At-home sessions: 5 reasons these make for amazing family portraits


"Love’s Apprentice at your service and my super power is photographing loving and memorable moments in an imaginative way. “ A way that paints the full picture, from the subtle kiss on the forehead to pinky fingers interlocking to your family positioned perfectly in front of the Christmas Tree. It’s as close to putting love in a bottle as one can get, but its also pure , truthful, and authentic at the same time.

This Holiday Season, I had the pleasure of photographing The Overton Family. They were a ton of fun and totally open to just letting the morning unfold, naturally. I arrived to their home at about 10 AM, the highlight - being greeted by one of the most charismatic kiddos in the whole state of Texas, and his big sister- well, as teenagers go - wouldn’t have minded a few extra minutes to text. Anyway, we didn’t worry about wrangling the family together too much to get the “perfect” shot, and as a result, we have a huge gallery that details the day in a candid, “merry” way. The best thing about these photos is how they will tell the story of how this family was at their beautiful home, on this lovely, December day.

“Mama” Overton contacted me after searching for photographers on Instagram. See.. hashtags do work! More on that later. She wanted a family shoot at her Central Texas home and was hesitant about hiring an in home photographer because their family had only ever had department store photo session experiences. This brings me to the meat and potatoes of this post.

When considering photoshoot locations, look no further than:
Your Home

I’ve done family sessions in a variety of locations and review those locations with my clients once we are in contact. Today, I want to share a few reasons to pick your own house as a family photo session location. Newborn photo shoots aren’t the only reason to decide to shoot at home. Here are five more:

Five Reasons to Have Your Family Session At Home

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Making the kiddos comfortable :

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell that c-stands, lights on poles, cameras on tripods, cords on floors, and CHILDREN don’t mix very well. Some children have a much easier time being engaged with their family and photographer while in the comfort of their own homes. I mean.. c’mon.. you know how good it feels to come home after a long day of work, or when you’ve been away on vacation? Walking back into your home, especially after you’ve been away for a while, has a way of putting you at ease and it will do the same for your children. Kids also tend to warm up quicker when they’re already in a familiar environment. For me, it helps with capturing real moments. I don’t mean “Stepford Wives” happy moments, but moments where the family is really connecting. I love snapping parents getting the children ready just before they think the photo will be snapped, when the dad is so focused on the hairs on his sons head that you can’t help but want to capture that moment. Plus, your family is less likely to tense up from being overwhelmed by the shear amount of equipment that most studios have. You’ll most likely feel way more relaxed on your own playing ground. This, in turn, will equate to amazingly sincere portraits.

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Archiving the Family Legacy for Posterity:

Your home is the center of your story. Family photos at home can show where you fellowship as a family or maybe even something you love to do together like playing board games or tinkering around on that “out of tune” piano. What better place to document the love of a growing family than somewhere that truly defines you?! It’s most likely already decorated just the way you like. It has paintings hanging that your husband might have spent months to create and pictures framed from 5th grade graduations to vacations in various nations. Even if you’re renting, you might someday move out and want to have photos that depict your life as you once knew it. The added bonus - since your dog “SPOT" will already be there, she could easily join in on the fun. A home shoot is a great way to archive your “real” life!



Did I mention it’s easy?

Too easy! You won’t have to get gas or find directions. All you have to do is wait for me to get there. You won’t have to worry about the weather or even clean up if you don’t want to. You’ve already got access to a dressing room. And I’m excited to see the “prop shop” that has been building in your garage. Your home is perfect the way it is. We can push the furniture to the side if its in the way:) Doing a session at your home equates to less stress for you, and when you’re less stressed, your’re happier, and when you’re happy, better photos. You see where this is going.



Beautiful light is right at your doorstep - LITERALLY!

Have you ever walked through your home at just the right time of day when the sun rays are leaking through the blinds and plays a light show across the room? That’s the light I’m talking about. I call it “WINDOW LIGHT!” Its God’s gift to photographers and its totally free. And if you’re worried your home doesn’t have enough light, no worries! That’s what the flash is for.

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Your photos will be ONE-OF-A-KIND.

No two houses are equal and even if they were created equally, it’s the inhabitants who bring the life to the domicile. The photos that you take in your home will be unique to YOU! In my shoot with The Overtons, their Chrismtas decorations represent them. But most importantly, the chemistry that we create will be unique to us.. to that specific day.. to those specific moments frozen in time. If you are wanting photos that show a real connection, the love, and the eccentricity in your family relationships, having a session in the place where you would naturally be open is an easy call.


* Your home actually extends beyond your house. We can always go for a neighborhood walk or pop into the backyard for more variety or to round out the experience and photo session.

Enjoy these images of The Overtons, a morning in their lives, in the environment that shapes them.


Love’s Apprentice

Franco Washington

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