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.

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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

Epiphanie Brand Film Release


In 2010, I was asked to style Epiphanie Bag's fall campaign. It was one of my first projects as a stylist, and I was so thrilled that Maile Wilson took a chance on me. As the years went by, Maile continued to ask me to help by contributing to Epiphanie's blog and doing some virtual styling for other campaigns. A couple of months ago, Maile asked me to style her fall 2014 line of bags, and I thought we would continue to do our virtual styling routine. A week later she emailed, and said, "No, I want to fly out there and have you style it in person and assemble a team of talent. I trust you, and I know you're the right person for the job." Her validation and confidence in me has meant the world over the years, and this lookbook project was one of the biggest honors to be a part of. I'm so thankful that she saw something in me at the beginning and has continued to support me in my path as a stylist.

Check out this video created by Ale Vidal with an amazing team of talent behind it, and make sure to visit to see her latest collection.

Campaign film for Epiphanie - a line of stylish camera bags for women. This film captures the spirit of the brand and the girl that carries an epiphanie bag like she carries her heart - full of adventure. 

Film / Direction by Ale Vidal

Video Assistant - Matt Hail Styling by Alexandra Evjen Hair by Jenny Strebe Makeup by Stephanie Neiheisel Assistant - Audree Lopez - Modeling by Agency AZ Styling Assistant - Alyssa Hodson

Clothing provided by Frances Vintage and Shop & Apparel

Location provided by The Clarendon Hotel

Photos to come on Wednesday!

A Kitchen Engagement Styled Shoot

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They say a way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and I say the way to a woman's heart is a man cooking for her.

In my seven years of marriage there have been a handful of times when Ryan has cooked for me, or shall I say "attempted" to cook for me. All of those times I have felt so loved and cared for because I know that's not a strength of his, and yet he was doing it purely to help me and show me that he was thinking of me. Those acts of service in our marriage are the sweetest things to me and to many women.

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The way Ryan feels the most loved is good espresso or coffee and conversations with me. That's exactly how our dating relationship began, and that's something that has stayed with us over the years. I have a gold member card at Starbucks to prove it to you. haha.

This engagement shoot is all about the simple ways we love one another in relationships - making food together, reading the paper together, drinking coffee together, cuddles and conversations.

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As a stylist, I have styled many engagement sessions for real couples and for inspiration, and lately I've just gotten tired of trying to think of the next coolest, most-unique shoot to do. When Melissa Jill approached me to do a styled engagement session to celebrate her new branding I started to think of a unique concept and nothing really came to me...and then it hit me, why not just do it a beautiful home, with good food and keep it simple and authentic.

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I gathered some wonderful women in my life who are SO creative and also value simplicity and realness. Coley Arnold and Lindsey Holt created a beautiful environment, Jessica Helgeson style and made the tasty food, Stephanie Neiheisel created a natural face, Malori Maeva gathered wild flowers and green that you could pick from your backyard, and I gathered comfortable and beautiful vintage pieces from GrowOp to style Liz and Cesar. Liz and Cesar are a married couple, so the emotion in these photos is totally real. I think that makes a huge difference.

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Melissa did an amazing job capturing the shoot and intimacy. She used film for the first time, and I'm so proud of her. The light and warmth is gorgeous. Go read her blog post and check out her brand new website!

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Styling & Art Direction for The Motion Workshop


14 professional photographers in one room all learning and wanting to add motion to their skill set - that's why they came to Ale Vidal's Motion Workshop. When Ale asked me to style four different shoots for them to capture I thought, "14 photographers!? This HAS to be good!" Then I thought, "Wouldn't it be SO great to get some clothing brands involved? They would be getting all of this content for their social outlets!"

Years ago my mind wouldn't have gone to brand partnerships it just would have focused on how to execute the shoot well. What I have realized, however, is that executing these shoots well means partnering with brands. Access to clothing is the hardest part for a stylist, so if you can add value to the brands that you want to work with by providing quality content and social sharing then it's a win, win for all parties involved.

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So, before I approached brands to be a part of these shoots, Ale identified two high school senior themes, a bridal style and an engaged couple based on the background of her attendees. From there I started using secret Pinterest boards to solidify the mood, the style and the scenes with Ale. Then I was able to start dreaming about what brands would be a good fit for the different styles.

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Lulu*s sent us wardrobe for both high school senior shoots - a soft, natural prairie girl and a loud, bold, music lovin' girl. Lulu*s market is very young so they were a perfect match. Just one outfit was needed for both girls.

