5 Tips for an In-Home Lifestyle Family Session {Melissa Maahs Photography // Oshawa Photographer}

Photographing people in their homes is quickly becoming a popular and meaningful way to document families. I call these sessions “Simply Life Sessions”. I think the title is fairly self explanatory. Simply Life Sessions are meant to document you and your loved one(s) in the comfort of your own home, hanging out together, doing activities that you do on a daily basis or even just a couple times a week, like baking or having a family game night. During the cold winter months, these sessions are popular for clients who want a session, but don’t want to freeze outside for an hour! The moments captured from a Simply Life Session are generally very candid and fun. We tend to steer clear of heavily posed images. The style of photography resulting from a Simply Life Session is sometimes called documentary photography, lifestyle photography, or family photojournalism.  They are special photos because they convey emotion and authenticity. These photos document memories of you and your family in a special place, your home. Whether you’re a an individual looking for casual and natural headshots, a couple, a family with with little ones, or even a family with pets, I believe photos taken in your home are an amazing way to document your life as it is in this moment and time.

Below are 5 tips for getting the most out of an in-home photo shoot and help your Simply Life Session go smoothly:

  1. Tidy Home: Although we don’t want your home to not be the true representation of what your home normally looks like, it is helpful if your house is somewhat tidy. I’m not suggesting it look like a model home out of a magazine, but just generally tidy. Messy clutter can be distracting in photos so it’s always a good idea to have things cleaned up before your session. I’m talking about things like making sure your sink isn’t full of dirty dishes or laundry all over the floor in your teenagers bedroom (I’m talking from experience here), unless that’s something you want documented! 😉
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  2. Wardrobe: Keep your wardrobe neutral and simple. Don’t match your outfits, but do co-ordinate colours. Don’t wear bright, florescent colours. Very bright colours can cast the colour onto your skin, or the skin of someone you’re close to in the photos. Stay away from distracting patterns, large logos and graphics on shirts. Bright colours, busy patterns, and graphics are distracting in photos and can take away from the subject. A neutral and timeless wardrobe is best. I’m always available before your session to help plan your wardrobe. I suggest that once you decide on what you’re wearing that you lay all the outfits together on a bed or floor and have a look at how it all looks together. If you’re unsure just snap a quick picture and email it to me for advice. I’m here to help!family photography
  3. Plan Activities: Select 2 to 3 activities your family enjoys doing together. This can be activities such as reading, baking, playing with toys or playing a board game. I will document some of the every day activities as simple as getting your little one dressed, or feeding them lunch, but it’s always fun to have a few planned activities to get everyone together, involved, and engaged with each other.
    lifestyle photography
  4. Have Fun and Pretend I’m not There: I know it’s hard to forget that a photographer is in your space pointing a camera at you as you carry on with your daily activities, but I ask that you try your best to pretend like I’m not there. At first, kids are usually curious about me and what I’m doing, but after a little while they get used to me being there. They become less interested in what I’m doing and become more interested in the activities they are participating in. I always let the kids lead and have fun…and yes, this may mean letting them stand on the couch, sit on the kitchen counter and eat sugar from a bag while baking, or jump on the bed. These behaviours may be something that you normally would not let your child do but I can assure you, letting them get away with doing something a little out of the ordinary will keep your kids happy and engaged. Think of the photographer as the grandparent who comes over and a lot of the ‘rules’ go out the window, but when they leave, the rules will apply again. I promise, it’ll be worth a little rule-breaking for an hour or so.  😉family photography
  5. Light: Be open to giving the photographer the freedom to explore your home and discover places in your environment that have amazing light. This could be in a bedroom, in the kitchen, by a window in your family room, or even in the bathroom! In home sessions can be challenging for a photographer due to the available natural light in your home, but if you give the photographer the freedom to shoot anywhere in your home and possibly move furniture around so you can be placed in ideal light, we can always find areas to shoot in.
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    If you are interested in an in-home or on-location Simply Life Session for your family please feel free to contact me here for more information.

    Please enjoy this video slideshow below of some highlights from a recent Simply Life Session. Make sure your sound is on! 🙂

Hello and thank you for visiting my blog! I’m Melissa, the photographer behind the camera at Melissa Maahs Photography, a Durham Region, Ontario, full service family photographer offering custom family portrait sessions. I’m sure you’ve already come to the conclusion that I’m passionate about photography! Besides begin passionate about photography, I’m also passionate and dedicated to the experience I provide to  my clients and the process of making pictures into tangible pieces of art for you and your family to enjoy daily. Your art pieces will truly be treasured family heirlooms.

I thoroughly enjoy meeting, getting to know my clients and listening to their family stories. I love collaborating with clients on the endeavour of transforming their family stories into tangible art pieces of moments shared with their loved ones that will be frozen in time – forever in a photograph.

Lastly, I believe in photographs. Printed, tangible photographs that can be held in your hands, enjoyed on a wall, or flipped through in an album. My mission is to help every client create their photographic family heirlooms that can be enjoyed by you and your family for many generations to come!

If you love photographs as much as I do feel free to contact me and we can chat about how I can help you to create timeless photographic art to display and enjoy in your home.

For detailed session information, click here.

To see more of my work please view my portfolio here.

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