemn of all, the officiant, was cracking jokes that I even heard people laughing about long after the ceremony ended!

Even their vows of all things, both from the bride and the groom, contained the perfect amount of humor mixed with sentiment that had people laughing with tears in their eyes and huge smiles on their faces the entire time.

Apparently Shanya learned her public speaking skills from the best because her father’s speech that night was also one of the most memorable ones I’ve heard, that had the exact same perfect combination of humor and emotion that Shanya displayed in her vows at the alter.

The thing about the humor that I heard that day was that it wasn’t just people with good timing, or facial expressions, or whatever it is that makes people funny, it was people who were being purely genuine.

The number one thing I saw at Shanya and Clarence’s wedding was people who were real. They weren’t afraid of being vulnerable, messing up in front of people, or wearing their hearts on their sleeves. They were all joyfully connected to one another, and they weren’t afraid to show it.

From that sheer wedding day joy and lack of care about what people thought of them, came the true humor that expressed what was really going on in their heads on the kind of whirlwind and crazy day that a wedding is! It was beautiful and I loved that about this group of people.

Besides the great sense of humor that I witnessed that day, my other favorite way that Shanya and Clarence made this their own was through their unique style. By style I mean STYLE.

Everything from their transportation (Ollie the Trolley for the bridal party and double decker buses for the guests)…

….to the way they honored Clarence’s Filipino and their shared Sri Lankan traditions (the chord and veil ceremony, lighting of the lamp as they entered the reception, and having sponsors for the wedding)…

… to their incredibly detailed and well thought out decor…

… EVERY piece of their wedding reflected their own unique style and showed that this couple REALLY knows how to throw a party.

If you haven’t noticed by now, this wedding had details with a capital D. Every little thing involved in their wedding was there for a reason.

If you’ve ever planned a wedding or an event of any kind, you know that there aren’t magical little wedding elves that go around setting everything up when your back is turned…. well actually there are but we here in the real world call them “wedding planners”. Actually we call them “GOOD wedding planners”, because the kind that really make it happen as good as if magical elves are doing it are hard to find.

Fortunately, Shanya and Clarence were aware of both the significance and the rarity of this magical creature, so they looked high and low (past the gum drop forest and the Lucky Charms Leprechaun) until they found the best planner in the land… Ashley Gain from Ashley Gain Weddings and Events and her incredible, some would say “magical”, team.

You hear rumors that they’re there on the wedding day, but all you actually see are streaks of pink, and the affects of their work. As one thing after another happens flawlessly through out the night, you wonder “how is the happening”?! Someone tells you, “oh, Ashley Gain is here” and that’s when you know that planners as good as her really do exist.

Ashley’s work and Shanya and Clarence’s visions for the greatest party of their lives were so big that they leaked out of the first party and crept into another! In other words, after their grand reception ended (that was fully successful in fulfilling their dreams for an incredible party I might add), the group headed over to another room at the Montelucia Resort and Spa,  to continue on with an after party!

Unfortunately for Scottie and myself, our time was up and we headed home to get some much needed sleep after such an eventful day. But Josh (one of our other photographers), was more than happy to take over and get the chance to be a part of such a memorable wedding!

So I don’t have much info about what actually happened at the after party, but I do know that the pictures speak for themselves and make me wish I had been there to see it myself!

Now I’ve told you more than you ever knew there was to know about Shanya and Clarence’s wedding but I still haven’t told you much about THEM! As you can imagine from all you’ve seen by now, Shanya and Clarence are pretty amazing people!

Not just because they have an absolutely incredible story about how they are both Sri Lankan and randomly found each other and fell in love in New York City (if you ever meet them you have to ask for the long version of that story!), but because they just ARE wonderful people!

And because it seems to me, that them joining together is going to do nothing more than make everything that is beautiful about them, grow even stronger!

I hope you guys stay in touch so that we get to see how the two of you grow and change for the better together! Congratulations, we’re so happy for you!

Click to see the rest of Shanya and Clarence’s Wedding with style and a sense of humor (you can see photos from the rehearsal dinner and photobooth there as well!).

Re-visiting Dash and Morgan’s “Best of the Best” Wedding

We’re revisiting the past decade with our “Best of the Twenty-Teens” blog series! Here’s our second trip back in time, Dash and Morgan’s Wedding (originally posted May 16, 2011).

