Rethinking In-home Photography

More than newborns

Most people are familiar with in-home photography due to it's popularity with newborn sessions. People want professional photos with their sweet newborn and it feels so natural to do it in the comfort and ease of your own home. Especially if you don't have one of those magical babies that you can cart around with ease, who sleeps through anything, and has a predictable schedule, having someone come into your home and take cozy photos as you snuggle, nurse and comfort your baby in your own environment just makes sense. And for me, this need for ease, comfort and familiarity doesn't end when your baby grows up a bit (or a lot!). Older kids, and even adults, can relax and be themselves more readily in their home. There's less pressure to perform and genuine interactions happen without unnecessary direction. In-home photography is a beautiful option for people and families of all ages.

In-home family photography is timely

More than any other venue I know of, a private home is the most convenient, flexible and reliable. Why do I say that? Firstly, as a Calgary-based photographer, I love that in-home photography is weather-proof. Is it -40 outside? Our session will feel cozy. Are Chinooks causing 40 km winds? It's tranquil in here. Scattered showers? We're unphased. You are comfortable, unbothered by forces outside of our control and not asking your kids to smile through chattering teeth. In-home photography can be done in January just as seamlessly as in July! Conversely, if its a gorgeous day, we can head outside! Front porches, back gardens and nearby parks all make for beautiful backgrounds for a family photography session that prioritizes the comfort of you and your family.

What if the storm raging is inside rather than outside? A tired, fussy child can be tended to. A mess can be expertly worked around. You, your family and your home do not need to be perfect. In fact, a sterile environment can even feel distracting. A lived-in home is an ideal backdrop and can help tell your family's story.

In-home family photography is timeless

Family photography has fads and trends that come and go, just like anything else. When I was a kid in the '90s, formal studio photography was all the rage. I remember my parents loading all of us into the minivan and pulling up to a mall parking lot in our Sunday best and climbing into a converted camper parked in the far corner for our studio-style portraits. Does the name Olan Mills ring a bell? Very formal posing and artificial lighting was the name of the game. Over time that shifted to more casual studio portraits (think hands tucked under your chin in a JCPenney) and outdoor photography. We currently see a lot of more casual lifestyle photography in parks and similar locations, and a return to studios with a more relaxed approach. I love it all! And I love that in-home photography stands apart from the trends and focuses on telling the story of a family. I am drawn to the personalization that comes with in-home photography. You will still see the photographer's style and approach, but you will also see kids that feel completely at-ease and little details that could only be captured with your family in your home.

The secret ingredient

In Kung Fu Panda, Po teaches his nemesis Tai Lung that the illusive Dragon Scroll doesn't contain unknown power he doesn't already possess. When the scroll is opened and reveals only the possessor's reflection, Tai Lung is horrified. Po responds, " It's okay, I didn't get it the first time either...There is no secret ingredient. It's just you." I feel the same way about family photography. The magic isn't in a picturesque venue at a perfect time in perfect weather. It's in the connection and beauty of the bonds of family. Having that family be in their most special place where they are most themselves is where the magic happens because the family is the magic.