Family Friday | Tips for Looking Your Best during Family Portraits

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Every fall season I offer on-location lifestyle family sessions and although they can be lots of fun, some of my families get pretty nervous and if I'm honest, sometimes they seriously dread it! Not only do you have to coordinate schedules and work around nap time, but getting everyone to look great for the photos can also be a challenge!  First of all, I commend you for understanding the importance of family photos and scheduling them even if it makes you a little scared!  Second, I'm going to give you a few tips today on how to get everyone looking great for your family portraits, without making yourself go crazy or spending countless hours on Pinterest

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  1. Don't be too matchy-matchy.  It's best to let everyone's style and personalities shine during your family session.  The last thing you want is to look like you're in school uniforms for family photos.  Let the kids wear styles they like and if you make them part of the styling process, especially teens, and you'll get a much better response when getting photos done!   
  2. Pick your outfit first.  I'm talking to you mom! Wear something you feel confident and beautiful wearing.  Pick a style or outfit that flatters you and don't overthink it. Don't worry if it's not something that's trending this season.  Classic never goes out of style.                     
  3. Stick to a color scheme.   Once you have your outfit, the rest of the family's outfits can revolve around you. For example, if you'll be wearing a floral dress, then you can build the color scheme around those floral colors and have everyone else's colors compliment you. This will look put together, but doesn't give the impression that you tried too hard! ;)            
  4. Layers and Accessories.  Think scarves, bow ties, cardigans, jackets, statement necklaces, headbands, hair bows, even a cute brooch! These things add dimension and give your photos texture and warmth. These finishing touches help it all come together nicely and it just looks more fun!                                                                                                                       
  5. Don't forget about the shoes! Often overlooked, shoes can make or break a photo. I recommend staying away from anything too casual, like flip flops, light up character sneakers, or dirty shoes/sneakers.  Stick to shoes that are one color, are clean, and classic.  Boots, Converse, booties, Toms, pretty sandals, wedges, are all nice choices! 
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Most importantly, have fun! I totally understand how stressful getting everyone ready for family photos can be, but just know that it's totally worth it! Once you're at your session, relax and let the photographer do their job! It may be hard to do, but just know that an experienced family photographer knows what their doing and they usually have a few tricks up their sleeves to get the kiddos to cooperate too! 

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As a lifestyle photographer, my goal is to capture your family having fun, while looking your best.  I love to create candid moments that include movement, but I'll also capture some modern relaxed and poses for you! I only offer family portraits once a year (with a few exceptions) and this year's availability is very limited. So, if you're thinking of getting family photos done before the end of the year, don't hesitate! I promise, I'll be with you for the entire process to ensure you look & feel your best!

Email me at { jessie@theemerics.com} for the details and let’s get your family photos updated!

Valley of Fire Las Vegas Desert Engagement Session | Chloe + Derek

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When Chloe contacted me about photographing her & Derek's engagement session at the Valley of Fire, I just assumed it was because it's a pretty and unique location.  Of course, it totally is a gorgeous location for photos, but to them the Valley of Fire made them think of Radiator Springs. Yes, Radiator Springs from the Disney/Pixar movie Cars!  You see, these two are huge fans of the movie and of race car driving!  Derek even had a cute custom made Lightning McQueen box by The Model Maker for her gorgeous engagement ring designed by the talented jewelry designer, Heidi Gibson

So we excitedly we set out to capture the essence of Radiator Springs in our very own Valley of Fire State Park! Enjoy the images from Chloe + Derek's fun-filled Cars inspired engagement session! 

A Guide for Planning Your Intimate Las Vegas Elopement

Couples choose to elope for lots of reasons! Some choose to elope because they want their wedding day to be just about them.  They want a stress-free day to focus on each other and maybe a handful of guests or just their immediate family members.  Some choose to elope because they're looking to save money and maybe splurge on the honeymoon instead! Some choose to have the adventure of a lifetime and eloping is part of the big trip! Whatever the reasons, eloping in Las Vegas is a great idea and it doesn't have to be cheezy or tacky! And it definitely doesn't have to be in a chapel either.  Las Vegas offers lots of options on how to personalize your elopement and have it be the best day ever! We absolutely love photographing elopements.  They're always so fun and relaxed, and are so full of emotion and intimacy.  After the ceremony, when it's just the 4 of us, there's no pressure of getting done in time for the reception.  It's just us capturing their love and documenting their first moments together as Mr. & Mrs.  