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There is only one way I could even consider describing Dash and Morgan’s wedding and that is to say that it was “the best of the best”.

I mean that whole heartedly in every single way.  All that was involved fit this description…from the decorations, to their friends and family, to the vendors (if I do say so myself!), to the actual party.

Every single part of this wedding was exceptional in every single way.  Let me see if I can even begin to describe the majestic awesomeness that was this wedding!

So lets just start with the obvious… it was freaking beautiful, okay?!

The details…

… the ceremony…

(You can’t beat a ring bearer running full speed down the aisle towards his mom!).

(I love how Dash is looking at his mom in this picture!).

… the location…

(Pictured above is part of the cocktail hour set up… and also a showcase of future purchases I plan on making for my home. Consider this photo my Christmas list.).


… and OF COURSE, the bride!

I mean, just look, look, look at Morgan’s dress!!!

I (Breanna) got so excited when I saw it that I might have peed myself a little.  Layers and layers of elegant fabric, flowers, ruffles, and cream colored accents…. this is the stuff that girly dreamland fantasies are made of!

I felt like I was 5 years old again and seeing Cinderella at Disneyland for the first time-  I almost fainted out of girly overload every time that fabric swished and twirled around her.

(The accessories to go with the dress).

Of course the dress was just like one in a million of the beautiful details at the wedding.  I can’t even begin to describe all that was there that day, you really need to go look at the entire collection of photos from the day to get the full affect.

Remember the “best of the best” phrase?  Well not only does it describe the look of all the beautiful details there that day, but also the quality of the hard workers that made those things happen.

I have to start off by mentioning that we were so excited to have Josh and Kelley Johnson be a part of photographing this wedding with us!

(I can’t get enough of this pic that Josh and Kelley took, it looks like heaven for stemware!).

You might remember that they helped out on my cousin’s wedding so we could chill for the reception with my family, and now they are back for round two with Radiant on this wedding!

(Remind me to ask Josh and Kelley next time I see them if they have magical powers.  How else could they get photos this amazing?!).

They helped turn Scottie and my limited human potential (meaning we can’t be everywhere at once!) into… well, not quite complete omnipresence, but a lot closer to it!  They were at all the places we weren’t to make sure that every little beautiful detail of this wedding was captured and not a second was missed!

(Another couple of Josh and Kelley masterpieces!).

We were once again blown away by their mad skillz both as photographers and as professionals and we were so very very thankful we had them there to help us!

(I’m so jealous that I didn’t take these photos myself!).

Thanks guys! 🙂

Amina Michele and her team from “Some Like it Classic” were the designers of this wedding and my hats are off to them all as well.

Granted, Amina had an amazing support team surrounding her, but she still did the work of like 10 people all on her own and she did it with perfection and precision.

It was so fun to talk to Morgan about the things she was looking forward to about her wedding day and then to hear it from the perspective of Amina who was helping to make it all happen.

(Morgan’s reaction at the first sight of the cake she’d been dreaming about!).

Amina was almost as excited as Morgan was about all the bits and pieces she was working on, you can definitely tell this is her art and that she prides herself (rightly so) immensely on her work.

The more I talked to the two of them prior to the wedding, the more excited I got too! And the more I watched the details unfold, the more I admired Amina for her outstanding abilities and for the love and value she placed on the work she was doing… and the people she was doing it all for.

Amina and the Some Like it Classic team were only a piece of the behind the scenes work, so if you’re looking for wedding vendors yourself and want to know who some of the  pros at this wedding were, send me an email and I’ll get you the info… because I am convinced that all the vendors we worked with on this day were all the “best of the best” in their fields.  They had to be to make this day look, feel, and flow so perfectly!

Not to beat the “best of the best” thing into the ground, but there is still another major aspect to this wedding that fit this phrase to a T and that is the friends and family of Dash and Morgan.

(Her dad watching as his little girl prepares to walk down the aisle).

(Family dance party time!).


Of course we fell in love with Dash and Morgan during our first meeting with them, so we should’ve automatically assumed that their friends would be wonderful as well.  However, we were still stunned by just how amazing the people Dash and Morgan surround themselves with actually are!

When Scottie and I got married we referred to our bridal party as “The Dream Team” since we felt like it was all the best people in the world brought together in one group for one weekend… what couldn’t they do?!  But I have to say that Dash and Morgan’s dream team does give ours a run for it’s money!

