6 Tips for Senior Pictures You Won’t Hate When You are 35

photo styling

The snow is finally melting (finally!), and we’re headed into the high season of senior photo shoots. We are completely impressed at the number of really beautiful, unique and non-cheesy senior portraits that are out there.  As we look through our favorites on Instagram, we can see how a few key choices in what to wear or what to do during the shoot can make a huge difference.  We thought we’d share these senior picture ideas for outfit, poses, backdrop and prop inspiration.  As you can see, it’s fun to take the time to plan, primp and really have fun with it. These pictures will be around for a long time. In any case, we wish we had this kind of inspiration when we were getting our senior pictures taken. Maybe then we wouldn’t cringe every time we see them on the walls at our parents’ homes!

Have fun with color!
We absolutely love how the color in this photo just works on every level.  It makes the picture sing, looks great against the subject’s skin, coordinates perfectly with the scarf behind, and just makes the viewer feel happy and optimistic.  As our wonderful Stylevisor Julia Wester says, “Everyone needs a little POP in life!”  It isn’t always easy to figure out which colors look best on you, but it is worth taking the time to find out – especially if it makes the end result look like this!

Wear what looks (and feels) good on you. A lot of people spend time and money buying a lot of new clothing items, but they don’t really love the items (or the way they fit). They just somehow think they will look good in the pictures.  But what really counts is finding items you really look and feel amazing in, so that your confidence and joy in the moment shines through.  We love the picture below because not only does it look great, but you get the feeling that this girl really loves what she’s wearing (especially those great shoes). Yes, the composition and color are on point (!) – but the subject just shines with happiness. The yellow color around just seems like a reflection of the bright future ahead of her. When a client works with Stylevise, we love to work with favorite pieces the client already owns and brands she knows and loves — and we always advise that clients try on everything a few days before the shoot…so they can rock what they feel really great in the day of pictures.

Have fun with backdrops.
This is about finding a place with a “personality” that matches yours!  We love the urban, carefree, slightly daring feel of the graffiti background here — and we love how it ties in with the ripped look of those favorite jeans.  You can tell the subject is in her element – and her upside down pose again echoes her “live life to the fullest” attitude. When all the elements of the photo can combine to reinforce this kind of statement on one’s personality, the perfect portrait emerges…one that really goes deep to tell a real, intuitively true story about its subject – and anticipates her sure-to-be-exciting, self-fulfilling future.

A photo posted by Amy Higgins (@higginsamy) on Apr 13, 2015 at 8:15pm PDT

A simple, no fuss prop.
Ahh, what to do with your hands?! And how to make a pose feel natural, especially for those who might be shy or fidgety in front of a camera?!? That’s why we love a simple, lovely prop such as the colorful bouquet featured in this photo. Sometimes when people think “prop,” they think cheesy or complicated.  But honestly, they don’t have to be.  Done correctly, a simple, no-fuss prop can bring movement, personality and fun into a shoot – in a very natural way. We think these flowers are the perfect example. Tell us what simple props you love in the comments below!

A photo posted by Allison Dennis (@allidennis) on Apr 13, 2015 at 6:00pm PDT

Engage with what you love (vs. posing with what you love)
And while we are on the subject of props, a lot of seniors want to bring in items they feel represent their time in high school…maybe an instrument, an athletic item, or other object that represents an activity that they have devoted themselves to while in school. While we think this is awesome, we offer the cautionary suggestion of not making the item too obvious or a “subject” in itself — this is a portrait, not a still-life, as you know. One easy way to avoid the object taking over the shoot is to engage with what you love to do, not just display it or pose with it. The photo below is an amazing example of just this principle…and what a lovely shot it is!

