How to Prepare for Your In Home Photoshoot |
Las Vegas Lifestyle Family Photography
Hi! I am so excited to meet you and your favourite people! My aim for your photos is a look that is timeless and natural, that focuses on emotions and the relationships among you and your loved ones. While we will take a few traditional portraits with everyone looking at the camera, I mostly want to capture your family in your natural element - interacting and enjoying each other's company in your own home. I want to preserve this moment in time for you, so that when you look back at these photos years from now (possibly with your grandchildren or great-grandchildren!), it'll take you right back to this day, to this season of life and how you and your family are now.
The benefit of an in home session is that the location is more meaningful, sentimental, more relaxed and, generally, children will feel more at ease in the comfort of their own home environment. You also will not have to worry about packing anything up for an outing (e.g. baby necessities, snacks, blanket), or driving to or from anywhere. There are no permit or entrance fees. No crowds. No passerby's! No late night or this-is-when-we-normally-eat-dinner photoshoot times! I loooooooovvvvvveeee home sessions!
Here are some tips to guide you in preparing for your photo session with me!
Locations & Light
The best rooms for the shoot will be the ones with the biggest windows and/or the ones that let in the most light. This can typically be the master bedroom, the living room and the kitchen. Because you're probably trying to remember your home with these pictures, it can be special to get some shots in the kids' bedrooms or nursery, too.
To achieve the best light, and if you're willing, I may sometimes ask you to temporarily move or angle furniture (e.g. armchair) slightly toward the light.
We will schedule the photoshoot when it is brightest in the main rooms that you want as your backdrop. Typically this can be around 10 am or sometime in the mid-afternoon.
East facing windows are brightest in the morning
West facing windows are brightest in the afternoon
South facing windows are usually brightest first thing in the morning or late afternoon.
North facing windows are generally brightest between 10 am - 2 pm.
Another consideration will be your child's nap schedule.
Preparing your home
Keep in mind that there is good clutter and there is bad clutter. The first might include a few favourite toys, organized books and favorite home decor. The latter could be dirty dishes, spread out papers, laundry being out, etc.. Bad clutter can also be items that are out of place/in the wrong room, or brightly coloured and, thus, distracting.
Generally, flat surfaces (tables, counters, tops of other furniture) look better when they're clear or mostly clear in pictures.
The general guideline is that if you wouldn't want it in the final pictures, it's best to put it away for the photoshoot.
In-home photo sessions are a great time to plan a couple of activities that might be meaningful to you and that you want to be documented for your family archives. Having something fun to do together also leads to plenty of genuine smiles and laughter, which will lead to many special photos!
Baking or making breakfast (even if it's actually for lunch!)
Reading a book together
Playing with bubbles
Drawing with chalk outside
Building train tracks
Snuggling on the bed
Painting or colouring
What to wear
I want you to feel like your best you, so wear clothes that make you feel good and beautiful. A guideline for in home shoots is to dress for a day at home, but like you're expecting company.
Some parents may choose to have their little ones in pajamas for part of the shoot (think snuggly bed pictures) and then have them change for the remainder of the time.
Family outfits should fit together, but not match exactly (i.e. don't all wear the same top or bottom). I do recommend matching the level of formal across the family.
A LITTLE TIP: If you are a little stuck thinking of family outfits, start with an outfit that makes Mom feel gorgeous, and build everyone else's outfit off of that. :)
Colours, Patterns & Texture
Choose colors that compliment your hair and skin, while also considering the season and the location (you don't want to blend in or clash with the colors there). Consider
-neutral colors (e.g. grey, cream, brown, tan, off-white)
-softer, lighter tones (e.g. soft pinks, blue, purple, yellow and other pastel colors, especially for spring and summer) and
-muted/subdued shades (e.g. burnt orange, emerald green, maroon, navy and other jewel tones, particularly for fall and winter).
Have 3-4 main colors in your palette and maybe one person in a pattern that is not too distracting, if you'd like (think floral, polka dots or plaid). Break up colors visually, so top colors are not all the same and bottom colors are not all the same. It is best also if no two people are wearing tops of the same or close shade of the same color, especially the parents.
A LITTLE TIP: For extra style, consider adding a warm pop of color if the rest of the palette is full of neutrals (e.g. yellow, burnt orange)!
