Every year, no matter what, I make sure we take family photos. I think it's really important to have documentation of our family over the years, and I'd like to think that the generations that come after us will treasure them. 

Since we have been sick a lot it was hard to plan a big photo shoot out, and, honestly, I'm kind of over all of the outdoor family shoots. Just like in any industry, new trends emerge and shooting families in their homes in a more "real life" setting seems to be where the family photo session trend is going. But, for us, it was also just about convenience. 

So, since we planned to do it in our house we thought wearing our PJ's would be fun. We had Rennai Hoefer come over just before Thanksgiving and take pictures of us putting up our tree. Funny enough, our tree never got decorated beyond a couple cereal garlands. Haha, but, hey, minimalist is "in," right? 

We found all of our jammies at Target this year, and chose gray and white because of our interiors colors in our living room. I thought bringing in our blue velvet sofa would make it feel a bit more holiday-ish too. We just put it by our blank white wall and had some fun. 

Of course, the kids didn't really cooperate like you hope, but that's real life, right? It made for some good pictures for us to cherish. Like this one above where Elle was choking her brother (yeesh). 

We put them all together in a photo collage for our Christmas cards that we made with minted. And, we actually got our cards printed, addressed and mailed this year, which was a big win for me. 

If you're looking for a great family photographer in Arizona be sure to check out Rennai Hoefer! She is amazing!

From my family to yours, we hope you have a very merry Christmas that is filled with hope and joy, and hope that 2017 brings much blessing to you. 

Storybook Photo Session


Nowadays it seems that every family gets new pictures taken for their Christmas cards, but sometimes it all seems like such a rush during the BUSIEST season. My friend and VERY talented photographer, Rennai Hoefer of Ten 22 Studio, came up with a GENIUS idea...Do family photo shoots centered around the theme of a favorite bedtime book for your family! storybook-inspired-photo-session-©ten22-studio-36-of-36

It's such a creative idea, and a great way to personalize your photo session so that you don't always have the same family photo every year. She asked me to be her first client for this new concept, and it didn't take but a second to tell her that Elle's favorite book was I had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn.


It's about a girl who had this very favorite dress, but as she grew her mom had to alter it from a dress to a top to a skirt to a hair bow to simply a picture because of her size or because her dog chewed it up.

storybook-inspired-photo-session-©ten22-studio-15-of-36 storybook-inspired-photo-session-©ten22-studio-12-of-36

To see the full story unfold, visit Rennai's blog. Elle and I had so much fun modeling, but I sadly can't sew. I have a sewing machine, but I don't know the first thing about using it. haha. I had my friend Meghan Green from A Purposed Life create different variations of the dress using a $4.99 dress from Walmart.


First of all she took this plane Jane dress up a notch by adding tule and flutter sleeves, and then she did an amazing job taking it apart into the different stages.


Acting out a book makes you think outside the box to achieve such a specific idea, and it really made my time with Elle special when it all came together. I especially treasure these photos of us because they not only show our love for each other, but they capture us spending time together in a way we often do: reading books, playing dress up, eating snacks and watching her play outside.


To book a session visit, Rennai's website.

Photos by Rennai Hoefer, Ten 22 Studio Fashion design by Meghan Green, A Purposed Life Modeling by Elle Evjen and Alex Evjen

Family Holiday Photos

Ryan and I have sent out a Christmas card every year since we've been married. It's a tradition I plan on continuing until we are old and gray. I love getting holiday cards in the mail just as much as I love taking family photos, and this year was extra special because Elle is here.

We had our friend Mike Olbinski take our first holiday photos with little Miss Elle. She was a delight the whole time thankfully. We went to a local restaurant called Windsor. They have a beautiful little patio with bright red chairs, and an ice cream shop next door.

I found this cute polka dot, orangey-red cardigan at Target not too long ago, and I decided it was the perfect color for our photos. Ryan already had a red gingham shirt, and it complemented the polka dot pattern well. I found Elle a bright red hat with a bow on top, and had her wear a simple onesie and leggings. I generally discourage couples from both wearing jeans, but the colors of the denim were pretty different. Plus, my dark brown puffer vest and his grey cardigan kept us from being too matchy matchy.

The only thing missing from our family portrait was Wendy. Next time we'll make sure she can come too.

You can see more photos from our shoot on Mikes blog, click here.

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!