EEK! Denver Style Magazine Issue 11!

Teresa Anderson poses for photos for the Denver Style Magazine Issue No. 11 in Greenwood Village, CO.

Holy moly, you guys!  One of my photos is in a real life, printed magazine!!  I'm not ashamed to totally geek out over it, too :)

It's funny how life works.  Just when I thought that I might have to give up this part-time photography gig since we just made the massive shift in the family to unschooling both of our kids.  Opportunities started presenting themselves to me.  Instead of outright rejecting them because of all of my doubts (could I handle work and unschooling?), I decided to stay open and just say "yes".  I'm so glad I did!   

Teresa Anderson decorated her home for the holidays a couple of months early for the Denver Style Magazine photo shoot in October. 

One of those opportunities was with the Denver Style Magazine.  I got to work with Teresa Swanstrom Anderson who is Denver Style Magazine's Mommy Style Contributor.  She looks like a movie star and acts like your sister or your best friend when you meet her.  The shoot was to accompany her article in this month's issue that released yesterday!  She wrote about staying connected to what matters most during the often hectic holiday season.  

While this family photo below was staged, the interactions are genuine.  This family has so much love for each other and beyond that--they had so much fun just being together! 

Teresa Anderson and her family hang out in their living room in their PJs during the Christmas season near Denver, CO.

The entire shoot was a total blast.  I have a thing for seeing how things work "behind the scenes" and while it was a crazy couple of hours, it was just too cool to see how everything was styled and set up.  I was very much out of my comfort zone of my typical casual and candid shots, but I loved being pushed to grow. 

It helps that everyone was so laid back and fun!  Kat Thomas did Teresa's hair and makeup.  Katie Fruchtman from Pretty Life Designs styled the shoot.  And Sarah from Something Styled provided the flowers and greenery.  The owners of Denver Style Magazine, Kelsey Bigelow and Heather Okimoto were there managing the entire process.   

And if you don't know Teresa, check out her blog for things inspiration, encouragement, and lifestyle.  She's more than just her pink hair :)  In fact, she's just written a book that will be released soon!  Talk about inspirational--six kids, a successful blog, and she found time to write a book...

This shoot happened a month ago and I'm still riding the high.  It was great working with new people, but more importantly, I said "yes" to something that scared me and I had to apply my photography skills to something new.  I learned so much about photography and myself in the process.  There are many things I would go back and do differently for these photos--but that is the beauty of life and learning.  Life is a process of unfolding, isn't it?  



City Park, a Protective Pooch, and Baby Snubs | Denver Family Lifestyle Photos

A father feeds his toddler son in Denver, Colorado.  Black and white family photography.

As a family lifestyle photographer, you never know what to expect when you walk into a home of a family you've never met before.  That's part of what I like about it! 

Madeline and her family were laid back.  Their dog?  Not so much.  She did not trust me.  And while she was harmless, she made sure we all knew she did not approve LOL.  Little grumbles and growls could be heard throughout my short time in their Denver, Colorado, home.  I have a lot of respect for that kind of family protection :) 

A dog stands guard to protect a father and his baby during a family lifestyle photo session in Denver, CO.

We started in Thatcher's bedroom since he was waking up from a nap.  Madeline predicted that he'd wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed and she was right!  Love this kid and his smiley face :) 

A family laughs while they get their baby ready to go to the park in Denver, Colorado.

The smiles kept coming at the park.  He just turned one and it was the perfect age to photograph him there.  And it was a ghost town, for some reason, so we had the park to ourselves!  

A mom rides the slide with her toddler son in Denver, Colorado.  Black and white family lifestyle photography with Kristiina Craven Photography.
A toddler laughs while going down a slide at a park in Denver, Colorado.

This sequence still makes me laugh.  Mom was so excited that her baby was coming straight for her and then he gets distracted and totally disses her right before he gets to her!  Hilarious!!

A baby boy walks towards mom as she excitedly waits with her arms outstretched for him, but he changes his mind at the last minute to go for something that has caught his eye.  Denver Lifestyle Family Photos. 

Thatcher was a complete dream and his parents were even better.  Funny, laid back, and just happy to be there.  (#happythankyoumoreplease)  I have the BEST clients :) :) 



What Should You Wear for Your Family Photo Shoot?

Should you wear matching outfits to your family photo session?  Matching?  No.  Coordinated?  Nah.  Should you go and purchase a new wardrobe for your family photo session?  No.  Unless you are in the need for some new clothes!  Bottom line: stick to neutral colors around your face: navy blue, gray, creams, denim, soft pinks and greens.  A great teacher once told me a perfect rule of thumb: wear your most flattering color, but in a neutral tone.  And if pattern is your thing, go with it! 

One other thing of note: I recommend no one wears the same thing for your photo shoot.  You don't typically match in your day to day, so why try to match in your family portraits?

See how the colors below don't match, but compliment each other and everyone's skin tones?  Plus, these are super casual clothes that still look put together.  They are all from Old Navy, so you don't need to break the bank, either!

Casual and neutral coordinating outfits for a fall family photo shoot in Denver, Colorado.  All clothes are from Old Navy!

If you hate all of those neutral colors--use the colors you love to wear, but make sure the colors you wear are a bit more soft so that they don't distract from the main attraction: you! 

It's funny.  When I first started taking photography seriously, I thought I was a documentary photographer.  Nothing should be changed, moved, edited out, or directed from behind my camera.  As I've grown in my craft, I've realized, one: I'm not a pure documentary photographer, and two: people want to look their best even if we're creating images of their every day. 

This means finding clothes that you feel comfortable in that aren't loud and noisy.  Unless that is what you wear all the time and it truly represents who you are. 

The reality is: neutral colors with pattern truly make you and your family the stars of the show.  Your clothes should compliment you vs. compete for the attention in the frame.  And selfishly, editing photos of loud and crazy colors can be challenging.  Oh, I can handle it.  But I'd rather save some time in the post-production phase of your family photo session. 

The one exception I would make to this rule is if you have a let's say, "particular" toddler/child who feels very strongly about his or her wardrobe choices.  In that case, go with the flow.  I love it when little kids wear their personality on their sleeve :)  It makes for more authentic photos. 

Confused yet?  Am I speaking out of both sides of my mouth?  I guess.  But a little common sense goes a long way when it comes to choosing your outfits for your photo shoot.  You are investing your hard earned money in photos that will stay in your family for generations.  Don't you want to look your best?  This does not mean dressing up for your in-home family photo session.  You can be in yoga pants and a pullover!  I'm just saying maybe consider the colors of these pieces as a whole since you will all be together in many of the photos.  And also maybe make sure they aren't stained and ripped? :)

I recommend grabbing the clothes you plan to wear and lay them out on your bed, or a neutral surface and just see how they work. 

Colors I would absolutely avoid: flourescent anything and other bright colors (orange, red, green) that could give a color cast to your skin.  Also avoid shirts with characters, ornate designs, or writing that is too hard to read. 

The best advice I can give is: don't stress!  And also, since I typically shoot in your home, you can always change!  :)