Mom's Guide: Planning Extended Family Photos in Winter

I know why you’re here. And I know it’s overwhelming.

With the holidays come some tender moments- all the family is in the house. Loved ones come from all over to gather for Christmas and Winter holidays.

With all the traditions, come some special moments. A lot of people call me with tons of questions about having extended family photos.

I’m specifically tailoring this to winter photos, because they tend to be the most stressful- with weather, the cold, and the light getting dark, it can be tricky! Summer sessions are a little different, a little more relaxed.

Here are some of the things they want to know about:

  1. How do you coordinate outfits for 20 people?

  2. How do we get our 80 year old grandparents into photos without them getting too cold or tired?

  3. How do we take pictures with little ones?

  4. Where are the best spots to take pictures?

  5. Should we do indoor sessions or outdoor sessions?

  6. How does pricing work for extended families?

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Brides Guide: How to Plan Your Wedding in 2 Hours or less.

I had the amazing opportunity this week to teach a class alllllll about the thing I’ve been experiencing every single weekend for the past three years: Weddings.

I got to team up with Brooks McFadden and The Avenues to teach a seminar to new brides all about the ups and downs, emotional moments, and big excitement about weddings. Brooks and I spoke for an hour and then had a Q+A.

After this amazing class, I’ve decided that I’m going to be releasing a series of 6 videos, talking to brides all about the ins and outs of finding good venues, picking vendors you love, dealing with family members, staying sane during the hard parts, and of course—- actually enjoying the wedding day!

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Chloe + Taylor: Rexburg Couples Session

I’ve known Taylor and Chloe for quite sometime. When they wanted to book me for a session, I was ecstatic. These two kids are crazy about each other. Daisy, their puppy is the sweetest little thing.

We headed out to our location, and on the way we came across these gorgeous fields. I love this time of year in Rexburg. Spring and summer are some of my favorite times to do engagement sessions, because the weather is so perfect, and the sun stays out late. There’s lots of time for us to play and just enjoy the moment.

Sometimes, when you’ve been married a while, you have tons of advice! So if you’re engaged and want to hear yet another piece of advice, here goes:

”Our biggest thing is to always always speaking highly of each other to other people. We never call our parents to complain about each other or get other people involved if we have an argument. That has made it so we have really good trust and it makes it easier for us to make up and move on from arguments when we haven’t made a big deal about it to other people.”

I totally love this advice from Chloe. It’s so true. Every marriage has moments where individuals get frustrated with each other. Talking through it as a couple is so important.

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Celine Reese
Bride's Guide: Getting Comfortable in Front of the Camera - 10 Best (non-cheesy) poses for Engagement Sessions

I'll take care of the location, making sure it's helping capture the exact look and feel you're looking for, whether it's out in the country, or forest bridals, I've got you. But for now, let's focus on one of the biggest fears out there-- posing.

What's great about this guide is that it doesn't just apply to the session I'm shooting with you, it also applies to when you're taking photos for the rest of your life- whether it's an iPhone candid or for your maternity photos down the road, here are some simple tips for you.

These two are stinking cute, and I had so much fun posing them. I loved their session so much. I thought they'd be such a great example of what worked so well for posing. 


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Morgan + Josh: Paradise Bridals

I have nothing but words of pure love for these two. Morgan's constantly stunning, and rightly so- she's a makeup artist, traveling all over the country to transform brides into their wildest dreams. Josh is an incredible videographer who is up and running to success. Working with them is such a dream.

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Celine Reese
Codie + Jeff: Rexburg, Idaho Engagement Session

These two. We had SUCH a blast driving around Idaho and capturing some sweet love. Codie and I grew up in neighboring towns in the small, agricultural area of California that still has my heart. She reached out to me to shoot her engagements, and I was thrilled! We originally set out to shoot their engagements in Logan, Utah, but due to the weather, they ended up driving up to Rexburg and had a blast with me in my home town!

I loved getting to hear their story. They both lived in Milano, Italy for two years, serving missions for the LDS church. Ironically, I'd also been there myself! I loved being able to talk with them about the amazing food there and just how great Italy itself is. They have so much chemistry together, and I love the way they totally rocked a long distance relationship!

They'll be getting married May 26th, the day after my due date with my little one. Looks like May is going to be full of some pretty great moments!

We hit the backwoods, where one of my favorite spots are! Here are some of my favorites. 

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Celine Reese
March: Stylized Bridal Session

I have the greatest blessing of living in an area where there are so, so many creative people in the area that I live in. Idaho is full of talent, and we've cultivated a great community. When Poppie Events reached out to me about a stylized session at The Venue, there was no way I could say no!

She had teamed up with tons of vendors, models, and brought in her own flair and artistic charm for floral design and layout. Seriously guys, if you're looking for inspiration or for an event planner, she's your girl. I got to work alongside two other photographers, and we all contributed to posing and styles all our own. Courtney and Koryn are wicked talented, and I loved working with them! 

We had an adorable couple, Allison + Cohen. Allison's known Cohen since eighth grade, and they've been lovebirds ever since. They've been married for a couple of years now, and have such natural chemistry together!

We had an amazing and talented artist- Sunflowers and Stitches. I LOVE her. I've worked with her before, and the amount of time and dedication she puts into these projects is incredible.

The cake, by the way, is so, so stunning. It brings the entire session together. I love it. 

Here are some of my favorites.

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Celine Reese
Greenhouse Session: Rexburg Idaho Engagements

This session was the combination of all the best worlds. 
Living in Rexburg, the temperature here in January ranges from -15 to 30 degrees. The roads are always scattered with snow and while sessions are always in season, winter sessions can be hard unless you're looking for forests and foot high snow!

That is, unless you're up for an adventure. 
When Chloe reached out to me about shooting her and Dylan's engagements, she was looking for a way to get away from all the slush and just focus on the warmth and adventure of all the love they have.

Adventure, you say?

An idea was born. We started off with a more professional session in a greenhouse, which looks so gorgeous this time of year. Then we explored a taxidermy museum, and then Soda Vine, a spot where these two hit it off before they fell in love. Then I threw them together in a grocery store. An adventure for sure. I loved every second of it. 

Here's some of my favorites. 

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Justin + Noelle: Eastern Idaho Winter Engagement Session

Justin and Noelle are adventurers. Telling their story has been one of my favorite moments of the entire year. 

I've actually worked with these guys a couple of times before. They were so cute together and I love Noelle. When she hired me to take their engagements, I was ecstatic. 

One of my favorite things about these guys is that they have such a sense for adventure. Justin's jeep is constantly riding sand dunes, back roading through woods and over rocks. Noelle's always laughing by his side, putting on her playlist. Music, I believe is one of those things that defines part of her personality. She's always going to concerts, exploring incredible places to go, and just taking life completely by the reins. 

We went off roading for their engagements, to these incredible places with gorgeous views. I wanted nothing more than to soak every minute in. 

Here's some of my favorites. 

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Celine Reese