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What is an in-home lifestyle photography session?

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

What is an in-home lifestyle photography session?

Let’s start off by stating what I define lifestyle family photography as : a style of photography that’s a happy medium between documentary photography and classic portraiture; or a combination of family authenticity with mild direction.

As a lifestyle family photographer, I prefer to take the documentary or “fly on the wall” approach to the session. This means capturing life as it is for your family “in the now.” Portraying the unique story of your family and your everyday lives, as it unfolds. During these sessions, I make it a priority to be as mindful and transparent as possible so that you hardly notice me there. When I explain to clients about what to expect at these sessions and my workflow, I am being honest when I say that I avoid using the terms “posed” or “staged” mainly because stiffness is not my style. My goal at the end of the session isn't for you to remember me dictating your every move, but instead, remembering the memories that you made that day as a family. You won’t hear me say, “Mom, please turn your head 45 degrees to the right and look down over your shoulder another 10 degrees.” First of all, typing that made me anxious, secondly, that is too much geometry for me (I’m horrible at math) and it’s just not me. On the other hand, you will hear me say things like, “Who’s ready for some family snuggle time on the couch!? Who can hug Mom the best?” You could call these prompts, verbs, whatever you choose, but this sets the mood for capturing your family and the true organic emotion that unfolds between you. Turning your family’s actions into art and capturing all the love and emotion that is happening in real time is my number one goal, alongside having fun!

Some may think, man I really like the idea of an in-home lifestyle family session but what would we do? No worries! You don’t have to do anything special. Just be you! We can capture your family baking cookies, eating some buttery popcorn on the couch in your jammies while watching some Disney + (I mean come on, who isn’t binge watching this wonderful creation), playing a board game at your kitchen table with your kids, family snuggles on the couch, little ones jumping on the bed, one of my most favorites is the lifestyle newborn sessions, the list goes on and on. These sessions are aimed at capturing activities that tell your family’s story the best and providing memories that leave your family’s legacy for future generations! Now that you know what my definition of an “in-home lifestyle photography session” is, continue reading for what to expect next!

So you are on board with this style of photography and think this would be a perfect way to get creative in the comfort of your own home, but think to yourself, I don’t think my home is photogenic. Seriously. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THAT. Your home is YOURS with your story. You don’t have to have a Pinterest worthy house with special Pinteresty rooms, all I need is one room with a window and we can make magic happen, trust me. Now that we’ve addressed that, what’s next? Well, book a session with me, Sweetest Moments Photography!! Literally, we will have so much fun!! If you aren’t ready to take the leap yet keep reading for what to expect when I get to your home.

Upon arrival at your residence, I will obviously introduce myself with a smile and big hug because I’m super excited that you’ve invited me in and because I’m Southern like that (insert really happy & excited emoji) and I will ask to take a quick tour around the home. If you have children, I usually prefer they lead the way. I use this to establish rapport with the kiddos and use this as an ice breaker so I can get to know them and they can get to know me! After we have walked around your home, or in our case “Bubba’s house” (that’s what our oldest son calls our home), I will then choose where the best lighting is. It is not uncommon for me to walk into a room and ask permission to rearrange a few things (such as certain decor or furniture) so that we can benefit from the best light and location possible that is in your home. After we’ve picked which room we are going to be starting in, I will give a suggestion on something to do, whether that be for the kids to go into their room and play together with their favorite toys, or just let them be. I want them to act as naturally as possible, and interact with each other as they always do. Like I mentioned earlier, my goal is to capture and document your family as organically as possible.

[Check out this article about why we should find the time for these pictures: "Let's Find the Time."] and "Why we should do THIS more often!" if you are still on the fence..]

Next, let’s talk about expectations. Below I’ve made a list of five important things that you can expect me to do regarding our session.

1. )I will stay true to your family by photographing situations that could have taken place without my direction; for example: I may suggest everyone go have a family snuggle on the couch, but let’s be honest, that is something that more than likely happens at home when I’m not there too.

2.) I will suggest ways to start the session, like everyone playing a board game at the kitchen table, eating popcorn and watching a movie on the couch are just a few examples.

3.) This is a big one...prop use. I usually bring very few props if any at all. I prefer to use what is in your home that will reflect your family’s uniqueness; a great example would be a generational family quilt. Prop use should have meaning to your child, you, or your family as a whole. Having your child playing with his/her/their favorite toys is such a great way to capture their stage of life versus some random toy that I bring that is meaningless to your children or to your family. Get the gist?

4.)I will help you decide on what to wear for your session (this one is always one of the FAQs) while also staying comfortable, true, and wearing something that defines you! If wearing a cute outfit portrays what you normally wear on a day to day basis and really defines you then that is perfectly fine! That to say, personally, as a mom of three, I proudly live in leggings and plain tops, so if you wear outfits like these daily, these photograph well too! You seriously have everything you need right in your closet at home so no need to stress over outfits! I want you to look at your images in 10 years and say, “Oh my gosh I remember that shirt!” Instead of “Oh my gosh, I remember spending $100 for all of our outfits for that session that we only wore once!” I don’t want confusion when you get your images or you asking yourselves, who are those people? What are they wearing? That isn’t our family! That scenario would make for a very sad day.

5.) Since I work solely with natural light, choosing the best rooms and spots throughout your home is a top priority and a photographer’s duty. Light can add so much depth, perspective, and mood to your images and can vary from room to room. We can be in a large living room that brings more shadows, mood, and depth for a more intimate feel or we can make way to a bright and airy kids room and have them just being kids. Just like every family has their own story to tell, I feel like light allows each room to have it’s own story to tell.

So with all that said, if this is something you think would fit your style and personality and staying in the comfort of your own home while spending time with your family, let’s get in touch and make it happen!! Want to know more about me? Read this!! Feel free to comment on this post, click here to book your session, or reach out to me directly by clicking here!

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