How to Prepare for your In-home Photo Session

Getting your house ready for a photo shoot can seem intimidating- especially if you have young kids at home. This guide will help you figure out what is important to do, and what you shouldn’t spend time on.

Picking your Spaces

It may seem obvious but the first thing that is important to identify is what spaces in your home you’d like to be photographed in. A living room can seem like an obvious choice, and sometimes can work well but if you have multiple children it can be hard for everyone to snuggle together on the couch. It usually works best for kids all small enough to easily sit on your lap, or smaller groups of parents or kids. Living rooms often have great windows too which can be a great spot for photos especially with smaller babies.

Bedrooms are one of my favorite options. They tend to be simpler than living spaces with less going on, and often have neutral colors. Love your bedroom but worried your bedspread might be too busy for photos? I have a solid white one I can bring. Beds are natural spaces for everyone to cuddle up and tend to also encourage older kids to lay down with everyone and snuggle too. They also can be great backdrops for solo baby shots too.

My other favorite space is your kids rooms! Bigger kids love showing off their space, and with a baby’s nursery you probably spend a lot of time into picking everything out and setting it up- that should be documented!

Finding the light

Once you’ve chosen your room, if you are flexible on timing, it can be helpful to find out the time of day where the light is best in those rooms. Nice, soft light is best, so we generally want to avoid times of the day where light is streaming in full force, so if your windows face east/west that’s something to consider. North/south facing windows are much more flexible. Some rooms have both so it would be dependent on the furniture placement and where the light is hitting. If its helpful you can take pictures of the rooms at various times of day and send them to me. Knowing where light is is especially important for shots of babies on their own or detail shots- and I can always figure that out once I’m there if needed.

Tidying Up

This is the part you’re worried about, right? Trying to keep your house clean when you might have kids running around pulling out toys, or have a newborn and the idea of just getting out of bed is overwhelming on its own. I’m here to tell you your house does NOT have to be spotless, I promise. The main things to consider are those piles of clutter (we all have that chair, right?) that can be distracting, or items on your nightstand or end table. Those can be distracting from the main focus of the image so if it’s possible to move them (and you can just sweep it all into a closet, I won’t tell!) that’s best. As far as toys on the floor, the boppy pillow on your couch, burp cloths everywhere- well some of that is just part of life right now, and we’re documenting your life. when you look back it’ll help set the scene and remind you how it was. As far as areas that we aren’t photographing at all… absolutely zero judgement from me, I have kids and a busy life too! Don’t stress about it at all.

What to Wear

The other burning question! My #1 answer to this is neutral colors, or colors that match your home. Since we are photographing in your space, matching those colors are a priority- and even more so if you’re looking for wall art to then hang in those spaces. Neutral colors are generally best because it takes away any distraction from you and your family. Clothes that fit well and are comfortable are also important so you don’t feel like you constantly need to be adjusting anything. For babies just a diaper can work great, or a simple white onesie (I have some I can provide).

This is also a good chance to make sure we incorporate any special items. You might have an outfit or baby blanket that was made for you, or special family furniture. Make sure you mention it to me so we don’t forget!

What are we photographing?

That may seem obvious- your family, enjoying each other! But what sort of things actually go into a session? We may have you cuddle on the couch or a bed for a while. For babies, feeding generally comes naturally with the timing of the session anyway. Bottle or breastfeeding can be great things to document- in the grand scheme they’re things that are a huge part of your life but for a relatively short time. If you’re comfortable with your pets being included we can do that too! I also love for some parts to remove the parents from the equation and let your kids interact on their own.

I hope this guide gives you a better feeling of how your photo session will go, and what you might need to think about or do beforehand. you’ll also receive a questionnaire from me with some questions related to these topics, and if you are ever unsure or have questions we can arrange a time to talk in more detail.

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    Carissa Lyn Photography | Massachusetts Family Photographer | Spencer, MA | (774) 371-0113