About a month ago we had the very talented Bethany Meysenburg of Meysenburg Photography come out to our old farm house and do an In-Home Lifestyle Session. I posted on Instagram about how I was nervous that our house was not perfect enough…my floors are not beautifully redone or the fact that our counter tops are chipping and are not beautiful granite! Then I realized our house may not be perfect, but it is our home and it is filled with love and laughter and that is all that I cared about being captured! And Bethany did that and did it so well! I LOVE the photos that she captured of our sweet family and our home as it is right now! And I know that I will be able to look back on these photos and always be able to remember how this old farm house once was!
From experience with our own session I wanted to share 5 tips I picked up that allowed Bethany to create beautiful images for us!
- Pick up the clutter! Clutter is part of our lives…I get that. In fact, my kitchen table is full of mail and random things that either need to find their way to the trash can or in a basket. However, clutter doesn’t always make for the best back ground for photos! So what I did for our own in home lifestyle session was focus on the three rooms we were going to be shooting in. In our bedroom I removed the extra items that stay on our bedsides table, such as the remote, chap stick and books, so it was a clean de-cluttered area. In the kitchen, I put the random things away on the counter and the extra cookbooks we had laying around, so it was also a de-cluttered area that allowed for less distractions in the photos. After the session, I got to have a de-cluttered kitchen for, oh maybe a day!
- Wardrobe! Finding the perfect outfits for your family session can be super stressful! However, I suggest that you choose something that is you, something that is how you dress on a regular basis. I tried to be super trendy once for a photo session and I simply hate the photos. Not the work, but the outfits I chose. They were so not me and I regret that. So lesson learned for me is to stick to what I am comfortable in and keep it simple. For our family session this year, I chose a simple white blouse and jeans, with the boys in jeans and button up shirts, because that is who we are. Now for every day wear, we would be in t-shirts and jeans, but I just could not let that happen for these photos. I needed my little cowboys dressed in a button up shirt. However, Leo’s shirt is from Wal-Mart and Ross’s is a Goodwill find! So, I still did not spend a ton on outfits for our session.
- Have a present wrapped for your kiddos to get at the end of the session! I am all about bribing kids to cooperate and judge all you want! I learned this trick from a client before I had my own kiddos. I have used it with my boys for our own sessions and let me tell you it works wonders! So buy something small, wrap it up and tell them they will get their present after the session, if they listen. And they will!
- Find one small activity to do during the session! I think that this is key to a successful In-Home Lifestyle session. One small, quick activity can add so much to the photo session. For us, we made tortillas. I had a couple of reasons for wanting to capture this activity. First off, I needed them for our food blog, Cooking with the Cowboy, and secondly, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen together cooking and eating. So, that is part of our everyday lives that I wanted to capture! To prepare for this little activity, Arturo made the dough before the session so our photographer just captured he and Leo rolling it out, cooking a couple and of course, Ross eating one!
- Last but not least…Relax and let me do my job! I am there to capture your family’s love and laughter! So let me do that. Sit back and let your kiddos jump on the bed…let them make loud car sounds or dance with their dolls! I want to capture all of that motion and fun! And I want to capture you playing with your kiddos, so get down on the floor and lets play and engage! And don’t worry about your house not being perfect…for goodness sakes ours sure isn’t, but I LOVE the photos that we have and will cherish them forever!