There’s nothing I love more as a family photographer than showing up for an in-home session and falling into your life together! I try to be unintrusive and avoid giving too much direction so that the images feel as organic as possible. Ultimately, documenting your family’s day-to-day reality is my top priority. That’s why my best advice for parents planning an at-home family session is to let their kids be kids!
During your session, try not to force anything. You’ll be amazed at how the silliest, messiest moments translate into the best images. After all, this is supposed to be an artifact of your lives in the here and now! If that means toy trucks all over the floor or food on faces, all the better.
Are you interested in planning an at-home family session? Read on for my top three tips to help you achieve the authentic, raw, beautiful images you’re after.
I know some of you are natural-born planners, and it drives you crazy not to have anything prepared for a milestone event like a portrait session! So, feel free to plan a few activities that depict your day-to-day. However, please don’t stress if your kiddos aren’t in the mood for them! It’s always best to sit back and let our time together unfold naturally.
With that being said, activities are a great way to customize your at-home family session to reflect your lives! For example, you could put on some of your favorite music (or bust out the wooden instruments) and dance. You could get cozy with a book or blow bubbles in the backyard! And, of course, a favorite with the kiddos is always jumping on the bed. There are limitless ways to customize your session, so get creative!
Many parents ask me if they should clean their house top-to-bottom before I arrive. The answer is absolutely not! DO select several rooms with the best natural light where we can spend most of our time. And feel free to remove anything that would be an obvious eyesore, such as cleaning supplies or dirty dishes.
But leave those stacked books on the nightstand, and don’t worry if the kids’ beds are unmade! These little details will add characters to your images and show your family’s unique personality. In my opinion, “perfect” images are boring anyway. Let’s document the reality of your lives for you to look back on in the decades to come!
Take a second, and think about this: when you’re looking through these images in 40 years, what would you like them to show? Would you rather see unrealistic, perfectly made beds or the unmade chaos of your day-to-day that still resonates years later? I can almost guarantee that the “chaos” will pull you back to that time because it will depict how those years really looked. The images will be so much more meaningful that way, so let the mess be! Of course, if you strive to keep a tidy home at all times, that’s wonderful too. You do you!
When deciding what you and the kiddos will wear, my best advice is to avoid putting everyone in the same color. Try to mix things up and add a bit of personal flair! Gone are the days of everyone dressed in jeans and white button-downs, so feel free to let your style shine.
Mixing a palette of solid colors with a pattern always looks great. For example, mama can wear a patterned dress while everyone else wears simpler, solid-colored outfits. But if you have an artistic eye and love to pattern-mix, let yourself go wild. These are your portraits, after all!
The most important thing to remember is to dress according to what YOU find stylish and comfortable without letting Pinterest dictate your look. Again, think of your future self looking through these images. Would you prefer seeing an accurate depiction of your younger self or an outfit you copy-pasted that didn’t really speak to you?
I hope these tips for planning an at-home family session have inspired and set you at ease. Your home and life truly don’t have to be perfect to wind up with stunning images you’ll always cherish! I would love to capture your growing family in the comfort of your home. Reach out today to schedule a chat!
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