3 Reasons I Love At-Home Sessions
I didn’t always shoot at-home sessions. In fact, it wasn’t really until this year that I really acknowledged that I’d kinda sorta started to specialize in them.
Truthfully, if you’d asked me five years ago to shoot a session at someone’s home, I would have panicked. Once I was done panicking, I would have politely referred you to a competitor who I thought could do a much better job than myself.
But then I had a change of heart. A growth moment. I realized that I had been craving more authentic and real sessions for my clients. Sessions that would tell their stories, create visual legacies, and celebrate their life season in all its glory. And I realized that our homes are often the centerfold of those life seasons. They literally become the setting for so many of our stories.
So I embraced the fears I had, offered up some free sessions to ditch said fear, and started reframing my thoughts.
And now? Now, my friends, I think I currently shoot more at-home sessions than I do anything else. But hear my heart for a second… I still really love to shoot at really fun, really beautiful, really great locations. So this is not to knock those who choose not to shoot at home.
Instead, we’re going to play 2 truths and 1 lie – minus the whole guessing part, because I just want to give ya the info straight and tell you why I love at-home sessions as much as I do and why you shouldn’t be afraid to choose your home for your next session.
Truth #1: In-home sessions are practical.
Before we were east coast dwellers, we lived in places that only knew one season: mild all year-round. But if you’ve ever spent any bit of extended time on the east coast, you know that summers can be pretty brutal and winters north of North Carolina can be pretty chilly. This is where in-home sessions become the most practical option.
In the winter, outdoor sessions generally taper off December-March because of the cold (I mean, unless you’re a super brave client and want snow pics!). But with the addition of in-home sessions, you don’t have to wait for spring or fall for your next family photo session. Your home is the perfect (read: warm) location. It’s as easy as that. No rushing to bundle everyone up. No risking colds for the littles. It just makes sense.
Quick side note here: if weather allows, I’m always up for some outdoor play at these types of sessions. But the really great thing is that you have your home to retreat to when you’re done frolicking outside.
I’ll never forget one of my very first at-home sessions when DAD (you guys, that’s the key piece to this story) turned to me and mentioned that they’d never done a session like this. He couldn’t believe how stinkin’ easy it was and wondered why more people didn’t do these types of sessions. I was obviously beaming at this point, because they totes got why I love in-home sessions so much.
You see, they didn’t have to pack a bag with all the “just in case” things. They didn’t have to load the kids in the car. They didn’t even have to put shoes on. I just showed up at their house, they had the best time just hanging out as a family, and I helped them build their visual legacy.
Truth #2: It’s where everyone is comfortable.
The awesome-ness that is an in-home session goes way beyond the ease of prep work. You see, little B is comfortable in his own house with his toys, doing what he loves to do – which happened to be dance parties and dress-up with mom and dad. And what better thing to document than the family dance parties, wrestling with dad, playing with mom’s hair – all things that probably happen on a daily but that mom and dad want to remember later on when little B is on his way to school dances, hanging out with friends, going to college, getting married. Because it’s true what they say, the days are long but the years are short.
Now, I want to pause here and say that every in-home session looks different. Everybody’s homes are unique to them. But also the activities and memories made in them are unique to the family. I’ve been blessed to document morning-in-the-life sessions with families, where the session is less structured and anything goes (aka: a documentary session). I’ve worked with families who documented specific activities, like making cookies or decorating their Christmas tree. I just recently worked with a family in their EMPTY house to celebrate the 5 years they called it home before they started their next adventure.
Lie: My home isn’t Pinterest-worthy.
And there it is, my friend. The #1 hesitation of all in-home clients. To which I will always reply that it doesn’t have to be! Let’s just be real… I don’t know anyone who has a Pinterest-worthy home and keeps it that way, especially with kids. And here’s the thing: it’s not supposed to be! That chaos and mess at home – that’s life happening before your eyes and if there’s one thing that we know for certain, it’s that life changes quickly. That ‘uninteresting’ tradition or activity you love to do as a family – those are memories your children will want to relive someday.
I also hear the following quite a bit: my home is so dark. A professional photographer should be able to find the light in your home and still create a visual legacy that represents you and your family. So don’t let that deter you!
Your home is perfect the way it is. Your story is worth documenting. And your family deserves a visual legacy.
Hey friend. I’m Nicole, Fayetteville lifestyle and documentary photographer and I am super passionate about helping families build a visual legacy that includes their homes. If this sounds like a session that you’ve been searching for, will you get in touch with me? I would really love to help you! On the fence about whether an in-home session is right for you? Check out these in-home sessions: