In-Home Session Tips | DMV Family Photographer

Client Tips

Your home is probably the most important space in your life, and there are so many little details in your home that helps tell your story. Let’s use the home-turf advantage to your benefit!

In-home sessions are personal and convenient, and your kiddos will be the most themselves in their home environment.  In-home sessions are laid back, informal, and have an element of documentary-style photography which allows me to capture you and your loved ones in a comfortable and relaxed way.

In-home sessions occur late morning, but if there is a newborn involved, the time may vary according to the baby’s needs. I absolutely love photographing people in their homes, and the colder winter months or hot dog days of summer are a perfect time!  My style of photography is perfect for an in-home session and the images convey emotion and memories in a way that doesn’t come across in more posed photos.

I totally understand that you may feel you are living in a home that is a little less than “Home Beautiful magazine worthy”, and the thought of getting the place into a semi-presentable state might be completely overwhelming. Trust me, I get it. For most in-home sessions, I’ll photograph in your main bedroom, a child’s bedroom, the living room, and maybe the kitchen. Generally, it’s pretty easy to hide some excess toys and clutter in closets and under the bed. Please don’t feel like you have to clear everything out as if you are staging your home for a magazine shoot! Your home still needs to tell your story, and your belongings definitely help set the scene and make your house your beloved home.

Whether you’re a family of two or someone with rowdy little ones, I believe photos taken at home can be a terrific way to document your life for the family archives.  Below, you’ll find some tips for getting the most out of your in-home session.

Plan an activity.
In some ways in-home sessions are no different than your typical portrait session, I do my best to get a great picture of your whole family together, and I make sure to photograph all the different family member combinations interacting with each other.  However, at home, I can photograph your children playing in their room, you lovingly bathing your new baby in the sink, or sharing a cup of coffee at your dining room table with your partner. Before your session, we’ll brainstorm a few meaningful activities specifically for your family- you can make breakfast or dinner, do an art project, have storytime with the kiddos, or just capture your everyday routine in a more documentary way.

Let the kids take the lead.
If you have younger kiddos, you probably understand that we will have to be flexible. Children may start off shy, but once they get comfortable they’re often eager to show me their special toys or games, read me their favorite book, or just have a blast showing me their full-blown personalities!  As long as they’re being safe, I love when families just let the kids set the pace for the session.  Don’t worry about whether or not they’re on their best behavior or taking direction well; if they feel comfortable and excited, it will show in the pictures and I’ll get photos that really make your hearts feel full.

Light matters.
I’ll work with whatever light and backgrounds you have in your home, and bring lighting equipment to help brighten up the spaces that need it.  But whether you live in a one-bedroom apartment or a million-dollar home,  I’ll find beautiful and sentimental spots in all of them. If you’re flexible about where in your home we take pictures, we can find some beautifully lit spots. Lighting matters a lot, second only to capturing genuine expressions.

Don’t forget about the bedrooms.
Initially, you may want to suggest the living room or a more formal sitting room for your photos.  While I can definitely take a few photos in these rooms, pictures that are taken in the more personal and comfortable places in your home are actually preferred.  Kids’ rooms tend to reflect your child’s personality better than any other spot in the house, and I love master bedrooms because they are often amazing spaces where I can get awesome portraits featuring the whole family.  Plus, bedrooms often have surprisingly good light.

Take it outside.
To complement the cozy indoor pictures, if you’re up for it, I can take a few photos in your yard, or on your porch.  Summer months are great for outside water play, and building snowmen in colder winter weather isn’t too uncomfortable if you bundle up.

Keep your dress casual.
Make sure your outfits match your environment.  An in-home session begs for easy, comfortable clothes and no shoes!  Maybe you’ll let the kids stay in their PJs for the first half of the session, or perhaps they want to wear their favorite costumes for a bit – all part of the in-home-session fun!  I can help recommend what to wear specifically for your family, but soft fabrics and neutral colors are always a great place to start.

Take your time.
I only schedule one session a day and do not place time limits on in-home sessions, so there is no need to rush.  I encourage clients to let our time together unfold naturally.  The goal is to avoid feeling rushed or like you’re moving through a bunch of poses one after the other.  We might stop photographing for a few minutes and chat mid-session, or wait for a kiddo to be ready, and that’s all part of the in-home session strategy that creates images sure to give you the warm and fuzzies.

If an in-home session sounds like something you’re interested in, send me a message so we can chat about how we can customize a session just for you!

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