A photo posted by @villafanophotography on Apr 9, 2015 at 2:32pm PDT

Keep on moving, don’t stop no!
One last idea when all else fails — remember movement.  We love that this subject has the perfect pop of color, looks comfortable and happy in what he is wearing, and has found a great backdrop. We really love how he is doing something fun and childlike, experiencing a little rush, and doing something a little challenging but still climbing ahead… such a great analogy for this time in his life and such an optimistic perspective on what is ahead.  When the shoot starts feeling a little tired, remember to get up and play!  The smile that this kind of fun will put on your face is hard to beat, and the sense of spirit that will serve you well as you go on to your next adventure.

A photo posted by Sara Knobel (@saraknobelphoto) on Apr 15, 2015 at 11:26am PDT

So there you go – some fun tips (and ideas) for getting senior pictures you will absolutely love and be proud of when you’re 35! To learn more about how you can work with your own personal photo stylist virtually, check out Stylevise.com. It’s free to get proposals from our talented roster of photo stylists and learn about all the amazing (and fun) stylists you could work with, all online. Happy spring and happy photos!!

Finding and Accessorizing the Perfect Big Girl Trundle Bed

Hi y’all!  Hope everyone is having a very happy spring.  The latest Stylevise project we wanted to highlight is a great example of how using an interior stylist for your home can save you time and money, while making that project you have been working on turn out just the way you’d hoped.

This project was about finding a new twin bed with a trundle for a young girl’s small room.  This little girl was transitioning from a crib, and so her mom wanted to get something that would make her feel special and excited.  Quality was also important, because the bed would hopefully last a long time! Also on the list: bedding, decorative pillows and a throw. This mom had a lot of very specific criteria including a bed that was “old school” but “updated,” bedding that wasn’t too girly, childish or “matchy match” (the coordinated sets at Land Of Nod were too much for her), and that everything would need to complement the custom floral roman shades already installed in the room.

Without help, the mom was going to have to spend a lot of time online, including Pinterest, looking for all these requirements… time she didn’t have or necessarily want to spend in front of the computer.  Enter Stylevise!  A great way to get just a little bit of expert help and create just the look she was hoping for.

On the Stylevise platform, it’s easy to submit this kind of specific request and get bids back from talented stylists with lots of fresh perspectives and ideas about new and unique sources.  The Stylevisors on the Stylevise platform have a lot of time invested in looking at decor items like beds (including trundles!) and bedding, so it is possible for them to quickly put together tailored options for clients, saving them a lot of time and money in the process.

The coolest part is that the “answers” are delivered in a “clickable” Interactive Style Guide, with products to purchase (as needed) and friendly advice.  It’s almost like having someone curate a special, tiny, specialized store just for you and your needs — rather than you having to shop the whole mall or heaven forbid, the whole internet. :)

Here’s a glimpse of what Stylevisor Kate provided, including a selection from the project’s personalized Interactive Style Guide.  We love it!  Kate found the perfect trundle bed (with a pop-up trundle) from Charles P. Rogers, the most amazing gold polka dot sheets from PBTeen (a great but unexpected complement to the floral shades), and the most enchanting duvet from Father Rabbit.  The result?  The perfect mix of whimsy and little girl sophistication, which this family can enjoy for a long time. Just lovely!

Toddler Bedding Styled Up

The Stylevise Edit: Spring Favorites

We asked our Stylevisors what they’re loving this spring! See what some of our amazingly talented designers and stylists are loving by checking out this month’s Stylevise Edit with fresh ideas ideas for spring. Scroll below for details and prices on each item, or simply click the image below to view the Stylevise Edit (featuring spring trends) in full and click on any item to view it online.

Spring Favorites April

1. Aries Print from Minted (in the whitewashed herringbone frame). Features a subtle metallic element. Makes for a perfect birthday or (spring) baby gift. ($52-89, Tess Canfield)

2. Majorly in love with all things poms and tassels, like this Moroccan wool blanket woven by hand with pom poms from Etsy. ($150, Kate Bendewald)

3. Egerton wallpaper. Seriously crushing on this beautiful metallic floral print available at Anthropologie. I’ve been obsessed with Cole & Son’s Fornasetti line for years (and used it in my former apartment). Such a luxurious, classic and cool wallpaper. ($248, Tess Canfield)

