Family portrait photography at home
Having a photo session in your own home is a great way to capture your family life as it is now, and it’s also where everyone feels the most comfortable. With an in-home session there are endless opportunities for beautiful, natural photographs of your family feeling genuinely happy and relaxed. Your children will quickly get used to the camera because they are comfortable in their surroundings and they have the freedom to just be themselves. Being at home in familiar surroundings really is the best way to capture your kids just being themselves. Newborn babies in particular are far more content in their home, where the temperature is just right and all they need is to hand. If you have older babies and children and have a local location that you know well, we can incorporate that into your session.
There’s always a strong narrative thread running through the final set of images from a family in-home session. The end result is a wide range of images; detail shots, action shots, lots of portraits you’ll want to enlarge and frame, and a set of images that come together beautifully to tell the full story of your session in an album.
Now, if your favourite type of photograph is one taken in a studio with everyone smiling their best smiles at the camera I’m not going to be the right family photographer for you. It’s taken me some years to realise that I can’t be all things to all people, and that it would not serve me to compromise my style to suit the needs of everyone. I have no major dislike of studio photographs, but working in a studio setting is basically the opposite of what I can do well…telling stories; working with every type of natural light that living in England throws at me, in real environments with real life stories that unfold in front of my camera. Every year I take on a select number of families and weddings, in order to do my very best for my clients. Families often come back for updated photoshoots every few years….they have become friends to me and I get a huge amount of job satisfaction from capturing their children as they grow and develop in front of my lens over a number of years.
If the thought of all this makes you feel scared or worried then that would be understandable; it takes courage for most of us to be in the vulnerable position of being in front of a camera lens. A small voice might be saying, “What if my child is naughty or we have an argument in the middle of the session? Maybe my house isn’t tidy enough for an in home session at the moment!” My granny always used to say “this is a home, not a museum” if anyone called her house untidy, and I always remind families that their photographs will be far more meaningful in the future if they are filled with all the things that surround them everyday in this season of their lives. It actually takes a surprisingly short time for everyone to get used to the camera, and by the end of the session everyone usually feels both tired, and also totally relaxed with being photographed. Sometimes we take small breaks and I also use strategies from my teaching days to distract and curb unwanted behavior.
Here are some examples of some things families have got up to in their family session over the years…..as you can see there’s no set formula. I couldn’t have made any of it up, which is why I think documenting reality is far more interesting than thinking something up. A lot of it is down to serendipity..and don’t worry that there might not be anything interesting happening on the day of your session; life is always interesting to me when I’m taking photographs(I’m a light chaser), and life’s always interesting from the eyes of a child. What better way to get inspired than to follow the children’s lead and let them teach us how to remain in the moment and appreciate the small things?