Optimising small homes for an in-home family shoot

I want to tackle one of the fears that some people might have with booking indoor family photography. And that is Small House Fear. Just let me start by saying, as an indoor London Family Photographer I see and shoot in many different types of homes. From small flats, to warehouse apartments up to large, Victorian townhouses. So, I know that this city offers a huge variety of homes, and I also know that even in these big houses, it’s London – the rooms can still be small. So no matter where you live, I totally get this is a fear for lots of my clients.

If you are saying to yourself ‘Oh, I’d love a shoot in our home but it’s just too small’ – please stop now! It will not be too small. I have done entire shoots in bedrooms if that’s where the light is, and they are beautiful.

If you are paying for a professional photographer to capture your in-home session, they should have the skills, the knowledge and the experience to know how to work in more challenging areas. This is why we charge what we charge! The time that has gone into our education before your shoot is crucial to be able to provide the service we are offering and get those special photographs you will cherish forever.

That being said, of course, managing expectations is also important. If you have smaller rooms, you’ll come away with a beautiful gallery of details, close and intimate portraits and pullback shots as is possible within your home. They key word here is beautiful. You can have beautiful family pictures in your home, even if its pretty cosy! I’ve put together just a few tips to help maximise the space you have for your shoot:

  1. Declutter. Sometimes the space is made smaller simply by the amount of things in it! What I would suggest, for your shoot at least, is to spend some time removing little and large items that are taking up space that are not that important for you to have in your pictures. Clearing and tidying up tables, shelves and counter tops can dramatically open up a room. Move out any bulky items that don’t need to be there. Simple and neat – nothing too drastic but enough to add a bit of breathing room.
  2. Colour. Sometime colour can have a huge input. I suggest using white or light linen and bedding in the bedroom. If you have lots of strong, coloured cushion on your sofa, you can try removing a few to calm down the impact they have and any dark, heavy items (lamps, artwork, stools) could also be removed to open up some space.
  3. Light. Light is magic. My main tip for light is to embrace it. You can do this is two ways – number one is simple, open up those curtains and blinds wide open. Let that natural light bath your rooms, and instantly they will be much more attractive! And also, talk to me. Talk to me about the light in your house. Send me some pictures of the rooms at different times of days. I am here to get the best photographs of you, your family and your home – so if we can schedule a shoot when your home is at its loveliest then let’s do that!
In Home Family Shoot London Parents and Newborn Baby standing together with a mirror reflection.

I hope these simple tricks help you feel a little better about booking an in-home shoot. I promise you, it will be worth it! If you’re interested in why Family In-Home Photography is so important to me, check out this post here. Otherwise if you have any questions or want to receive my Welcome Guide, you can get in touch here.

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Shooting In The Home & My Why

Why The Home.

If you’ve followed my work for a while, you’ll know about my recent change in my photography journey. Not a complete change, but still, it’s pretty big for me. For most of my shoots I have photographed families, babies, children, people outside. In parks, on walks, in favourite neighbourhoods. But this year, since having my own baby, things have taken a turn. I have become much more attracted to photographing in the home and I began to wonder about the context of where I shoot and what is important.

I don’t plan to fully step away from outdoor photography – Autumn shoots are gorgeous, as a breezy, beachy family walks – but I want to be shooting a whole lot more inside the home. And I decided rather than just switch it up, I’d do a quick post explaining my Why. I think this is always a good process to understand the root that is causing any change, and also I think it’s great for any past and future clients to read and find out what is drawing me more towards The Home.

This year I became a Mum for the first time and I am confident that was the main pushing point to why Home has become important to me. This little flat in West London which we live in will forever be my sons first home (outside the womb!) – and that’s pretty special. I don’t expect we will stay here too long. A growing boy needs space! So I want him (and us) to have tokens from his time here. Our time here as a little family of three.

Home is where you are familiar. Where you feel safe, happy, content. Where you feel the strong highs and lows of battling with a newborn or a toddler or even a teenager. Where your little one grows, develops and draws on the walls. Where you laugh, joke, cry, shout. Pretty much Home is everything. I am drawn towards the Home now because I am so much more aware, as a Mother and a Photographer, of the importance of the time spent here. I want to document your family moments in your home. When you look back on these images, I want you to not just love those grins, cuddles and moments we captured but to remember the art on the walls and that rug, that sofa, that little chair by the window where you’d nurse your son to sleep. Remember dinners in the kitchen and winter mornings under duvets on the sofa. When everyone is grown and maybe you’ve all left this place, these photographs are a way to remember the importance of that space you called Home.

Not only is the context of Home important, but so is the fact that this is a creative step forward for me as a photographer that is growing, maturing and educating herself. I think that by shooting in home, I am opening myself up as a photographer to start producing more challenging – but ultimately more rewarding – work. And you know, this is my job, it’s good to follow what makes me excited, makes me feel proud and want makes me improve and shoot more!

Shooting in the home absolutely has its tough points. I never know what a home will look like before a shoot and in London we have quite a lot of smaller, darker houses. I have to be able to tackle the spaces I have been given. It is what it is, but it is also an opportunity to keep improving at finding the light, shooting with limitations and getting a little more creative! I am going to follow on from this post with a short series of blog posts, coming weekly from this point onwards, which will discuss and tackle some of the issues with shooting in the home. You never know, you might feel like trying something a little different too and even pick up a few tips on the way! Check out my next blog post all about Small Home Fear and how to trump it here!

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