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Category Archives: Families

Need a family session? Radiant photography team Josh and Kelley would love to be a part of it! Here’s some of the work they’ve done with families!

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.

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!

A Double Photo Session With Friends, Family, and Lots Fury Pals (by Josh & Kelley)

This is the James Family, otherwise known as Josh, Jennifer, and Imani. They’re pretty stinking sweet aren’t they?

Josh (my husband Josh, not the many guy in these photos) and I were lucky enough to take photos for the James family way back when Imani was only 6 months old and could barely even sit up on her own.

(This is from our first session with tiny little 6-month-old Imani.)

Imani has obviously grown quite a bit. Now almost two, she’s moved way past sitting up and is now on to jumping, running, giggling, and riding her tricycle.

Believe it or not, little Imani has only gotten cuter with time.

Ever since that first six-month-old session, Jennifer and I have been throwing around ideas for a second session, but the timing was never quite right.

So this year, when she contacted me and asked about mini-sessions, my heart dropped when I thought about the fact that we wouldn’t be doing mini-sessions this year.

I knew we needed to find a way to get this family in front of our cameras again. So, understanding they didn’t need WHOLE session to themselves, I proposed that the James family split a photo session with a few friends.

Jennifer loved the idea and knew just who to ask!

Meet John, Amanda, and their three furry friends Cody, Abby, and Lucy.

Amanda works with Jennifer and was more than happy to split a photo session with her. The two of them decided on a location, and Josh and I headed over there and spent the first half of the session taking photos of Amanda and John’s family, and the second half talking photos of the James family.

It was a wonderfully busy time; chasing dogs around during the first half of the session, and running after a toddler during the second half. But, it was a BLAST!

We’re so glad that we got to meet the John and Amanda (and their fury family members too). They’ve got to be some of the most laid back and friendly people we’ve ever had the pleasure of photographing. Oh, and with three big dogs (one of them still a puppy) and a baby on the way, you know they’re brave!

Amanda joked that she’s sure once the baby arrives home and starts to cry, the dogs will likely react by crying right along with it, and she’ll suddenly be comforting four rather than one.

All I know is that house likely is, and will continue to be, one full of action and fun! Although, according to Amanda the dogs just laid around the house and slept the day after the photoshoot. Apparently we wore them out!

Josh and I are so glad that this session worked out so well. It was so much fun to do a second shoot with the James family, and meeting Amanda and John was fabulous.

Click here to see more photos from the James family, and here to see more photos from Amanda and John’s session.

Shannon and Keegan’s Mother and Son Session (by Josh & Kelley)

This family photo session has been a long time coming.

Meet Shannon. She is such a hard working woman.  Get this, she teaches fourth grade (yea, she’s one of those teachers that is there before the sun comes up, stays late, and is usually at the school working on the weekends as well), tutors kids on the side, is working on finishing up her doctorate, AND she’s doing all of this while being a fantastic mom to one of the most crazy cool kindergarten students that I have ever met. Oh yea, meet Keegan.

(Just look at that face, you can already tell that he’s cool!)

When Josh and I heard that Shannon and her son hadn’t had a family photo session done since around the time Keegan was in diapers, we knew we HAD to get some photos of these two together.

Now when I said Keegan is crazy cool, I meant it. Check this kid out!

I don’t think I’ve ever met a kindergarten student with a motorcycle like that. It goes so fast! Guys, I couldn’t even ride a normal bike sans training wheels until like the fourth grade and Keegan was out on this thing doing crazy tricks!

(I think Josh would have asked to try the bike out if I wouldn’t have been around. No joke!)

If I had to pick another way to describe Keegan, other than cool, it would be energetic.

This kid was running around, climbing trees, doing push-ups… but his mom was keeping up with him the whole time!

Shannon and Keegan, thank you so much for letting us be a part of your latest family session! Let’s do it again soon!

(Click to see more of Josh and Kelley’s family photo sessions!)

The Erickson’s Extended Family Session (by Josh & Kelley)

Kelley Johnson (1/2 of the Radiant Photography associate photographer team) coming at cha again! This time I want to share a recent family session that Josh and I had the pleasure to shoot. Now, we’ve all seen, and likely been a part of, family photography sessions that include parents and their kiddos, but what about extended family sessions?

Josh and I had taken photos of Phil, Laurel, and their sweet son Case before… (how adorable are they?!)

But this time they decided that they wanted to get the extended family in on the fun! I have to give them some mad props, because this was a great idea. There are so many plus sides to extended family sessions.

First off, you STILL get the small family session feel.

However, you also get to take those huge group photos that are rarely captured. (Besides those infamous, “Everyone hurry up and pretend to smile! I just set the timer… I think I set the timer… Is the red light fl *FLASH*…” moments.)

And how often is it that you stop to take sibling photos once all of your siblings have grown up?

(These two clearly have a really great brother and sister relationship. Watching them made me wish I had a brother!)

Or snap a shot with your mom, even though you’ve got your own kids now?

 Or capture those cute chubby, baby cousin moments?

(Case LOVES to give hugs.  And he’s SO good at it!)

Laurel’s brother’s family lives out in California, while Laurel’s family is sill in Arizona, so these whole family moments don’t happen quite as often as they would like. Still, looking at this close knit family, you would think they get together for family dinners every weekend!

Believe it or not, even with this HUGE group of family members to coordinate and move around, not one single fight broke out during the whole session. No joke! It seems that these guys really know the importance of having fun quality time with family. Which brings me to my last reason for extended family sessions being so wonderful…

They’re a BLAST for the WHOLE family!

( Follow Radiant Photography on Facebook to keep up with Josh and Kelley’s future work! See their full portfolio of portrait sessions here.)