Messy house anxiety pops up in almost every consultation I do before a planned in-home photoshoot. I imagine clients probably don't believe me when I tell them not to worry about it beforehand, but when they see their final photos, the topic never seems to come up again. I'd like to talk about this worry, along with 3 other common concerns you might have when it comes to in-home maternity, newborn and family photoshoots, and hopefully change your mind about all of them!
1) My house is so messy!
I mean, yeah, maybe it is. But it really really doesn't matter. All of the in-home images in my portfolio were taken in real homes, most of them containing young children and often pets. No styled shoots, no showhomes, no redecorating prior to the shoot. Take a look and then see if you're still worried about mess!
For a newborn shoot, there just needs to be a baby-sized area that is free from clutter, and that's only if you want a photo of your baby with a clutter-free background.
Can you tell from the above photograph whether this little guy's house was messy or not? Maybe there was a huge pile of laundry just below his feet, or maybe the house was spotless. The point is, my goal is for none of that to matter in the final images.
The same goes for maternity and family photoshoots - whilst it can be a little more challenging to find an entirely clear area in any house that's big enough for one or multiple adults, as long as it isn't so messy (think like "TV documentary about hoarding" levels of mess) that I can't actually get into the house, or there is literally no space to move, you'll be fine.
I took the below photo in a family living room. Was it spotless? Did we frantically tidy up ready to shoot? Were there bits and pieces dotted around? It's impossible to tell, because I focussed on what mattered: this beautiful family.
So if "my house is too messy" is the only thing holding you back from booking a home photoshoot, please trust me when I say it will be the last thing on your mind when you see the beautiful, natural images that focus on what is truly important: you and your family.
2) "Having photos at home just isn't as special as a studio experience!"
I am so passionate about my answer to this one: what could be more special than photographs in your family home?! The place where you might have become a family; the place where your children will grow up; the place you and they will want to remember when it changes and evolves, or when it is no longer home.
Yes, studio photoshoots can feel very fancy and it can be a really fun day out, but think about 10, 15 or 20 years from now. What sort of memories will you genuinely enjoy looking back on?
I don't spend hours reminiscing with my parents and sister whilst looking through our posed, studio school photographs from the 90s: they are often completely overlooked in favour of the photos of us at home, or in the garden.
My sister and I love pointing out our favourite toys, or the pictures that used to hang on the walls. We laugh at the pre-teen decor choices in our bedrooms, smile sadly at the sight of our late dogs' leads hanging on the door, and marvel at the outdated technology (giant 90s TV, anyone?).
Please enjoy this absolutely not-professional bonus photo of my sister and me at home on my 18th birthday:
My parents sold my childhood home several years ago and if all we had were studio photos of our family, it would be impossible to remember those little details that mean so much to me now I no longer see them every day.
One more reason people don't think home shoots are special is because they don't think they can dress up or be fancy. Well, allow me and this stunning dress to stop that thought right there:
So, I've said it once and I'll say it again: what could be more special than beautiful photographs in the most important place you will ever know?
3) "My house is so small and/or dark."
Ok, I'll admit, if you're booking a family shoot with over 6 adults, then the size of your house is probably going to be a factor. However, if you have a garden that's big enough for all of you plus me to get in, we can make it work!
For anything smaller than a 6-adult family photoshoot, your house is definitely not too small. As an aside, a studio could struggle to accommodate 6 or more adults as well.
It's also definitely not too dark, but there is one of thing to consider if your home is on the slightly more shadowy side: the area(s) you choose to have your photos in.
Consider whether the ideal spot you envisioned for the photos is actually in a bright enough area. As your photographer, I will never force you to go somewhere or do anything you don't want to do. However, I will advise you on the best lighting situation to get the most out of your photos. So, if you envisioned your family sitting happily together on the sofa, but the sofa is in the darkest room of the house, and nowhere near a window, I will let you know, and then it's up to you whether you'd like to reconsider, or risk the photos being a little on the dark side.
Every house has windows and doors, so as long as you are happy to follow my lead, we will find beautiful light somewhere!
4) "You can't really put home photos in a frame: only studio photos look good on the wall."
Allow me to disprove that with a few in-home pictures that I believe are 100% frame-worthy!
So there we have it: 4 reasons people are a little worried about having an in-home photoshoot, debunked! I hope I've won you over!
And if you'd like to see for yourself why in-home photoshoots are perfect for maternity, newborn and family pictures, pop over to my Newborn, Maternity or Families info pages for pricing and packages or contact me to get booked in!
I can't wait to hear from you!