The Clark Family + Tips for in Home Sessions
Hi everyone! I hope you all have been doing amazing while finally enjoying some of this warm spring weather! I had the opportunity to end last month with a beautiful in home shoot with the Clark family, and I'm excited to share some of the photos. I decided to also turn this post into a bit of an informational piece for other photographers out there, with some tips and tricks for in home sessions!
A bit of background on the Clark family! You may know Morgan, also known as the face of STL Sitter itself. Morgan is founder and CEO of STL Sitter, which is a local childcare company for families around the Saint Louis area. STL Sitter provides parents with last minute sitters, pet care, and even tutoring services, all at the tips of their fingers through easy online booking!
I met Morgan through the company itself and had previously done a promotional shoot with her and a few other businesses. When she let me know that she wanted to do an in home shoot with her family, I was so excited!
I often recommend in home shoots to the families that I work with, as it's easier with the younger ones. New environments can be a bit distracting and sometimes overwhelming, so there's nothing better than staying in the comfort of their homes. But how does an in home shoot exactly work? I go about these shoots in a number of ways, here are some of my pointers:
GIVE INSTRUCTION THROUGH SMALL ACTIVITIES
As many photographers already know, you should constantly be instructing your clients as to what to do in the photos. With kids, this can go a bit differently! Dependent on the age group, if I can carry a conversation with the kids, I'll usually start by warming up and talking to them a bit. From there, I'll incorporate small activities such as playing some of their favorite songs and asking them to dance with me, while using toys and props is great too. From there I'll snap away! Henry, Morgan's son, was a bit younger, so in this case I gave Morgan the instruction. Morgan was holding a bottle that she was getting ready to feed Henry, so I instructed Morgan to playfully take the bottle from Henry, then give it back to him. I actually asked her to do this several times, and here are a few of my favorite results!
Small activities like this made the photos look a bit more authentic and relaxed.
I also instructed Morgan to do the exact same thing with one of his plush toys for variety, which really got him smiling!
PHOTOGRAPH MOMENTS IN MOTION
Photographing your subjects in motion also yields the effect of candid looking photos. Rather than having stiff and posed pictures, you can make your photographs fun and feel real. (If you want to really make it a great time, bring a speaker and play some music, it helps loosen the mood!) I always incorporate motion into my photos, and did so in this shoot by instructing Morgan and her husband to walk with Henry around the house. Hand in hand, with a dog trailing behind, the four of them slowly walked from one end of the house to the other. I held down my shutter and kept snapping photos, just to have a handful of images to choose from.
USE NATURAL LIGHTING TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Shooting in a home can be a bit intimidating at first because you aren't as familiar with your surroundings. As soon as you arrive on location, ask if you can do a quick walk through of their home. In doing so, pay attention to the lighting, the windows, and the details. You may want to suggest opening a few blinds or moving the curtains to let more of the light in. In this home, I found some of the best lighting to be in the kitchen! We did a number of shots here and it created a really clean look. Find the room with the best lighting and shoot from different angles. Get on the ground to have various perspectives. You'll be surprised with the results!
All shots were taken in the family's kitchen area.
CAPTURE THE DETAILS
My last piece of advice would be to capture the details. As a photographer, it's so easy to get carried away photographing the bigger moments and subjects. You should always be ready and remember to photograph the smaller moments. Parents want to remember how small their child's toes were, or how he would crawl around their home with their dog. The detailed shots are oftentimes the most valued too.
HAVE FUN WITH IT!
Okay this tip is an obvious one, and although it may seem cliche, it's so important to have fun while you're on the job! Not only does it make the whole experience more enjoyable, but it lightens the mood and makes the family feel at peace. Again bring music to a shoot to change the mood and make it fun, allow the kids to warm up to you and the camera, and remember why you started photographing in the first place. As a photographer, you get to capture memories and help people remember the awesome moments in life! How cool is that?!
Thanks for the read!