Last week, I wrote a little bit about the importance of investing in Family portraits, and how even the most super of super-moms deserve to step in front of the camera and create lasting memories. Today I’m going to dive into a frequently asked question: how to prepare for your in-home lifestyle session!
So, what exactly is an in-home lifestyle session? Well, it’s a lot like a traditional family session, only it’s set in the comfort of your own home! This is perfect for families celebrating a new baby’s arrival, or for those who want to keep relaxed for their session and capture everyday real-life moments. It’s also a great way to beat the icky weather if it decides to be too chilly or rainy for outdoor portraits!
As with all portrait sessions, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of your experience and stay relaxed for the camera. Below, I have a few quick tips on how to prepare for your in-home lifestyle session (without losing your mind)!
Find the light.
This sounds way tougher than it actually is, so don’t worry! The trick is to find the room with the biggest (or most) windows and watch the light for a few days. Note which time of day the room is the brightest without streams of light coming in through the window directly. (For my house, the East-facing bedroom has the biggest window and the best light around 11 AM.) The light makes a huge difference in the quality of your images, and since we want them to be fresh and joyful, more light is best!
Choose your outfits.
The second most important piece of the puzzle is deciding what to wear! Your outfits make the biggest impact, second only to good light. I always recommend that families choose lighter and/or neutral pieces to keep things feeling fresh and natural. Certain colors are flattering, like ivory, blush, pale blue, light grey and beige! We really want the focus to be on you and sharing your story, which is why classic, timeless selections look best! Feel free to check out my Pinterest board for outfit inspiration and coordinating looks!
Prep the littles.
Older children will understand (for the most part) that they need to smile for the camera, but what about the littler ones? Speaking from plenty of personal experience, sit them down and talk about how the session will go and what you expect from them. Encourage them to have fun and participate so you can all make the most of your family portraits! Getting ready too early can lead to nerves and jitters, so it’s sometimes best to leave it until right before your session time. There’s less chance of outfits and hair getting wonky, and that means way less stress for you! Lastly, make sure you’ve grabbed a favorite toy, book, or treat that you’re OK with giving to the littles to help redirect in case of tears! (Mini marshmallows and Llama Llama Red Pajama have saved my skin more times than I can count).
Create a clean slate.
Just like how we want to showcase the best version of your sweet ‘lil family, we also want to show the best version of your home. The best way to accomplish that is to tidy the space and eliminate things that you might find distracting in your images– laundry bins, knick-knacks, and any wall art you don’t want to feature in your gallery. (Some couples have boudoir or wedding portraits up that they would prefer not be in their family images.) This will ensure that you’ve got a nice clean, non-distracting backdrop for your portraits so we can put the focus on haring your sweet family’s story!
Pick an activity (or two).
What kids wouldn’t want to have a pillow fight or goof off with mom and dad? A great way to create genuine moments is to choose an activity to do as a family! If the kitchen is your best (and brightest) room, you could make lemonade or bake cookies together. If the bedroom is the ideal location, then perhaps a pillow fight or story time! Anything you choose will work, so long as it’s something that you and the kids would really enjoy doing together. Lifestyle sessions are supposed to be just that– about your real life! An activity that will engage the kids and create authentic moments will tell your story far better than sitting and saying, “cheeeeeese!”
Now that you’ve got the lowdown on how to prepare for your in-home lifestyle session, check out some of my favorites featuring the Maughan family’s newest addition!