Trash the Dress - Winter Wonderland

Imagine this...30 degrees, snow falling with a foot of snow already on the ground, a beautiful bride in a strapless wedding dress, a handsome man in a black suit, one stylist and two photographers all trampling through the snow to capture love and to trash a wedding dress.

True story! Thankfully The Troyans, our beautiful couple, did not get frost bite. It was totally worth freezing all of our butts off.

Jason and Jessica of Session Nine Photography and I came together to give Rachel and Mikis a anniversary/trash-the-dress shoot they would love.

Jason and Jessica approached Rachel and Mikis with the idea of going up North to the snow. They loved the idea.

So, for clothing, I knew that we would use the dress and suit Rachel and Mikis wore for their wedding day. We just made sure to bring accessories such as scarves, hats, gloves, blankets and belts to bring this winter wonderland concept to life.

I did a touch of visualization using pinterest to see the elements come together, see here.

From there, I made as many combinations as we could with the props and accessories. I always try to give the photographers and clients as much variety as possible. Sometimes the outfit that you love the most won't translate on camera as well as your second favorite. So, try them all if you have time.

Other than having a fabulous couple, the location really made the photos. We happened to come across the perfect spot of wooded forest and right next to it was this AMAZING, old barn where we got some of my favorite shots of Rachel.

We ended the shoot as sopping wet messes, but had so much fun! I definitely encourage you artists out there to change your environment and walk on the wild side for a day. It will leave you with some great memories and will rejuvenate your creativity.

To see more photos from the shoot, visit Session Nine Photography's blog.

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!

The Greens Styled Family Shoot

The Greens are one of the cutest families on THE planet, and I had the opportunity to help conceptualize and style them for their family photo shoot with Session Nine Photography.

The Greens are dream clients because they were imaginative off the bat. Meghan wanted a fairytale-like portrait session, and of course, Session Nine and I were all over it. Now, we're not talking dragons and Harry Potter. We're talkin' the Princess and the Pea and forest nymphs - whimsical, beautiful, airy.

Check out this Pinterest board to see what I mean,

Once all parties were on the same page, I visited the Greens' home to pick outfits. We didn't find EXACTLY what we had envisioned, so instead they decided to do some shopping and Meghan decided to make vests for her boys and an INCREDIBLY cute romper for her daughter Brynlee (Check out Meghan's clothing line for kids!). Isn't she the cutest?!!

After a lot of picture messaging and emails filled with links to clothes, Meghan and Justin found their outfits and them some!

The perfect location for this shoot was the amAZing Rio Salado Audubon Center. It's a nature preserve smack in the middle of Phoenix. There's never anyone around, so it's easy to set up a scene.

I hope you love the photos, and I hope this encourages you guys to think outside of the box for your annual holiday photo sessions! You can see even more photos on Session Nine's website, click here.

Please email me if you would like some help picking out your outfits for your photos, I would be happy to help!

Alice in Wonderland Family Portraits

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly...I got to help a family create a lifestyle family portrait session photographed by good friends, Session Nine Photography, centered around this family's favorite story, Alice in Wonderland. SOOOOOOOOOO FUN!!!

You may recognize Christine Valero from a disco styled shoot I did a while back. I mean, how can you forget her awesome red hair?! Christine is a hoot! This girl is a fireball of energy and joy. I LOVE being around her. Her family is just as awesome, even their ridiculously strong, fluffy dog Delilah.

The Valero family drove all of the way up to the Westfork Trail in Sedona, Arizona to have their magical dreams come alive. I would definitely say it was WELL worth the drive. We got to use a run down apple orchard that had old stone and brick. Of course, the green ferns and grass were just as perfect to create the setting.

Christine didn't want the clothing to be the exact costumes of Alice in Wonderland, so we took what we could find in closets and created the Queen of Hearts (Christine), the Mad Hatter (Steve), Alice (Paris), Tweedle Dee (Valen) and the White Rabbit (Delilah the dog).

Christine also had great props such as vintage chairs, glass apothecary bottles, keys, mushrooms and the story of Alice In Wonderland, of course.

I mentioned this in the 40's style engagement shoot I posted about yesterday, but I LOVE working with clients that aren't afraid to think outside of the box and express what they enjoy. This shoot was not only fun to create, but the family REALLY enjoyed themselves. It was awesome to watch them bond during something that can often times be wild and nuts. Sure, there were some crazy moments - most can be attributed to Delilah the strongest dog in the world - but I don't think many families get to be creative in mall photo studios.

If you could have a creative family portrait session, what theme would you center it around?

I think Ryan and I would do something about being nerds. We both consider ourselves to be nerdy. We have glasses and geek out on our computers every night.

Make sure to check out more photos from the family portrait session on Session Nine Photography's blog!