I am loving the growing trend of in-home, lifestyle sessions for portraits and engagements. They lend themselves so well to capturing each individual and couple’s style and personalities. With a bit of planning and thinking about how you want to celebrate this moment in life, we can create some gorgeous memories in the most personal way! Below are my tips for doing a lifestyle session.
First, you need to decide the basics. What rooms do you want to feature? What times of day would be best for the light? Most photographers prefer to use natural light. Pay attention to the window light in each room to make sure you schedule for the brightest time of day in the areas you’d like to feature. Shade is best for any outside areas.
The kitchen, living room, bedroom and outside patio or deck are ares that provide lots of options for posing and showing off your style. Take a good look around once you select the rooms you want to be in. Clear out any clutter or items that are not important to the shoot. You want the setting to reflect your style but don’t want too many miscellaneous items to take the focus away from you. This could be a great opportunity to look into freshening up your home or redesigning a room. Even small ideas like new throw pillows can make a big difference. If you want to tackle something a bit more involved, it might be worth chatting with an online interior designer for some ideas.
Now that your home is photo-ready, take time for yourselves. I suggest practicing some self-care to relax and pamper yourself before the shoot. Ladies, use this opportunity to take advantage of professional makeup. Get a blowout or a manicure to make your nails look flawless. Manicures can be an even better idea if it’s an engagement shoot. The photographer will want detail shots your hands and your ring.
Wear things that speak to your own sense of style and keep it comfy. Pick colors that will work in the setting. Remember that solids, neutrals, pastels and earth tones all photograph beautifully and will look timeless. Overly trendy items, large logos and small or distracting patterns might not come across on camera, age rapidly and distract from the overall image.
Closer to the day, make sure your clean and clutter-free rooms are ready. Think of some fun activities that you enjoy as a couple that can be captured in the shoot. That could be anything from cooking, baking, drinking coffee on the porch, playing video games or board games. Be yourselves! Having an activity to do together will not only make the shoot more personal but also give it a journalistic-feel. Along with activities, now’s the time to think about any significant items, objects or possessions that are meaningful to you or the moment you’re capturing. For example, other than engagement rings, items like record players and your favorite albums (and YOUR song if you have one!) in the background can be great to incorporate into the session.
Pets are welcome as well! I get lots of requests to include pets in a couple’s photo shoots and it can be a great addition to the session and memories created. Lifestyle sessions are actually perfect for including animals. It’s easier on them when the session happens at home where they’re familiar and comfortable with their surroundings and less likely to get distracted.
On the day of the shoot, having your activities planned and being surrounded by items that reflect your relationship will all help take your mind off the camera. This will allow you to simply have lots of fun together. After you’ve gotten comfortable with your photographer, let loose and make the most of the session! Get cuddly in bed or be a little sassy with a pillow fight and make each other laugh. Images like these are super intimate and sexy.
With these tips, you can ensure that you and your photographer capture your style as a couple and create memories you’ll be so happy to have!