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How to Style a Clutter-Free In-Home Photography Session

newborn photographed in crib on white sheet by NPS Photography for clutter-free in-home photography session

If you’ve been around my corner of the Internet for a while, you probably have thought to yourself a time or two why I always seem to photograph family and newborn clients who have white and bright interiors their home. The fact is, that’s not always true; and your home doesn’t have to be bright & white either. Here’s how to style a clutter-free in-home photography session.

“Most of my clients don’t have all-white walls or neutral decor in their homes, either!”

– Natasha Sewell

In fact, most of my clients have a house that looks and feels exactly like yours: it’s lived in, played in, and is 100% beautifully reflective of who you are and the little lives you nurture within your walls.

If what’s been holding you back from booking an in-home session is how your home looks and feels to you, I get it. But listen up!

Worried About Styling Your House for In-Home Photos?

Do you like color and have a super fun bedspread to prove it? Love it!

Do you have tons of throw pillows in all the colors piled high on your bed? Awesome!

That doesn’t mean your home isn’t an ideal setting for in-home family photos; it just means that we’ll need to make a few quick tweaks to bring out the best and brightest light (and the most genuine expressions, including smiles!) in your in-home session.

But I have a few super easy hacks to help your in-home session shine, and these tips are probably not anything you even have to go out and buy!

Best Kept Secrets for Styling In-Home Photo

Are you ready for the BIG secrets – my key to delivering an in-home session that’s full of light?

Drumroll please…a white bed sheet, no overhead lighting, and wide open windows!

  1. Linens: If your bedroom gets great light, it’s likely we’ll photograph at least part of your session in there (we’ll move around your home to other well-lit rooms as well!). One of my most-recommended items to have on hand is a white bed sheet to toss on the bed!

    We’ll likely toss your colorful pillows and accessories off to the side (or keep a couple if we want a few colorful pops), but this will give us that bright, clean backdrop for everyone’s favorite images: the snuggle shots!
  2. Lighting: Another one of my favorite tricks is to ask you to turn off all overhead lighting before I arrive on your session day. Even smaller task lighting, like lamps, can distract from the main event – you and your family! – so it’s likely we’ll turn those off, too.
  3. Windows: It also helps our session to go smoothly if your windows are wide open, so push those curtains to the side and move those blinds up all the way to let the light in!
newborn baby on white quilt on a bed photographed by NPS Photography for clutter-free in-home photography session

Prepare Your Home for Photos

I appreciate a few well-placed decorations in a home just as much as anyone else, but before your in-home photography session, I suggest clearing off the horizontal spaces, like your coffee table or kitchen countertops, and placing your items into a laundry basket for temporary safe-keeping. This helps the focus of your photos be on what matters most – your family!

Still hesitant to schedule your in-home session? Trust me, I’ve seen it all, and I’ve photographed families in just about every type and style of home and scenario – and I’m always able to give the impression of a bright, clutter-free space. So, please stop worrying about it, and trust me!

Ready to put my tricks in play and book your in-home session? As another bonus for booking with NPS Photography, I’ll send along a Prep Guide to help you feel confident before the camera’s focus is on you.

Ready to schedule your in-home photography session!

pullback of newborn baby in a crib with a white sheet photographed by NPS Photography for clutter-free in-home photography session

Read the original blog post A True Hack for Neutral Photos that was published in January 2022; the information above has been substantially revised by Natasha Sewell, owner of NPS Photography in January 2024.

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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