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, 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 anywhere.

 

Here are some tips to guide you in preparing for your photo session with me!

01/

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. 

02/

Time

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.

03/

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. 

04/

Activities

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!

Ideas include:

  • 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

  • Painting nails

  • Snuggling on the bed

  • Painting or colouring

05/

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. :)

06/

Colours, Patterns & Texture

Neutral colors (grey, cream, brown, white) and/or softer, lighter tones and muted shades (e.g. soft pinks or yellows, muted blues like navy).

 

Have at least 3 colors in your palette and maybe one 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.

 

Textures add interest to photos, so feel free to incorporate them (think lace, satin, chiffon, tulle, leather, crochet, wool, sequins).

07/

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. 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. dark for a dark outfit, light for a light outfit). Sometimes they can peek out around outfits, especially when you're interacting with moving children, and I don't want this to potentially detract from a photo.

08/

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.

09/

For the Kids

Dresses for the girls, or a nice top with details and fitted pants. For the boys, cute t-shirts or henleys with fitted pants of the proper length.

10/

Accessories

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.

11/

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...

 

Trendy/fad clothing. Neon/florescent or very bright or bold colours (these can reflect onto skin making it look green, yellow, too pink, etc.). Logos, words or graphics. Pinstripes. Revealing tops. Skinny shoulder straps or strapless tops/dresses. Baggy or skin-tight clothing. Cargo shorts. Flip flops. Running shoes.

12/

Pinterest examples

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!

13/

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 a light hand with makeup to add a bit of color, and use powder to help prevent shine. Have makeup handy for touch-ups if needed. The goal is fresh and natural. Eye lash extensions photograph well. Painted nails add the perfect detail.

 

A fresh haircut for the males looks best. 

14/

Your children

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.

15/

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! 

16/

Last Reminders

  • Make sure that everyone gets a good night's sleep!

  • Remove any temporary tattoos 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!

Capturing the joy, beauty and love in families
Lifestyle family photography for Las Vegas & Henderson, Nevada
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© 2020 by Jennifer Hyman Photography