Happy Holidays from Us to You


Though I haven’t been posting here as often as the years prior, I want you to know how thankful I am for your support over this past year and half as my family has transitioned to the three amigos.


We’re finally feeling “normal” and have hit our groove. I’m finally used to my new life and my new job too.


We are glad to say good-bye to 2018 in a lot of ways, but are thankful for all of the growth that came out of it. We are looking ahead to 2019 and excited for all that it will bring. We will be sure to take you guys along with us too.


We hope you had the best Christmas, and we’re wishing you the happiest New Year!


Alex, Elle and Levi

Photos by Rennai Hoefer

Tips for Holiday Pictures

Yesterday we had our family portrait session with our friend Mike Olbinski (a peek above), and it reminded me that many families this time of year struggle with picking out their outfits for pictures. Afterall, these images tend to be the annual family update that Grandma and Grandpa SO look forward to every year. You want to be sure everyone looks their best, right? So, a couple things to keep in mind...

1. Pick a color scheme that uses a minimum of three colors and at most five. This will ensure there is enough variety that you aren't matching and yet keep everything cohesive. Keep in mind the location of your shoot. Pick colors that will stand out against white snow, green grass or brick buildings. (Image above by Mike Olbinski. Styled by AVE Styles)

2. Layer your looks so you can have more variety in your photos. For example, add a caridgan or vest that you can take on and off. Sometimes you just don't know how things will photograph. Maybe the dress you chose doesn't make your arms look the best. Dun da da dunnnn!! Cardigan will save the day!

3. A bit camera shy? Use props to keep your mind off the camera. It can be as simple as a cup of coffee sitting at table with your family. If you're a bit more festive, you could bring a garland or Christmas lights and wrap yourself up in them. The picture above was from a fun party Melissa Jill hosted a ways back. The garland was a blast to play with.

4. Keep your Christmas card design in mind. I love ordering from Tiny Prints every year. That have so many cute designs to choose from. But you'll want to make sure the colors for your clothes complement the colors in your card. It will make everything look EVEN better in the presentation.

5. Get your hair done or makeup done...or both! I'm not so great at doing my hair. So, I made sure to schedule a hair cut and style two days prior to the shoot. Not great at makeup? Head to the makeup counter and get it done. You probably have to buy some fun stocking stuffers or gifts for some gals in your life. If they make you buy product that is the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone.

The Method Behind The Madness - Evjen Christmas Photos

Being a stylist, I'm always behind the camera suggesting the clothes people should be photographed in. Well, I had my turn to step in front of the camera with my hubby for a photo session with our great friends Jason and Jessica from Session Nine Photography. Talk about pressure!!! Haha! I knew that all of my friends and followers would be waiting to see what I picked for our family photos, and this totally freaked me out. Granted, I had my mind pretty much made up as far as what I wanted to do, but I totally second guessed myself. I guess it's like when a graphic designer tries to design for their self - it's SOOO hard, but you could never ask someone else to do it for you. That would be like admitting failure.

I'm SOOOOOOOOO happy to say that I LOOOOVE the outfits I picked and how the photos turned out. I wouldn't have changed anything. They represent me and Ryan so well, and THAT'S exactly what the end result should be - photos that are interesting, beautiful and look like you!

SO...How did I come up with everything?

It started with one picture (below).

I loved the hair, the makeup and the vibe. It's like modern 60's - very me.

I had also just found an awesome dress that was black and white by French Connection, and KNEW it would be perfect.

I also knew I wanted some pictures in our new home because our family has been wanting to see some pics, and was visualizing a vacant parking lot for the dressy photos. And not that it really changed anything, we wanted to have some photos with our dog Wendy.

From there I started a pinterest board to visualize everything. I pinned some furniture I had in my home, some outfits I liked for Ryan, hair and makeup ideas for me...Voila! My contemporary 60's vibe was brought to life!

So now to the clothes...Well, I wanted something red and something green in the pictures too since these were going on Christmas cards. So I tied a green bandana around my neck (something I wear a lot) for my casual look. (Note: I always try to have two outfits for every shoot - one dressy and one casual). My Banana Republic chambray shirt is a staple of mine in the summer and winter, and I also have fallen in love with my Jeffrey Campbell over-the-knee boots. With all of that that giant love fest going on in my closet, I figured some shorts and tights were a fresh change from the usual skinny jean that you see in photos.

For Ryan, the guy that never dresses up, well, I wanted to dress him up, but in a Ryan sort of way. So, jeans were an obvious comfort choice, but who doesn't love a man in a sweater during the fall?! So, I asked him if he would be up for wearing a sweater, shirt and tie, and he was a great sport about it. I chose a chambray shirt for him as well to tie our outfits together.

I already had my striped dress picked out, so I just added some tights and pumps to complete it. For Ryan, a black blazer was the perfect complement to my outfit. So, for contrast I found this awesome t-shirt from Bunky Boutique, a local shop in Phoenix, that had some bright red in it.

That's it! That's the method to my madness!

As you can see, I had a pretty strong plan of attack. I knew the purpose (christmas photos), I knew I wanted photos with my dog and of the house for sure, I knew I wanted some green and some red in the outfits, and I found the overall inspiration from a picture/time period.

Try it! Brainstorm ahead and chat with your photographer. Planning ahead always helps!