How to prepare for your own in home lifestyle photography session
Looking through the images from this beautiful family session reminded me of why I LOVE in home lifestyle photography so much! So, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share some gorgeous images, and also help explain what you can expect and how you can prepare for your own in home photo session!
1. Preparing your home
I totally understand that having young children generally means you are living in a home that is a little less “Home Beautiful magazine worthy” and a little more “appears to have just been ransacked by intruders” (speaking for myself here) and the thought of getting the place into a semi-presentable state might be completely overwhelming. Trust me, I get it – that is my life. BUT, the reality is, that for most in home sessions, I am only going to shoot in a handful of rooms, the ones that have the best natural light. Often, this is your main bedroom, possibly a kids bedroom and the living room. Generally, it’s pretty easy to hide some excess toys, washing and clutter in cupboards and under the bed (well, that’s what I do whenever we have visitors coming over at least!) – but don’t feel like you have to clear everything out as if you are staging the place for a magazine shoot ! Your home still needs to tell your story and show that little people live here.
2. Preparing your kids
Can I ask you a favour ? Can you please not tell your kids that I’m coming over to take their photos and that they need to sit still and do as they're told while I’m there!? I don’t want your kids to dread meeting me ! Instead, tell them that I’m coming over to be REALLY silly with them. Tell them I’m going to want to see how high they can jump on mum and dad’s bed, that I want to hear who can make the funniest noises and see all their craziest faces. Yep…. I know, the things that as parents, we try to minimise our kids doing… but, for this 1 hour window of their lives… lets let them have FUN and be kids ! In amongst all the silliness, I’m also going to ask them to see their best cuddles and kisses, and I bet we will see some really genuine smiles and laughter (without telling them to smile!) but that’s not the part I want you to advertise to them.
3. Preparing yourselves
I can completely understand that the idea of having a stranger come into your home and point a camera at you for an hour and a half, is a kind of daunting / terrifying thought ! I think for most people, it's fairly standard to feel uncomfortable in front of the camera and worry about looking awkward ! That is actually why I LOVE lifestyle photography so much - because it's not about me and my camera, it's about you ! All you guys need to do is be with each other, love each other, look at each other and play with one another and ignore the fact that I'm even there (ok.. so that might be asking a bit much - but I do promise to try and make sessions as PAIN FREE as possible!!). I might guide you guys occasionally into the best light or try and create situations where I can capture some really beautiful connection between you and your family - but for the most part, I just try to encourage things to happen naturally and authentically. Authenticity is really where it's at for me...and I would really encourage you to have a think about what that looks like for your family. What are the things that are going on in your life right now that you never want to forget ? What do your kids love to do most when they are with you ? What are your kids personality traits that you treasure the most ? Or even, what are their traits that drive you crazy 99.9% of the time, but you know you still kind of want to remember !? I'm not here to capture picture perfect - i'm here to capture real life !
Following on from the last point, it's also a really good idea to have a think about some of the things you do as a family on a regular basis. Does your 2 year old make you sit with her on the couch for hours on end reading her books? Does your 5 year old love to help you bake cookies? Does your 6 month old giggle uncontrollably when you start singing a special song? If there is something that you love to do as a family or that your kids can’t get enough of, please let me know and let's incorporate those things into your session – it will make your images that much more special and meaningful for you to look back on in the years to come.
5. What to wear
OK, the main thing here is that you need to feel like yourself and you need to feel comfortable !! No, I’m not talking laying on the couch watching TV in your yoga pants, but I definitely don’t want you guys getting dressed up to the nines in clothes that make you feel stiff and uncomfortable – keep in mind that for the majority of my your session, you are going to be playing with your kids! A few things to consider that I feel like are pretty universally accepted in the lifestyle photography world are -
- Neutrals are timeless (but pops of colour, like the GORGEOUS dress mum is wearing here, are beautiful too and can really inject your own unique personality into your images)
- Long flowy skirts/dresses or simple basics matched with textures (scarfs/kimonos/cardigans) photograph really well !
- As a family, wearing complimentary colours is great – but definitely do not all try and pull off the classic everyone wearing black t-shirt and jeans look. Mums, it’s great if you can pick your outfit first (take this opportunity to go out and buy yourself something that you LOVE and feel aaaaaaamazing in!) and coordinate the rest of the family around YOU!
- For in home sessions, personally, I recommend avoiding wearing predominately blacks and really dark colours.
-I beg of you, please avoid wearing shifts with graphics or logos/lettering – or mixing too many different patterns. These all detract from what the real focus of the image should be (you) and often, date really quickly !
I'm going to be putting together a what to wear guide over the coming weeks, so stay tuned for some more info on that SOON !
Ultimately, I think for most of us, there is nowhere in the world that we feel more comfortable and more relaxed than in our own homes. For those of us who are crazy nervous at the idea of having professional photo's done, in home sessions can be a really great way to help take some pressure off ! For family's with really young children, who run off in all different directions the second you go outside, it's a great way to keep things slightly more contained and give kids a safe space to go off and have breaks, without having to worry about where they could potentially run off to!
Oh and lastly, how GORGEOUS is this family and their beautiful home? Bec has recently made her home available for photo shoots and filming, so if you want to see more of this amazingly designed, light and bright home, head on over to her instagram account and follow along.