Textures add interest to photos, so feel free to incorporate them (think lace, satin, chiffon, silk, tulle, pleats, faux leather, crochet, wool, sequins, a long line of buttons on a dress or jumper).
For the ladies
Dresses or skirts are the most flattering, especially long, flowy ones (better for crouching down pictures with little ones). Clothes that flatter your silhouette (e.g. defines your waist). 3/4 length sleeves. Cardigan or slouchy, open front sweater if it's cold. Pretty blouses with jeans.
A note about undergarments: be sure that they don't show their outline either under or around clothing, and it is best if the color blends in with your outfit (e.g. same color or dark for a dark outfit, light for a light outfit). Consider strapless and seamless options if it suits the outfit better. Sometimes undergarments can peek out around outfits, especially when you're interacting with moving children, and I don't want this to detract from a photo.
For the men
Ideas include jeans with plain t-shirts (without words or graphics). Henley or polo shirts.
A LITTLE TIP: Avoid keeping your phone in your pocket during the shoot, as it is distracting in photos. Also, try to avoid wearing pants with wallet or phone outlines worn in.
For the Kids
Dresses for the girls, or a nice top with details and fitted pants. Rompers are adorable. For the boys, cute t-shirts or henleys with pockets worn with fitted pants of the proper length.
For the boys and men, consider belts, watches and matching socks in a fun pattern.
For the girls and ladies, consider bracelets, rings, earrings, statement necklaces, pretty headbands or hair bows and ribbons in the hair.
What to avoid
I want your photos to be timeless, and I want the main focus of your photos to be your faces, expressions and relationships. Here are some things that can work against those goals and that are best to avoid...
Neon/florescent colours (these colors can reflect back onto your skin and face or onto others). Words, logos or graphics (distracting). Trendy/fad clothing. Sport watches (e.g. Fitbit). Hair ties on wrists. Pinstripes. Overly revealing tops or too short bottoms. Skinny shoulder straps. Baggy or skin-tight clothing. Any outfits that make you feel self-conscious, uncomfortable or that don't fit properly. Cargo shorts or pants. Flip flops. Running shoes. Chipped nail polish or dirty nails.
If you would like to view some examples, I created a Pinterest board here. Feel free to do your own searches on the site to look for inspiration!
Hair & makeup
Hair that looks like it can move when you move look great and natural. Be aware of flyaways - flexible hold hairspray can help.
Use makeup to add some color, concealer as needed, and powder to help prevent shine. Have makeup handy for touch-ups if needed. The goal is fresh and natural. False lashes photograph well. Painted nails add the perfect detail (toes, too, if you choose to go barefoot!).
A fresh haircut for the males looks best.
To get the most out of our time together, please try to ensure that your children are rested before the session (think a good night's sleep, nap or down time) and not hungry during the session. Dry, non-messy snacks and wipes are always a good idea to have on hand, just in case!
Let your kids know that a friend will be photographing them and make it exciting for them! Consider a reward or a fun plan for after.
Do not worry if your kids are not sitting still and smiling perfectly for the camera. Let them be little! :) I intend for my photos to have a relaxed, natural feel to them because I know that kids like to talk, act silly, be loud, jump, run, play and explore. These actually make for some of the best pictures because they capture kids being themselves, especially at home.
For the family shots, I will guide you into comfortable, natural "poses" where you will focus on each other and just be in the moment together.
If you have a reluctant partner or spouse
Make sure that he or she will be rested and fed.
Show him or her my Instagram or website, so that he or she can see that I aim to capture relaxed, fun pictures.
Tell him or her that this will be a time for you and your family to just be together and take a break from the go-go-go timeline of most other days.
Let him or her know that the best thing to do is to just have a light-hearted attitude, enjoy their family, go with the flow and let ME do the work.
Also, remind him or her how much these photos will mean to you and how appreciative you are that he or she is willing to be such a good sport for one hour!
Make sure that everyone gets a good night's sleep!
Remove any temporary tattoos, felt marker and stamps from children.
Moisturize hands and apply lip balm in the days and weeks leading up to the session. Dry skin is no joke in the desert(!), so this will help with photos. I recommend Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion.
Iron out wrinkles in your outfits, as needed, and remove any loose strings.
I can't wait to work with you to create beautiful keepsakes of and for your family! I want this to be an easy-going session for you, so just bring a lighthearted attitude and plan to have fun! 🙂 Please feel free to contact me with any questions related to your session. Take care and see you soon!