In-home engagement sessions have really started taking off over the last year, and there’s good reason. These sessions are so much fun, and it allows you as a couple to feel relaxed and comfortable in your own space. Plus, for lots of people, their home is the space in which they spend most of their time together, so it’s full of little details that point to who you are as a couple and what your real life together looks like. In-home sessions can be incredibly intimate and make for really genuine moments.
That all said, there is some preparation that should be taken into account when doing an in-home engagement session (or any in-home session, for that matter). Here are some tips and ideas!
1. Clean up!
The biggest and most important thing you can do prior to having an in-home session is to clean up any spaces in which you’ll want photos taken. Clutter is one of the biggest challenges to good photos, so make sure you pick up and stash away anything that doesn’t add to the ambiance that you want represented in your photos.
That said, don’t feel like you need to make your space look completely different from its norm. A great reason to do an in-home session is to show your real life together. Just think about tidying up what is usually there and minimizing clutter, and you’ll be good to go.
2. Highlight important details
When tidying up your space, don’t forget to leave out some things that are symbolic or representative of you and your partner. Little details are one of the greatest treasures of an in-home session, and because it’s your actual home, there are often a multitude! Pick out a few that are most important to you, place them in sight of the camera, and tell your photographer about them. What’s important to you and your relationship should be an important element to your engagement photos, too.
3. Consider lighting
Okay, so this one is primarily your photographer’s job, for sure. However, you can be a photographer’s best friend and help out a whole lot by considering lighting ahead of time. Rooms with big windows and lots of natural light are ideal. The usual tungsten lighting in most homes throws off a yellow/orange color, and fluorescent lighting (like in some kitchens) can be even worse (throws off a green color). So, avoiding spaces where the only source of light is a tungsten or fluorescent bulb is super helpful.
That all said, if there are spaces in your home that you really want photos that have less than ideal lighting, your photographer should be able to handle it! Just give them a heads up if you’re planning to utilize a darker room so they can be sure they’ve got all the right equipment on hand.
4. Plan some activities!
In my opinion, this is the funnest part of an in-home session. Undoubtedly, your photographer can make some really beautiful photos of you and your partner in your nice, clean home with great lighting, but what makes it extra fun is planning some things for you and your partner to do together during your session.
Think about the things you naturally do at home. Do you two often cook or bake together? Plan a meal and have your photographer document your process! Do you enjoy reading together while drinking coffee on the weekends? Get out some of your favorite books and brew yourselves a couple cups! Seriously, no activity is too mundane, and the more genuine the experience is, the more your photos will represent who you and your partner really are.
If you’re not sure where to start or what you should do, talk with your photographer. They can help you come up with some ideas, too.
5. Include your furry, feathery, leathery, or otherwise family members
Last, but certainly not least: pets! Please include your pets in your engagement session! If you have pets and they are a part your daily life together, it can be so wonderful to include them in your in-home session. They are part of the family you are creating, after all! Plus, they often add comic relief and adorable faces. Can’t go wrong.
That wraps up my tips and ideas for in-home engagement sessions. Now, want a sampling of what putting all those together can look like? Keep scrolling!
Lauren + Bryant
Lauren and Bryant were originally planning their engagement session on the Oregon Coast. This would have been beautiful and fun (I love a good outdoor adventure!), but after thinking about it a while, they decided they wanted to do something more “them”. As a result, we decided on an in-home session that included all their favorite actives and their dog, Zuko. They did an AMAZING job prepping their home, and I cannot tell you how much fun it all was. Being a gaming and baking nerd myself, I thoroughly enjoyed every single activity they planned. Plus, Zuko makes the derpiest and most adorable doggo faces ever. Enjoy!