Tips for Photography Clients

How to Prep your Home for an In-Home Family Photo Session

March 13, 2022

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Hi I’m Morgan! I’m a photography educator and Raleigh, NC newborn photographer and family photographer.

Meet Morgan

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Your home is more photogenic than you think

It’s easier than you think it is to prep for an in-home family photo session. Many people shy away from having family photos done in their home, though, because they think their home could never work.

Either they think their home isn’t decorated well enough, it doesn’t get enough natural light or it could never be clean enough. I’ll address the former two another day, but today we’re going to focus on that last point: it could never be clean enough.

First of all, let me say this: I will never use every single room in your home during a photo session. So you don’t need to clear the clutter everywhere. I follow the light and shoot where it’s best at the time of your session. And because the sun is only going to be shining in on one side of your house, it’s nearly impossible for me to use the entirety of your home and still be able to deliver the type of images you expect from me.

It may not be in the conventional rooms you’re thinking of like the kitchen, living room or bedroom. Before your session, though, we’ll do a quick Facetime call around the time of your session so that I can assess the light and determine the best areas to use. This will cut down your cleaning time significantly, because you’ll be able to focus your efforts in the rooms that really matter!

How to Prep your Home for an In-Home Family Photo Session in 10 minutes

Whether I determine that we’ll be using the entryway, kitchen and the guest bedroom or your living room and dining room, you’ll now know where to clear all of the clutter.

On the day of your photo session or the night before, here’s what I suggest doing first: grab a laundry basket and throw everything in it that doesn’t belong in that room. This could be shoes on the floor, your kids’ toys, a granola bar wrapper, a water bottle, a tissue box or a stack of books. If it’s not supposed to be in the room, throw it in the laundry basket. Take said laundry basket and put it in a closet or a room we won’t be using so it’s out of sight!

Next, look around the room and determine if there’s anything still there that you don’t want showing up in a photograph. Maybe that’s the unsightly digital clock on your nightstand, a cluster of cords under an end table, a baby swing in the corner or the kids’ artwork wallpapering your refrigerator. Whatever it is for you, remove it or hide it temporarily.

Two more steps, and you’re done!

Next, determine if there’s anything in the room that you could do without for your photos. Remember, we want the focus to be on YOU, your family and the connections between you all. We don’t need the toaster on your kitchen counter distracting and taking away from that! This usually applies mostly to the kitchen, as things like dish soap, dish racks, towels and random kitchen appliances typically show up on kitchen counters. Taking 30 seconds to remove them and hide them can significantly improve the outcome of your photos!

Last, look for out of place items in adjacent rooms or hallways that will still be in sight. For example, if we’re using the living room and you have an open concept home where your kitchen is still in sight, be mindful of any clutter that’s hanging around in there! The same thing goes for hallways or entryways that may be caught in a photo from a certain angle. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but when I’m not limited by angles such as these, it gives us much more freedom for creativity and flexibility in the use of your space!

Voila! Your home is ready for your in-home photo session!

That’s it, my friend! I don’t expect you to scrub your toilets or mop your floors. I simply need you to clear the clutter. Your home is now ready for your in-home family photo session! Let’s make it happen!

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