IN-HOME SESSION TIPS
how to prepare your home for a successful session
in-home sessions make for some of my absolute favorite sessions all year. instead of worrying about rain, who's getting dirty, what shoes everyone's wearing, what you're going to sit on, who's eating rocks, etc... it's cozy and intimate and snuggly. with snacks and hot chocolate nearby - or beer and mimosas, hello! and beautiful chiaroscuro-style window light in winter. not to mention, photos in your home are completely unique to you!
do you feel like you need to have a "magazine worthy" house to have photos taken in your home? this is probably one of THE most pervasive misconceptions about in-home photos and i wish i could convince you that not only is it not true, but that my idea of a "magazine-worthy" home is probably not even what you think it is!
here are a few inexpensive ways to really add life and beauty to your in-home sessions:
+ white bed linens are best to brighten up the space, reflect neutral light, and avoid additional color cast on your skin. green linens and green wall paint, for example, are going to add a green tint to your skin. red will add red. if you have white walls, feel free to add more color to your decor. if you have green walls (or another strong color), grab some inexpensive white linens just to maximize some neutral light reflection). call me crazy, but i even think cozy unmade beds with fluffy white linens look great in photos! you literally do not even have to make the beds!
+ leave your kids' art taped up on the walls! your children's art is so special and i love to document it as part of the life stage you're in. bonus points for lots of pink and orange!
+ add a few green plants! i find that the most photogenic plants tend to be a little wild (and i LOVE to shoot through them for a dreamy effect). cactus, orchid cactus, night blooming cereus, dracaena, monstera are all great options. and i'm not even kidding: i'm not above moving your one green plant into every room with us! have you been to Gurton's Plant Shop? she just moved to hillsdale right by food front co-op and her plants are AMAZING (and she's not portland hipster plant shop snobby)! in general, green and pink tones really compliment my editing style and New Seasons always has the best cut flowers. side note: if your camellia in the yard is dropping petals all over the ground, LEAVE THEM THERE! i will use that lush tropical deliciousness!
+ include your pets! even - especially!- rambunctious pets. if there's one thing that makes babies and kids smile it's your dogs and i LOVE when they are happily moving in and out of the frame. cats, chickens, goats, ducks, llamas, WHATEVER! the more the merrier!
+ get a piece of affordable art to fill a big empty wall. the goodwill on grand & mill has a HUGE selection of original paintings and art. for some reason, if you have an empty wall above the couch or your bed, it's emptiness is really amplified in photos. i realize you hired *me* to eventually fill that space, but in the meantime, spend $20 on an original painting from goodwill that has some great colors in it!
+ large mirrors add extra light and fun reflections. position them on a side wall, however, otherwise i have to photoshop myself out of your mirror above the couch. you can also add things like mirror balls or crystals hanging in the windows to add sparkles to the room. kids love them!
+ worried about couch stains or holes? ikea sheepskins are your new BFF. no one will ever know!
+ open all blinds, shutters, and curtains all the way before i get there so that we have maximum natural light. please let me know if you have indoor wooden plantation shutters (not wooden blinds, those are fine) because the shutters can severely cut the light from your home. we will want to discuss time of day, weather, and positioning if you have them.
+ lastly, be assured that you NEVER have to deep clean for me. i'm not judgey and your dust or dirty windows are really not going to show. throw anything you don't want immortalized down the basement stairs and you're done.
i promise you that a lived-in, loved-in home full of your special, sentimental things is going to be what makes your photos beautiful.
one final thing, rules are meant to be broken so none of these recommendations are hard and fast. let's come up with a plan together!