We first noticed this when we were doing photos of the bridal party.  You have to envision the scene here… you have about 20 people (which is a large enough number to make it very difficult to get complete focus from everyone), who only got a few hours of sleep the night before, standing around outside in 95 degree heat (in direct sun for most of it),  and half of these people are wearing black tuxes.

I will just say from my past experience, this is not the makings of a smooth running bridal party portrait time.  The pressure was on us to make it speedy while ensuring that no one passed out on us or started throwing punches in the midst of a heat induced nervous breakdown- we were definitely a little worried.

(Good thing nothing came to blows because I think those rings could do some damage!).

But as we had groomsmen asking us if they were doing things right, everyone standing quietly and listening to directions, and people walking into the sun without complaining in the least, we realized we had a miracle on our hands.

(Like our Facebook page to tag yourself in some of these photos!).

Well, at least that was our first thought, but we soon realized that Dash and Morgan just have amazing friends!!!

Instead of causing us problems, the bridal party members were asking us if we needed anything and being truly helpful and considerate towards us!

They were so amazing that in her speech during the reception, Morgan actually thanked the groomsmen in particular (since you know, they tend to be the “endearing troublemakers” of a bridal party group) for being so wonderful and helpful throughout the wedding process.

I agree with her completely and want to send out a BIIIIGGGG hug to all of Morgan and Dash’s bridal party for not only being easy to work with during a stressful situation, but for actually treating us like a part of the group rather than as “those people who make me do stuff when I don’t want to”.

I think we still had the baffled deer in the headlights look after dealing with such a kind bridal party as we walked into the reception only to find EVEN MORE wonderful people waiting inside the reception tent!

As soon as the music came on, I froze on the middle of the dance floor with my jaw hanging open (not the safest place to be really) because I was utterly stunned by the sheer amount of people that poured around me and began to boogie like it was both the first and last party of their lives.

I don’t think I have ever seen such a huge group of so many fun people in my life!!!

Of course this amount of boisterous energy, unconcealed joy, and gregarious laughter kept our cameras up to our faces all night long!  We couldn’t have stopped shooting if we wanted to because every single second was a new hilarious moment, and every single shot was of a new person causing the crowd to cheer.

It seriously was one of the most incredible parties I’ve ever been to and I was at WORK this whole time, I can’t imagine how it was for the guests!  It was for sure the party to end all parties… and it couldn’t have been more perfect for Morgan and Dash.

Morgan and Dash, I know I stressed how amazing all your friends and family are, but I want to make sure I say how much Scottie and I love you two as well!

We had such an amazing time working with you guys, you welcomed us in as friends right away and made us feel a total part of this wedding as if we were guests rather than “hired help”. 😉  Thank you guys so much for your friendship and for including us in this incredible moment in your lives.

Our excitement about your wedding grew and grew as we got to know you better and realized that we were going to come out of all of this with two new friends!

We were so psyched and honored that you picked us to handle something so important to you and we hope that you are even happier than you thought was possible with your wedding, the photos from it, and your lifetime together!

We can’t wait to see where life takes you… and we’re glad we at least know that it’s going to bring you to visit us in Los Angeles this summer to get your Unique Session done!  We’re excited to see the two of you (and Morgan’s dress) again then! 🙂

Click to see the rest of the photos from Dash and Morgan’s “Best of the Best” Wedding.

Connor’s Golf-Filled Senior Session (by Josh & Kelley)

I (Kelley) don’t know a whole lot about golf, but while Josh and I were shooting Connor’s senior session, I began to consider adding golf into my regular fitness routine.

If golfing means hanging out with wonderful people like Connor and his family in a beautiful place like The Country Club at DC Ranch, how could it ever be anything but amazing?


For real, this place is drop dead gorgeous! What a perfect backdrop for a senior session.

Our location wasn’t the only awesome part of this shoot, we also had the pleasure of working with one of the most down-to-Earth, well-spoken, and fun high school seniors Josh and I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Soon after meeting up with Connor, he and his lovely mom, Ashley, showed us around the club.

We spent some time snapping shots of Connor near the courtyard area and quickly found that he’s an absolute natural in front of the camera.

Even as his friends and family walked by, poking fun at him to get him to lose his composure and crack a smile, he remained calm and casual.

…Okay, okay, maybe they did break him down once or twice 😉



For the second half of the session, we moved on to the golf course.

After playing golf on this course for years, Connor seems to know each and every hole like the back of his hand.

