Having a photo shoot at home is such a lovely thing to do, preserving the memory of your family's home life together forever. But wherever you have your family photographs taken, the backdrop can make or break each photo, so it's worth having a think about the best backdrops in your home beforehand.
When I'm looking for backdrops in the great outdoors I'm looking for backgrounds that will enhance the photographs, but not distract from the people in it. Choosing backdrops at home is no different. Here are my tips for getting ready for an at home session with me. You could also use them when you're taking your own photographs at home.
1. Find the best rooms to photograph in
First of all, don't worry about getting the whole house prepared - it's unlikely we'll use every room. Typically there are three spaces I'll use - the living room, the master bedroom and (if there's a baby in the family) the nursery. Focus your energy on preparing these two or three spaces.
What if you don't want to use one or all of these spaces? Not to worry - let's have a chat about the other spaces we could use and find two or three that you'd love to have photographs taken in. I don't recommend having only one room where we photograph - it won't give us enough variety in your photos, but we could use one room at home and then head out to a local park or beauty spot for the rest of the session.
2. Preparing the bedroom
I love using the master bedroom for sessions - the bed provides a wonderful, big space for everyone to snuggle on. So that your lovely family is the main focus of the photographs I recommend using neutral bed linen - white works particularly well. Having said that, it's also nice to have a little pop of colour - perhaps from cushions or a throw in a contrasting colour.
The other spots to check in bedrooms are bedside tables and backs of doors. I'm guilty of always having a not-so-tidy bedside table, and as much as that is life, it doesn't make a pretty photograph. I recommend keeping the tables as clear as possible and perhaps choosing a few books, a candle, alarm clock or flowers to keep out.
3. Check the other rooms for clutter
Clutter is usually an inevitable part of family life, so before the session check the rooms we'll be using for anything you wouldn't want to appear in your photographs - paperwork, laundry, remote controls, laptops, games consoles...etc. My aim is to give you a memory of the best bits of family life, and having these bits and pieces out of the way will make those memories all the sweeter.
4. Find a Safe Hiding Place for Toys
It can be hard for young children to enjoy a photo shoot when they can see all of their favourite things out of the corner of their eye! Having said that toys and books can make a wonderful addition to photographs. I suggest choosing some toys and books that you'd like to include in the photographs (hard back books and wooden toys work particularly well) and then make sure everything else is safely tucked away out of sight.
5. Pop the Heating On
This one is just for families with young babies. Usually when there's a young baby in the family we'll focus some of the session on capturing the lovely details that you'll want to remember - chubby thighs and their lovely baby feet to name a few. When we do this your baby will usually only have a vest or nappy on, and a nice warm house will help to keep them happy!
Over to You
I hope you find these tips useful as you get ready for your photo shoot. I'd love to know what other questions you have about having a family photography session with me. Let me know in the comments below.