4. Love this wirework Canary yellow garden chair from Oliver Bonas, complete with a little bird on it. It’s so hard to find quality and functional garden furniture. This one will add a zest of color to your garden all year round. And at £59 each, you can afford to treat yourself in every shade. ($65, Maxine Brady)

5. Nothing quite says “Spring has arrived” until I change out my purse for something light and fresh. I am loving this Rebecca Minkoff “Leo” Envelope Clutch in Primrose. Classic in style. Beautiful blush tone. It’s sure to make a statement! ($95, Valerie Seiler)

6. Butler Vivienne 2 Drawer Accent Chest. ($262, Kelly Rogers)

7. Bright colored succulent pots. Succulents, bright colors…what’s not to love about this DYI flower pot craft? (Jessica Wilcox)

8. Beaded Tassel Necklace on Etsy, with five chunky bright tassels. Such fun statement necklace for spring. ($18, Kate Bendewald)

9. Majorly in love with all things poms and tassels, like these adorable pom pom shorts from Etsy. A must-have for the beach. ($29, Kate Bendewald)

10. Electric Orchid Print Swing Tunic from Free People. I love the subtlety of the floral on this tunic top. Wears perfectly with the front tucked into shorts or jeans. ($108, Emily Blomquist)

11. Watercolor Floral Tulle Skirt by Lauren Conrad at Kohls. This skirt is part of Lauren Conrad’s Cinderella collection, inspired by the recent movie release. It’s floral, girly and but a “grown up” look. ($45, Sarah Larson)

12. Wraparound leather sandal from Zara. Super versatile spring shoes for your wardrobe. ($90, Katie Maroney)

13. Posey Bouquet Petite Dress. Loving this on trend floral dress by Paper Crown + Rifle Paper Co. with its gorgeous navy blue and peach floral print. Available at Anthropologie. ($218, Melissa Guedes)

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5 “Cool Mom” Apps That Make Life Easier


We know it, motherhood is hard.  All you want is a little more time — time to spend with the kiddos, yes, but also – dare we say it – a little time for yourself, with your husband, with your friends.  Just a little more balance. To feel a little bit more like a cool mom, and not just one of those moms in mom jeans

Luckily, technology is on our side…stepping up to help us out. Big time. Some pretty great services are on the scene that can actually give you time back, and help you feel more like your cool old self again.

1) Instacart.
Yes, yes, as working moms we are total Instacart proselytizers!  We swear it has given us hours of our life back, not only saving time going to the grocery store but also avoiding the aggravation of fighting with our kids about what items we will (and will not) buy. Although items on Instacart can cost a bit more (approx. .50-$1.00 per item more), we love the convenience and actually save money by not buying all that other junk that the kids throw in our cart when we aren’t looking! Plus, for only $3.99, you can get your groceries delivered to your home from multiple stores within 2 hours! As design devotees, we also love the slightly French looking logo and lovely font!  And all the reusable bags.  (Oh yeah, and check out the awesome recipe integration with Yummly!)  Thank you, Instacart.  We feel a little more like our old selves already.

2) Next, Drizly.
Ok, this is like Instacart but for wine.  And beer and liquor and stuff. Right??? So helpful when you are having book club or a dinner party and don’t have time to do that one last errand to get the wine.  Super easy and helpful.  A great hostess trick!


3) Handy.
Ok, this one isn’t in our local area yet, but my sister swears by it and I could not be more excited for it to get here stat. We want broken stuff fixed ASAP (especially if this isn’t your husband’s strong suit). Plus, their hookup to cleaning services is supposedly great.  Nice to have some help on-demand, when you need it, be it on a regular basis or just when things get really out of control.

4) Spotify.
Simultaneously keeping you hip and the house, happy.  Our favorite playlists include Feel Like Gatsby, Feelin Good and Deep Focus.  Also – instant party – be the hero when you share Happy Birthday, Happy Hour, and Ultimate Pre-Wedding Playlist (depending on the occasion of course!).

