When I first started this blog a few years ago I knew I wanted to talk about photography because it's such a passion of mine. I know this is not what you're use to reading here but maybe you will find it useful anyways.
I love lifestyle photography and also love taking pictures of my family. While pregnant with Grayson, I had planned on taking his newborn pictures after he was born. However, after 5 weeks in the NICU our sweet boy wasn't that squishy, easy to pose infant any more. He also had terrible acid reflux which meant he wanted to be in our arms all the time. So my plans for pictures continued to be delayed and I knew I would have to alter the style I was originally going for. Attempting to do our own "lifestyle" session seemed to be the only way to go and I will love and cherish these pictures for forever.
I listed some of my tips here in the blog post for you to consider before taking your own lifestyle pictures.
1. Choose locations around your home that you want to use and that will be for good photos.
I knew I wanted our pictures in our son's room and that I would be using the rocking chair in there. A rocking chair is a pretty common piece of furniture when referring to babies and we spent so much time in that chair that it was personal for us. Make it personal for you and your pictures will hold an even more special meaning.
2. Work around the best times for lighting.
Grayson's room has one window so we only had a small amount of time to work with. I didn't want harsh sunlight coming in so I had to wait for the right moment for the sun to be in the right spot and then we started shooting. I had everything ready so that when the light was perfect we were ready to shoot.
3. Include your pets
Since these pictures are in your home, make them as personal and real life as possible. Our dog likes being where we are and involved so it was pretty easy to include him in some of the pictures. Him sitting on the ottoman is pretty much how you find him most days.
4. Dress Comfortably
Since you're not going out for an actual session there's no reason to "dress up." Keep it simple and comfortable. I wore leggings and a tunic top. I would probably not have chosen this to wear had we been going out for an outdoor session but it was soft and comfortable to wear inside our home but a little dressier than my usual yoga pants. Also, our pictures were also geared for a having a new baby so even more of a reason to dress comfortable.
5. Consider your camera gear
I solely used my 35mm for this session. Since it is a wide angle lens it helps to give a feel for the entire space, which is what a lot of lifestyle photography photos are shot with, and of course I just love this lens. Also, Jason and I took turns taking pictures as well as using my tripod and we also used my reflector.
6. Clear out the clutter
Since this is in your home, I don't suggest completely transforming your space but I do recommend removing things that could take away from the actual subject being photographed: your family. Since it's been awhile since I took these photos, I can't remember exactly but I am sure there was a breast pump somewhere within arm's reach of the rocking chair. Obviously, I moved it out of the way because that would be something that our eyes would have been diverted to.
If you're taking your pictures in a kitchen or living area just spruce it up. Clear out coats, purses, backpacks, mail and any other type of thing that just piles up. It will help to not be so distracting.
7. Have fun
Remember these are pictures of your precious family, inside your own home. Relax and just enjoy doing something together that will bring you wonderful memories for years to come. In this picture I am singing "Its Bitsy Spider" which I did a lot back then and still do today. Real life moments being captured so we can treasure them for a lifetime.
Since Grayson was four months old when we finally took these and was still suffering from acid reflux I didn't get to take pictures of him sleeping and being swaddled. It was impossible for me to capture some of the sweet baby moments with my dSLR because he was always in my arms and not the best sleeper but I would have loved to have been able to take some like that.