We jumped in a couple of golf carts, and Connor showed us the very best spots on the course.

Between the views, the light, the amazingly perfect cloud cover we had that day, and of course the incredibly easy-going and natural Connor as our model, Josh and I were in photographer heaven.



We hung out way past our usual “pack up and go home” time, breaking out our camera flashes and having some extra fun creating a few epic sunset shots.


Connor, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to get to know you and your wonderful family. Thank you for showing us around your stomping grounds. And finally, thank you for making our jobs feel less like work and a whole lot more like fun!

With your motivation and steadfastness, we know you’re going to do great in your college career!

Click to see the rest of Connor’s Golf-filled Senior Session

Jake and Stephanie’s Beauteous Backyard Wedding (by Josh & Kelley)

In June, Kelley and I (Josh) had the awesome pleasure of photographing my cousin Jessica’s wedding. Fast forward a few months and now I get to introduce you to yet another one of my favorite people in the world: Stephanie!

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Stephanie is Jessica’s younger sister. We all grew up together, running amuck in the far away land of Missouri. In case you missed the awesome throwback photo of all of us from Jessica’s post, here it is:

That’s Steph on the left, me in the middle, and Jess on the right. We could talk all day about my awesome hair and abnormally large ears, but Stephanie is the star today.

Steph is one of those people that you would think only exist as the protagonist in a Jane Austin novel. She’s insanely intelligent, but she never lets her brain speak louder than her heart. She has countless friends and an overflowing social calendar, but will stop the world from spinning to help a single person who needs her.

Oh, and that guy? He’s Jake. The groom. The first time I met Jake, I put him through my own personal acid test by asking myself the same question I always ask when my cousins introduce a boy: is this the type of guy I want to play horseshoes with every Easter and Thanksgiving for the rest of my life? (That’s pretty much how our family works, so it’s an important question!)

With Jake, I decided in the affirmative right away. He has an unmatchable energy and enthusiasm for… well… everything! I’ve never seen the man when he wasn’t bubbling with excitement. Just look at him waiting to see his bride for the first time on their wedding day!



Jake and Steph are an absolutely perfect match. I’m not sure Kelley and I have ever seen two people so thoroughly happy through every single moment of their wedding day. Wedding day stress? Not a hint of it was anywhere in sight.

In fact, the entire day was remarkably relaxed for a wedding. Jake and Steph wanted nothing to do with the typical wedding stress or formality. For their venue, they chose a huge backyard in Tempe, where they invited their guests to bring their favorite drinks and sit on the ground.


True to how Jake and Steph live their lives, the ceremony was heavily focused away from them and towards God. As soon as the bride made it down the aisle, it was time to stop everything and sing a few worship songs. And before any vows were spoken, communion was taken by all.

The relaxed theme stayed through to the reception, where guests dined at custom-built tables made for ground-seated guests, and told stories around fire pits. How great is that?


Obviously, the combined magnetism of Jake and Steph meant that it was a well-attended affair. In fact, when faced with the proposition of choosing their closest friends to be in the wedding party, they chose almost twenty people!





Right after the wedding ceremony, Kelley and I took a stroll around the block with the newly-married couple.



They were both so happy and excited. Jake literally yelled out to everyone we passed, “This is my wife! I’m married!”


While our little post-ceremony walk provided a nice break for them to consider the awesomeness of what just happened, Jake and Steph couldn’t wait to get back to their friends. Dancing, fireside singing, and all manner of joviality followed.




Jake and Steph, we wish you a lifetime of happy years together. We were truly honored to play a small role in your big day, and firmly insist on many, many game nights and coffee shop double dates with us in the future.


Katie and Nathan Are Awesome… Just Because (by Josh & Kelley)

Katie and Nathan are some of the most awesome people on the planet.

Josh and I (Kelley) may be biased since these two are really great friends of ours… But I think not.


Nope. They’re just plain awesome whether you’re friends with them or not.

You know what else is awesome? “Just because” photo sessions.


Katie and Nathan aren’t engaged (they’ve been there and done that), they’re not celebrating an anniversary, they’re not even giving each other a photo session as a gift.

They just wanted to get photos together. No excuse needed.

I think Josh and I may need to follow suit, because this “just because” session was a BLAST!

Thank you for the inspiration you two, and thanks again letting us capture a few memories for you.

Click to see the rest of Nathan and Katie’s “just because” session.