While we are on the subject of good stuff to listen to, everyone reading this needs to make sure they have a great podcast app on their phone. On the iPhone, you should automatically have a purple “Podcasts” app on your screen which works just fine to quickly and easily listen to podcasts, but there are also other podcast apps you can download too. There is nothing that makes a commute or the laundry go faster than listening to an awesome podcast, be it Serial, The Longest Shortest Time (amazing for new parents), or (our favorite for entrepreneurial types) How To Start A Startup.

5) Ink.
It feels like two things that are always on the to-do list are to write thank you notes and to connect with relatives, especially those who are older and live alone.  Ink is a great app that lets you do just that via custom photo cards from your phone, designed and sent automatically from your home. We’ve made amazing birthday thank you cards, Easter cards and just little ones to say “hello, we miss you” with a cute pic of the kiddos.

At first, Ink may seem a little expensive at $1.99, but after you think about the card expense, your time, plus a stamp, it all seems worth it.  And Aunt Shelly agrees!  Now you can be more efficient but still express gratitude and thoughtfulness. What could be cooler than that?

6) Stylevise.
Ok, this one is ours. And it’s not even really an app yet. But it is a website, and you can check us out at www.stylevise.com.  Stylevise is there for you when you are stuck trying to figure out what to do with an area of your home, how to tackle that birthday party, or what to wear to that big wedding next month.  Just submit your dilemma for free and we’ll get our roster of talented stylists on it, sending you bids for how they would solve that problem ASAP.

As my sweet son Nick would say, “easy peasy, lemon squeezy.”  And it’s fun and tailored to your budget. Plus, it’s exciting to get to know talented stylists from all over the world, and get their fresh new perspective and great ideas!


So, voila! Now that your fridge is full, the wine is poured, the house is clean, the music is on, you can Style It Up A Notch with Stylevise.  And all the sudden, you feel like yourself again. And yes, like a cool mom, with everything under control (ok, mostly), happy and beautiful.

If there are any other cool-mom-apps you are loving, leave a comment and let us know…and please send this to friends so they can contribute! We’d love to make a cool infographic with all the must-have apps for moms, and share it with everyone. Thanks so much!

One Happy Guest Room

Shelby came to Stylevise needing help. She had recently painted her guest room but didn’t love the paint color she chose. She didn’t want to spend even more time and money repainting so decided she was going to make it work, but with a little help from Stylevise. Decorating is not something she enjoys – and actually makes her head hurt (that’s what she told us!). She came to Stylevise for help sprucing up the room with decorative pillows for the bed, a rug, window treatments, and a recommendation for how to place the rug and furniture in the room. Shelby received bids back from our roster of talented stylists, reviewed the bids (and profiles) she received, and hired one of our amazing Stylevisors, Julia Wester. Shelby loved collaborating with Julia to get a solution for her guest room – a solution that would make the room more inviting and beautiful, complement the existing paint color and Nate Berkus duvet she already had and was within her budget of $200-$300 for purchasing any new items. Julia, you rock! And Shelby, a huge thanks again for Stylevising your space! We love working with you.

The solution. (click to view Guest Room Decor Concept

Toddler Birthday Party Made Easy with Stylevise

The doc is IN! Lindsay came to us looking for some help planning her three-year-old daughter’s upcoming Doc McStuffin’s birthday party. One of our talented Stylevisors, designer Kate Bendewald with Studio 7 Creative, provided Lindsay with just the personalized advice she needed – a simple plan that included four uniquely crafted age-appropriate activities and a few decor ideas and recipes.

Lindsay was more than delighted with the advice (which included the ability to click on any item and buy it online)! She also loved that Kate provided her with a link to a free online download of a Doc McStuffin’s checkup lists for the kiddos to use for one of the activities. We had to share just a glimpse. Happy 3rd Birthday, Nina. We hope it’s fabulous!!! (A huge thank you to Lindsay Barth for letting us work on this one!)

Disney Toddler Birthday Party Plan

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