Location: Downtown Las Vegas | Bouquet: Layers of Lovely | Makeup: Amelia C. & Co. 

Location: Downtown Las Vegas | Bouquet: Layers of Lovely | Makeup: Amelia C. & Co. 

Venue: Neon Museum | Florals: Miss Daisy | Hair & Makeup: Amelia C. & Co. 

Venue: Neon Museum | Florals: Miss Daisy | Hair & Makeup: Amelia C. & Co. 

Location: Red Rock Canyon

Location: Red Rock Canyon

Here are a few tips that will help guide you in planning your own amazing & unique elopement in Las Vegas:

1. Location.  The first thing to consider is where to have your ceremony.  Sure there are tons of chapels out there and they're pretty low-hassle.  However, most of the chapels are windowless and the decor is not the most modern.  The ceremonies are also quick and generic, even Elvis has a script and his go-to songs ;) If you prefer a more modern + intimate approach to your ceremony, you have plenty of other choices, such as the dry lake bed, the gorgeous desert, a quirky spot in downtown Vegas, the Neon Museum, or even a traditional venue such as a country club can host a small, intimate ceremony.  Each of these locations offer a gorgeous backdrop for your ceremony and require little to no need for additional decor or enhancements.  

Location: Downtown Las Vegas | Officiant: Peachy Keen Unions

Location: Downtown Las Vegas | Officiant: Peachy Keen Unions

Venue: Red Rock Country Club | Hair + Makeup: Ruby Finch 

Venue: Red Rock Country Club | Hair + Makeup: Ruby Finch 

Venue: Neon Museum | Hair & Makeup: Las Vegas Hair and Makeup

Venue: Neon Museum | Hair & Makeup: Las Vegas Hair and Makeup

Location: Dry Lake Bed | Officiant: Peachy Keen Unions

Location: Dry Lake Bed | Officiant: Peachy Keen Unions

2. Officiant.  Once you find a location that is perfect for you and your love, you'll need an equally perfect officiant; someone who will take a personal interest in you and your fiancé's love story and incorporate that into a meaningful ceremony.  We highly recommend Peachy Keen Unions!  They are modern marriage officiants who's mission is to "collaborate with couples, creating and performing personalized ceremonies", including elopements!  Another favorite is Pastor Doug Loman.  He is very personable and also works with his couples to help create a personal and meaningful ceremony.  

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3. Details.  Once you know where you'll be married and who's going to officiate your ceremony, the rest is up to you! There's the obvious things to consider such as your dress, shoes, hair & makeup, oh and his suit too.  Then there's also the logistical things to consider, such as transportation and picking up your marriage license. But then there are the little details you add to make your elopement beautiful and most importantly, personal and all your own! From special touches incorporated within your own wardrobe to bringing special trinkets or mementos.  Writing your own vows is super special and because you're eloping, you won't have to be nervous about saying them in front of a lot of people.  A pretty bouquet goes a long way! Think of it as a gorgeous accessory.  And, since you aren't spending tons on decorating a reception venue, you won't feel guilty about splurging a little on some florals! Lastly, don't forget the bubbly! Whether you're toasting with a few friends or family who came along or it's just the two of you,  after saying, "I DO!" is the perfect time for popping open a bottle of champagne to celebrate your love! 

Left Bouquet: Bride brought over from England Right: Layers of Lovely

Left Bouquet: Bride brought over from England Right: Layers of Lovely

Location: Valley of Fire State Park | Officiant: Peachy Keen Unions | Cake: Freeds Bakery

Location: Valley of Fire State Park | Officiant: Peachy Keen Unions | Cake: Freeds Bakery

Left: Red Rock Country Club | Right: Caesars Palace 

Left: Red Rock Country Club | Right: Caesars Palace 

I hope these few tips and ideas will help guide you while planning your Las Vegas elopement! May it be modern, intimate, and most importantly totally special to you and your love! Can't wait to hear all about your plans! XO