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Hey there friends! Welcome welcome. If you are here today, my guesses are that you've...

1) had a rather rotten family photoshoot experience in the past. Tantrums? No nap? Bad hair day for mom? Yeah. That's what we call the 'trifecta'. Its enough for previously sane parents to want to take a tranquilizer dart (for them or the kids??) and vow to never take family pictures again.

2) Haven't had professional pictures taken yet, but are wary of the experience because of horror stories you've heard from your friends.

Let me be the first to tell you that I GET YOU. I am a mom of 4 littles and getting them dressed and ready for family pictures is no picnic. I get that. I do believe with a little foreknowledge and prep, having an awesome family portrait experience is totally possible!

Here's a little tidbit of what I tell all my clients before session. I've been doing this for years and have seen it work wonders!

1) This is my big one, folks. On the day of your session, take things slow! If you have kiddos who still nap and go to bed early, then try and plan your day around your session start time. If you think it will take your family 1 hour to get ready, make sure you have 2. If it takes 30 minutes to drive to your location, plan for traffic and give yourself way more time than you need. Don't schedule anything else big for that day. Your family session should be the main activity of the day. This leaves room for the unexpected, and allows you to arrive relaxed and stress-free.

coeur d'alene family photographer

2) Instead of telling your kids that they are going to get their pictures taken, tell them that they are going to go play in a field/beach etc as a family, and that your friend Morgan will be there with her camera. If your kids are old enough to understand, it’s a good idea to prepare them for what’s to come before the session starts. Explain that this is really just a fun family outing, and that it's really a low pressure situation. One thing I know for sure, is that stressed parents = stressed kids. Always. Show them that you are at ease, and they will be too.

coeur d'alene family photographer

3) Dress for the weather, and be flexible! If you're from the PNW, you know that it can be 50 and raining one day, 75 and sunny 12 hours later. So, be prepared to be flexible with wardrobe, in case you have to switch it up last minute. If you have plans for a cute sundress for your daughter, and the weather ends up being 20 degrees colder than you were anticipating, switch it up a bit by adding layers. Tights, boots, scarf, slouchy hat, cardigan. Dress appropriately for the weather that day, even if it doesn’t go with your original plan. If your child is sweating profusely in a sweater during his shoot, he won’t be happy. And on the same token, if your child is wearing a tank dress and the weather dips too much in the evening, she’ll be a grump, and it’ll reflect in the final images.

coeur d'alene family photographer

4) If your session is during or close to a meal, then make sure your family meal is before your session. Full bellies are a must! Also pack a bag with non-messy snacks for your little ones. Snack breaks are important!

coeur d'alene family photographer

5) Last but not least, make sure to give them (and you!) GRACE. Don't sweat the small stuff. So your son decides to do face plant in the dirt on the way to your location? Fear not! Things like that don't show up as much as you think they do. Big sister decides she won't wear the outfit you picked just for her? It's ok! At the end of the day, the location you choose and the outfits you select won’t matter nearly as much as the memories you make together. The time you spend together is the most important thing. Have fun together, laugh a lot, and enjoy being together as a family!

Now, go get em tiger! Phil and I know you got this.


Morgan Bruneel is based in Coeur d Alene, Idaho. Outdoor sessions are available from late March till the end of November. Fall Family Session in particular fill very fast so it is recommended you book 2-3 months in advance. In family sessions we focus on family connections, rather than trying to get everyone smiling looking at the camera. We run, play, tickle, laugh and create authentic family moments.

For first pick of session dates, be sure to follow me in IG! Link below.

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