In-Home Lifestyle Sessions 101
Today in Kentucky it's the first "fluffy" snow of the year and my little family is taking full advantage with home-made chicken soup, snuggles, movies, coffee (okay that's just me), and extra fuzzy socks. While cozied up inside I thought it would be a perfect day to talk about in-home sessions on the blog. In-home sessions are where I bring my photography gear to the clients' home and we do the session within their house. I know that sounds very scary to some people, but I ASSURE you that a perfect home is NOT one of the essentials to getting those Pinterest-worthy shots. In fact, these type of lifestyle sessions are becoming more popular among clients and some of my favorite to shoot. Here's why:
Comfort is everything
Lifestyle sessions are just that: documenting a client's life in their element. Have you ever felt the beginning of a professional photo shoot can be a little stiff and awkward, with time needed to warm-up? It happens to everyone but it's like that part is skipped when I show up in the client's world with my camera. Clients don't need to worry about watching the weather and don't have to worry about travel time the day of their session because the fun will be in their house! Newborns are my most popular in-home lifestyle sessions and you can only imagine the importance of being comfortable for these since it's within the first 11 days of baby's birth. As a mother who never left the house for weeks after having my babies, I love having clients keep their new families at their house those first few days home from the hospital. I know the house is probably messy, the baby will need many breaks, there's an endless amount of supplies to pack for baby, and real shoes should be optional for mama those first days home. My goal is to be a warm smile and comforting helper to coach you through the session, still getting those wanted shots, just in your house instead of a studio. As long as we have either the living room, a bedroom, or nursery ready with access to a window, you're a great candidate to have your next session in your home.
Less is More
One aspect I love when looking through the final gallery of an in-home lifestyle session is how the clients really do shine through the entire gallery. These are the only type of newborn sessions I currently offer because I think they allow the whole picture of baby's new arrival to be highlighted in a beautiful and classic way. I used to bring props to try to set up a small set but over time I learned how much I love the simplicity of a simple background and window light. There's something timeless and breathtaking about baby resting in Mom or Dad's arms in the place they'll be raised. No need to dress up either, and I actually advise wearing jeans and a neutral top to really bring in the comfortable/simple feel. Ideally, baby can start in a white onesie and we can change their swaddle once or twice in hopes of not over-stimulating them. Towards the end we can try a more fun outfit where we can risk them waking up or needing a snack break with their wardrobe change.
You've Got a Friend in Me
I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true! Each client who invests in me, is a friend in my book. Not only are they trusting me with this incredible season in their life, but they are inviting me in their home and trusting me to guide them through a professional photo shoot. I understand how nerve racking it can feel to invite a photographer in your house but I will only treat clients how I would want to be treated. I begin every session by taking off my shoes and washing my hands, because I'm a guest in their home. I try really hard to stay on track with my workflow - I want plenty of small talk and time for breaks but I also don't want to overstay my welcome. On average, my in-home sessions take 1.5-2 hours depending on the amounts of breaks we need and result in a full gallery of must-have images. After I leave an in-home session I usually feel all bubbly inside because of the blessing my clients are to me!
If I haven't convinced you that an in-home session should be your next set of photos, than maybe this small example of images will help!