For the prairie girl we wanted a pastel palette, a dress that felt ultra feminine and innocent. We chose a blonde model with light eyes - Kacey from Agency AZ was amazing. Braids are a youthful hairstyle, as well as minimal makeup. Miriam Kenly and Stephanie are pros at bringing visions to life. For the scene, we thought about a basket of flowers for her to play with. I loved the idea of a clothes line with fabrics that would blow in the wind. Hilary Kram, a wonderful florist and creative, added some beautiful greens and floral to the clothes line to create more interest.


For the music lovin' high school senior we wanted to portray a girl that loved NYLON magazine. I chose a bold color palette and stuck with the current fashion trends such as mini skirts and muscle tees. The bright lipstick Stephanie Neiheisel created from a MAC pigment was genius. It matched her skirt perfectly. We decided to keep her hair down so that it would move well for the camera as she jumped on the bed and whipped it back and forth. Teens love to listen to music and these gold Frends headphones were the perfect fashion accessory. There's nothing that reminds me of being a teenager more than flipping through magazine and filling out quizzes. Because our model, Emily of Agency AZ, was being put in a studio setting Ale loved the idea of having some cool floral elements to make it a bit more interesting. Hilary did a an amazing job with stringing some carnations. It was simple, but a powerful set element.


We also had a young couple in their 20's who were pretending to be engaged who embodied a laid back, L.A. style. Lulus*s also outfitted the bride-to-be. Katherine Thornhill was our model and she is actually a wedding planner that helps brides prepare for their engagement shoots a lot. She and her boyfriend, Chris, were a real couple that could emote and express love on camera. I chose a maxi dress for her and layered a ton of jewelry on her hands to create interest for the camera. A center part with her long locks further ensured the boho vibe of their style. For Chris, we actually worked with a small budget and his wardrobe to come up with a simple, somewhat 'hipster' outfit. Simply peg rolling his pants and rolling his sleeves was a detail that took an easily preppy look to a more casual, west coast vibe. For the set we layered oriental carpets and pillows of different textures and colors. We also used a hammock that swung back and forth for motion purposes.

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For our sensual, moody, haunting bride we started looking at bridal boutique partnerships, but nothing seemed to fit the high fashion quality that was needed to make this bride different from the rest. I had recently done some Pinterest consulting for Fame & Partners and remembered that they make custom dresses. After falling in love with a black dress, I asked if they could design it in white...and they did! The silk chiffon material was PERFECT for movement. For the set, we chose to pose her by ivy and a beautiful water fountain filled with roses. The movement of the water was great for motion!

Check out the film Ale made here and to hear from Ale about why she held the motion workshop, visit her blog here.

All of this production wouldn't have been possible without a stellar team and wonderful brand partnerships. Please go follow all of these people and brands!

Event //

Photos by Ale Vidal  & Mary Claire Photography // // www. Styling and Art Direction by AVE Styles //

Bride: Madeleine Alexandra // High school seniors // Kacey & Emily // Engaged couple // Katherine & Chris // Make-up: SN Makeup // Hair: Miriam Kenly // Florals: Hilary Lamb // Wedding dress by Fame and Partners // Clothes by Lulu*s //

Brand Shoot & Film for Stacy Kokes Photography


Stacy and I go waaaaaaaaay back - way back to college when I used to pick her and her roommate for church on Sundays. This was long before the days of styling and photography. We were just two college girls trying to figure out who we were and what we wanted to do with our lives. Since then Stacy has become a wedding photographer and I have become a stylist. Stacy reached out to me a couple months back letting me know she was in the rebranding process for her business (check out her new site here). She new that she wanted to style a shoot the represented the feel and lifestyle of her new branding because she knew the importance of creating a cohesive experience for potential clients.

We dreamed up a styled shoot featuring two of her favorite people that also happen to be REALLY good looking - Chris and Lauren. Using Pinterest and email we collaborated and honed in on creating a approachable, beautiful and well-styled experience. This shoot was actually featured on Desiree Hartstock's blog. You may know her as The Bachelorette. =)

Flower crowns, a picnic, spring and summer colors...It's basically oozing love and all things pretty...I hope you like it! You can see more photos by visiting Stacy's blog.


Check out this beautiful shoot in motion too!

Engagement Shoot from Ryan Doran on Vimeo.

Photography: Stacy Kokes Photography

Models: Chris + Lauren

Fashion Styling: Alex of AVE Styles

Flowers: Sarah’s Garden

Makeup: Ashley Nicole

Video: Ryan Blake Films