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A No-Frills Guide to Having Pictures Taken in Your Washington, DC Home

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No frills guide to Lifestyle Sessions

Did you catch my blog post on the benefits of booking an in-home lifestyle photography session? 

Maybe it inspired you to book one with me! If that’s the case, I can hardly wait to capture those real-life moments! Moments you want to remember for years to come.

But from one fellow mama to another, I get it. I’m sure you’re wondering what you need to do to prepare for your in-home lifestyle session.

And that’s my cue to say I’ve got your back with this short and sweet, no-frills guide to help you prepare for your in-home lifestyle session. It’s not too difficult or time-consuming – I promise!

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No frills guide

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Lifestyle Family Session

Things to Think About

Before getting started, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Where do you spend the most time? And what activities do you want to be captured during your session? Think about the key areas where you wish to be photographed. And think about how you want to personalize your session to make it unique to your family. Activities genuine to you, like hanging out in the living room playing on the floor with toys or musical instruments, or baking cookies). This will only help narrow down your list of to-dos. 

  • What time of the day does your home get the best light? Which rooms have the most windows? The reason I ask is, working with indoor light can be a little tricky. And everyone’s home is different! Of course, you’ll have your preferred spots. But the best lit locations might be where you least expect it. I’ve photographed sessions in breakfast nooks, front halls, or staircases (we can open your front door for extra light!). And if you’re not so sure? Don’t worry. As soon as I arrive at your home, I’ll ask you to take me around to your favorite spots to get a better feel for the lighting and offer up recommendations. 

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Basic To-Dos

Here’s a basic to-do list to prepare for your in-home lifestyle session:

1. Pick out your outfits. 

No need to get fancy-schmancy here! I’m all about capturing you in your element. So my best advice is to choose what you feel most comfortable in, and coordinate your colors (preferably a neutral color scheme) with other family members.

Need some help in this department? Check out my Pinterest board for inspiration, or ask about my What to Wear Guide when booking your session.

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2. Style your bed(s) & fluff the pillows.

If you’ve seen any photos from my galleries, you know I love to shoot families snuggled up on the bed! Not only does this spot in your home offer up some cozy moments, but it’s (quite literally) comfortable. That’s why I always suggest you style your bed to your liking and fluff the pillows so it’s photo-ready.

3. Tidy up!

No, there’s no need to “Marie Kondo” your entire house before your session day arrives. Just a little tidying up, however, can go a long way. Lightly clean surfaces and declutter by putting away things like tissue boxes, alarm clocks, and anything else you’d prefer not be documented on camera. But if your child has a favorite toy (or a few!), don’t feel like you have to hide it for the “perfect” shot. Incorporate it into your session! We’re simply hoping to achieve a minimal, but lived-in look, so any details caught in the background don’t distract from those tug at your heartstrings kind of moments I’ll be capturing.

4. Planning a newborn session? Have a few options ready to go for your baby. 

I’m talking about swaddles and onesies here, just in case there’s an accident and your little one needs a change of clothes. Also, a few things to remember that may go unnoticed as you’re so used to seeing them every day: tuck away the diaper pail, wipes, monitor(s), and sound machine. If you forget, I’m happy to do this when I arrive, but just remind me to put things back where they belong!

5. Rest up. 

It’s the night before your session. What are you and the family up to? Hopefully not staying up late watching TV, cleaning forgotten nooks and crannies, or scrambling to find clothes for your kids to wear the next day. Instead, aim to complete the to-dos I shared above before bedtime rolls around so everyone can decompress, relax, and get a good night’s rest! 

6. Eat up.

Here’s yet another seemingly simple task, but it’s worth mentioning because it truly helps a session go as smoothly as possible! Before your session time, be sure everyone in the family eats a filling meal (or at least a snack). Being hangry is not an ideal situation when it comes to photographing the fun and love you have for one another! 

7. Open all curtains and blinds.

Again, indoor light can be a welcome challenge because we need LOTS of it to best photograph those sweet candids you’re hoping for! That said, pretty please do me a favor and open up all curtains and blinds the morning of your session, and turn off any lamps or overhead lights, so I can really get a feel for the light in your home.

8. Make the most of every moment. 

I know just how difficult it can be to get the entire family to cooperate for not even an hour. But try to remember to let your kids be kids, and that these beautifully chaotic times are what you’ll hold near and dear the most. Not those perfectly staged, forced smile photographs. So hopefully that helps take the pressure off to have some picture-perfect moments. Because, if I’m being honest, when you zen out and make the most of every moment of your session—yes, even when things go unplanned—I’ll be able to capture those unscripted moments that genuinely make a lifestyle session so special.

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Have more questions on how to prepare for your upcoming in-home lifestyle session with NPS Photography? Or want to book a session for your family today?

Let’s Chat

dc photographer

meet natasha

I'm DC photographer, Natasha Sewell. I'm all about capturing those unscripted, full-of-personality moments in the comfort of your home.

As a mom of three and a former elementary school teacher turned in-home newborn and family photographer, I know how to get your littles to cooperate and have FUN!

Let’s get to preserving your family's real-life moments in the place you’re most comfortable – your home.

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