Your kids. You love them, they're the most beautiful, precious things in the world. And you want DESPERATELY to capture them in an equally beautiful and precious photo, with them SMILING real smiles - not their current, odd, fake smile that makes them look like they kill birds in the backyard - and you want them with their arms around each other looking simply like the BEST, MOST WELL-BEHAVED, GORGEOUS children on the planet.
In short, you want this photo to completely MISREPRESENT who your kids are. Misrepresenting kids in general, really. Kids are wild. They are shy. They cry, they jump, scream, laugh. They use their entire bodies to express themselves. They hit their sister, hug their brother, give sloppy kisses and spit in anger. They are uninhibited and learning about life.
I mean, right? I have two girls - ages 4 and 7. They are INSANE. Smart, pretty, hilarious...and freakin' NUTS. And while I, like everyone, will beg, plead and bribe them to stand, arms just right and smiles just lovely, it's rare that that kind of experience doesn't end with tears and anger and my youngest yelling something like, "YOU OLD RAT!" (Because she did that once.)
And the good and the bad about this? It's ONLY FOR A LITTLE WHILE. Even this time next year, or in six months, will not look like it does now. Especially for the littlest of little ones.
So, instead of choosing to have a lovely photoshoot in a lovely field where you aim toward the most perfect over-the-mantle canvas with some gilded ornate frame and you have lots of non-lovely feelings about your kids running wild and your husband getting all annoyed because this NEVER goes well, and you are now annoyed at EVERYONE and everyone will go home and EAT DINNER IN SILENCE BECAUSE OUR FAMILY WAS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE WE ARE LOVELY IN THESE PHOTOS AND NOBODY DID ANYTHING RIGHT!! GIVE ME THE WINE!!!
Well...what if...doing a photoshoot right...is just...letting everyone be. Just as they are. Kids. Dad. And, yes, YOU.
So, let's get into
10 wonderful reasons to want (& have) an in-home lifestyle photography session, like, ASAP (because it all changes so fast!!).
10. No Loading Up the Car. Isn't that grand?! No remembering to pack this and that. No worrying about kids messing up their hair or spilling snacks or drinks on their photoshoot-only clothes that they can only look at through glass until the day of the shoot!
9. No Photoshoot-Only Clothes or Hair. Yes! Save money this way! And no fancy photoshoot-only hair which really means that kids run and scream and don't do their hair and mom and dad yell (and dad pops open a beer. Just us?). NONE OF THAT! In fact, it's almost BETTER if your kid has her crazy bed-head when I or your photographer show up! Eventually, their hair will grow out and won't stick up like that. Why not leave it alone and brush it half-way through the shoot after getting some adorable and slightly hilarious just-woke-up shots? In fact, your kiddo can just be in a DIAPER! You don't have to dress them AT ALL if you don't want! Save dressing time for the sweetest of images - after capturing some diaper-only shots, of course!
8. Snacks & Bathrooms. ARE RIGHT THERE. I mean, mic drop, yes? MIC-FREAKIN'-DROP.
7. All the Wardrobe Changes You Want! Your kiddos can go from pajamas to a fancy dress, to suspenders, to princess high heels and boas. Or an Einstein wig, purple necklace and a silver shield if you've got kids like I do.
6. Mama Can Take Her Time. Now that you've FINALLY gotten your kids ready and shoved them off to hang out with Dad, you barely have the time you wanted to get your hairs all did up nice. But with an in-home lifestyle photoshoot, I am or your photographer is likely to come and focus on the kiddos alone first, leaving you time to leisurely apply some mascara and rouge. And you don't have to get fancy AT ALL. I mean, if I were being photographed, I'd slap on some makeup so I didn't look like a man and then I'd go with my NICEST pair of comfy pants and fuzzy socks. And some kind of top, too. You know. Don't want to make it all awkward.
5. Dad's Love It. I sh*t you not. EVERY. SINGLE. lifestyle session I have EVER had (in-home and outdoors - because you can do this kind of thing outside), dads say to me, "That wasn't that bad! That was the best time I've ever had at a photoshoot!" HA! Winning with the dads. And mamas, we all know we might be able to swing ANOTHER session next year if Dad has a fond memory of the last one, right?! Because in a lifestyle session, dads get to do stuff like this with their kids:
And, I'm sorry, what dad does not want the sweetest bedtime book-reading routine with his little lady documented? Is this not something he'll look back on FOR DECADES? Like her wedding day? And then his little girl will show HER kids one day, when she sits reading to THEM.
4. Naps & Bedtime Routines. Ok, so it's REEEALLY unlikely that I or your photographer would be at your house for like 10 hours, so, you know, we just get sneaky sometimes and PRETEND to do a little bedtime routine, just to capture it. And kids usually think it's super fun to get in jammies and play bedtime. But, it can certainly be likely that we can run right into naptime. In fact, if you have a kiddo that still naps, I love to plan it so our session ends right around then. Because then you get this:
3. You Might Move One Day. And if you do, it's wonderful to look back and remember your old house. You might move when your kids are little and they won't remember their first room with their crib, and train table of toys and how they loved to open and close the shutters. But whey they ask about it and you tell them, you can pull up these images.
2. In-Between Moments. This is where the family magic happens. These moments are the intimate fibers of our familial being. Where you're enjoying a cup of coffee and the littlest wants to smell it. Where you're about to give a horsey ride and, instead of taking the photo once your kiddo is all saddled up, you have the memory of how you used to have to LIFT him up. And how, no matter the highs and lows of crazy that having kids can bring, you can still laugh with your spouse.
1. Home Is Where the Heart Is. So shouldn't it stand to reason that the home is the absolute BEST place for capturing your family, the love within, the silliness, the seriousness - all of your family's whole personality and that of the individuals that comprise it? I think so.
Liza Hippler is a portrait and family lifestyle photographer located in Franklin, TN. She serves the Middle TN & surrounding areas including Brentwood, Spring Hill and Nashville. She would love to talk to you about what you're looking to capture about your life now. She is available for travel.