In-home lifestyle photography tips

In-home lifestyle photography is a beautiful way to portray your way of life and the personalities of your family. As you prepare for a photo session, follow the in-home lifestyle photography tips that I recommend for all of my clients.

A young couple kisses on the couch

What to know

You can use your own home or rent a space.

If you feel that your home doesn’t match the type of photos you would like, it’s totally okay to rent a space. It can be so nice to walk into an Airbnb or studio, knowing that you don’t have to clean up before or after the photoshoot.

However, if your home feels like you, has natural lighting and a couple rooms can be tidied in time for the shoot, it’s often more memorable to take photos right at home.

We’ll schedule the time for your lifestyle photos based on lighting.

Natural light is a key part of lifestyle photography. However, not all homes have the best lighting at the same time of day. Afternoon is typically the best time for west-facing rooms and mornings are better for east-facing rooms – it really just depends. We want the best lighting your home has to offer.

We don’t have to use every room.

Rooms with large windows or other sources of natural light are the best for in-home sessions. This usually means that we’ll plan on taking most of our photos in the living room. However, if you want photos in the master bedroom where it’s likely darker, I can bring in other sources of light that still give off a soft, natural feel to brighten it up.

In-home lifestyle photography tips

Before the lifestyle photo session

Send photos of the rooms in your house that you would like to use.

If possible, I like to walk through the space on a separate day before the session to see how the light affects each room. If that’s not an option, I’ll ask you to send a few photos of the space. I’ll make suggestions on ways to adjust the layout or time of the session to get the most out of your home and our time together.

Select outfits with muted tones.

As your photographer, I’ll help you curate outfits. All clients receive access to my style guide with the below tips (and more) included.

As you prepare, remember that muted tones are best. Avoid loud colors or patterns, as these distract from the photos. Don’t match your partner/family, but rather, complement one another. Small matching touches bring everyone together. 

What’s important here is to reflect the lifestyle that you are trying to portray. Many people view these sessions as a bit more casual or reminiscent of “normal home life” – so jeans, sweaters, t-shirts, barefoot, etc. is best. Others use these to display the dressed up décor in their house with dressed up outfits to match. It’s really all in the message that you want to send with the images and what relates best to your personalities.

Prepare your house.

Prepare the rooms we’ll use.

Any room you wish to be featured should be ready for use. This means cleaning as well as organizing each room. Additionally, if there are connecting rooms that you can’t close off (such as a master bathroom), make sure those are ready and clean as well in case the lighting forces us to have a little bit of those rooms in the background.

Simplify the decor and de-clutter.

It’s also great to try and simplify the décor and de-clutter as much as possible. The less there is in the background and the fewer bright colors, bold patterns or odd objects there are – the more the pictures will truly focus on the individuals. 

Don’t pile up a hidden mess.

I know how I feel when others come over and the main space looks great, but that back room just got piled up with the door shut. If you can clean enough to give yourself a sense of calm and pride in the space – even better – with the caveat that sleep the night before is still important. 

Style your home.

Depending on how drastic you want to get in preparation, lighter wall colors are better. Less bulky furniture keeps the session light and airy with a crisp, clean feel. If you want to forgo the house cleaning altogether, I have recommendations for studio spaces and Airbnb rentals.

During the lifestyle photo session

Relax and be yourself.

Be prepared to have fun and just be you. This is a lot easier in your own space, which is one of the benefits of lifestyle photography.

That said – there is always a stiffness and hesitation that comes with photography. That’s normal. Don’t be afraid to take some time to get comfortable.

I’ll take you, your personality and your space all into account — guiding you into natural poses and organic activities that make your life look beautiful.

Relax, have fun, get in a few laughs and don’t worry that your house isn’t straight out of a magazine. Everyone’s house is unique to them – which, in my opinion, is what makes the lifestyle sessions so great. Your facial expressions, outfits and your home will come together to tell your story. 

Expect a longer session.

Typically these sessions last a bit longer – maybe 90 minutes or so – including the setup and breaks. Other than that, it’s a normal shoot with some posing and lots of laughing — moving through spaces in your home and grouping your family together. 

What to do after your lifestyle photo session

Go out for dinner or take the night off.

If you are already dressed up and done up – I always say, make use of it and go somewhere. It can be a great way to decompress after a session and continue to celebrate yourself and the space you are showcasing. That said, some of the best lifestyle sessions I have done have been those when the couple or family was dressed down and enjoying pizza or just hanging around the house enjoying each other’s company. For those sessions – I would cap the day off with a movie, some ice cream, and in the winter, some hot cocoa for sure.

Look forward to your images.

I will provide some sneak peeks within a few days. The full gallery of images are delivered approximately three weeks after the session.

Print, share and display your new family photos.

In-home lifestyle photos can be used for so many different things — framed prints, canvases on your wall, social media updates, holiday cards and more. 

Loving these in-home lifestyle photography tips? Find more on Instagram! Check out more breathtaking lifestyle photography examples here.

I would be honored to take portraits that reflect every essence of your personality. First things first, let’s get to know each other.

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