In the years I’ve been shooting home sessions, I’ve noticed a few bad habits I’d like to break. The good news is, if you enter your shoot with the right frame of mind, you can expect the best in-home session possible. When you’re investing big bucks, it’s important to keep the following in mind before and during your session!
Moms, I’m here to call you out on this one. Every in-home session I shoot comes with at least 15 apologies. No joke. If you think every family session with toddlers goes off without a hitch, you’re living in la la land. So please, don’t feel the need to apologize if your newborn is fussy or if your toddler is running around like a bat out of hell. It’s all good, and it’s what I’m here for.
Plan for after naptime
Toddlers tend to behave like drunk adults. They’re belligerent and mostly need to sleep it off. Your best bet is to book your session after naptime to keep fussiness to a bare minimum. You’ll be glad you did.
Tidy the home but don’t go crazy
I get that you want your home to look as photo-ready as possible, but real life sometimes gets in the way, and that can be beautiful. On a recent shoot, I walked into the nursery where I’d be shooting, and the toddlers had destroyed the perfectly color coordinated bookshelf. I felt the mom’s frustration, but it created an opportunity for me to help the toddlers pick up the books and for them to warm up to me.
Go with the flow
To piggyback on my last point, sometimes you just have to go with the flow. During in-home sessions, it’s important to pick our battles. If your toddler is refusing to pose the way you want, let’s all accept it and move on. I’m totally capable of working around it. I never walk in with set expectations, especially when toddlers are involved, and you shouldn’t either. Just roll with it!
Don’t forget to eat
Keep the grumpy attitudes at bay with a solid snacking plan. Don’t skip meals, and avoid sugary treats that cause crashing and crankiness. A little fat and protein never hurt, either. You can even plan for snack time during the shoot to allow the photographer to capture your family making a snack together. Sometimes those in between, unplanned moments make for magic.
Wear comfortable clothing
Indoor sessions call for a totally different, relaxed vibes. Think soft, comfortable fabrics like cotton and stick with neutral colors and patterns. Steer clear of bright colors like yellow, red and hot pink, and opt instead for navy, olive, blush or cream. A pop of color or unexpected patterns, like florals, stripes and checkers, look lovely in the home.
During in-home sessions, I always expect the unexpected. But it’s never a bad idea to plan ahead a bit to ensure everyone’s well-rested, well fed and ready for their close-ups.