Top Tips for your at-home photography session
Photographing your family inside of your home can be a great opportunity to capture special moments in the place most meaningful to you all. These sessions help to capture an authentic look into your daily lives, but it can also bring a little stress ahead of the session. I frequently get questions about whether someone’s home will look good? Will the light be ok? Will there be enough space? General concerns about tidying and whether your home will look right! In order to help ease your nerves, I’d like to share my top tips for preparing your home and family for an at-home session.
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of making your home look perfect, but this isn’t necessary. Many clients feel that their home is not magazine-worthy or Pinterest perfect. The fun part of these shoots is that none of that matters. While many families do choose this time to spruce up their home a bit, keeping it as-is will not matter a few years down the road. You’ll care more about how special this time in your life is and that you were able to preserve your memories in photographs.
Having a little mess around the house, only shows me that your home is well lived in. Children are children and they’re bound to make a mess of something five minutes after cleaning it. Instead, focus on only two to three rooms that you want to photograph in. My top concern for any space is that there is enough natural lighting. I suggest taking note of the way the light falls into each of those rooms at different points of the day before the shoot. Remember to turn off lights and open curtains and blinds.
You may need to adjust the layout of the room to best accommodate the lighting in the room. While this doesn’t mean that you need to completely redo the room, simply rearranging things can help. Make sure that the room is distraction-free and nothing will detract from the focus being on your family in the photos. This includes removing things that you don’t always remember are there, such as unsightly electrical cords, papers, and excess nick-knacks. If you find this too daunting to do yourself, one option might be to consult with an online interior design service ahead of time, like Havenly or Homewings, to figure out ideas for the room.
To add a special element to your photos, you can include items that have a sentimental value to each of you so they show in the background of the photos. As an example, I love seeing framed photographs from your wedding on display or a chair that you once sat in as a child. They help me to capture a better picture of who you all are. I also encourage the element of play during this shoot. Have your child play with their favourite toy, stuffed animal or book. It helps to keep them distracted and it looks timeless in the photos. I like to let them be the leader of the shoot. I can work around whatever their mood is that day.
Choose elements that have fun colours and prints. You’ll want to avoid patterns that you may blend in to such as distracting patterns and colours that match your clothing. However, some pops of colour can add a nice element. A bright yellow throw pillow or a different textured rug or blanket are great. Even a simple white cover on your bed can be a nice background to photograph a newborn on top of. One simple way to add a breath of fresh air into a room is incorporating plants. A fresh bouquet of flowers placed in a vase on your table or a tall green houseplant on the floor can both provide pops of colour and life.
Don’t forget your outdoor space either. If you have a garden, patio area or outdoor space this is as usable as the rooms inside. Kids love to run around outside, so using a garden is a perfect chance for you all to have fun outside. As with the indoor spaces, do a quick tidy up of any outdoor spaces. You could put a picnic rug and cushions onto the grass or set up a table with colourful crockery, drinks and snacks.
My goal during this shoot is to make you feel at home, literally. I want you to have fun with this and just be yourselves. Tell me your favourite stories and help me get to know you better. It will help ease your nerves and I’ll make sure to reflect these stories in your photos. Above all else, relax and have fun.
Hope these top tips for your at-home photography session have helped. Find out more about my family photoshoots by checking out the family photography pricing page and the family photography portfolio.
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