location, location, location: pt. 2, at home / by Ashley Brown

At home sessions are the pinnacle of a custom portraiture experience. No other location that will be as personal and meaningful for your family... and along with it comes authenticity and the assurance that your images will never be like anyone elses'! For clients who are looking for images that aren't duplicated a hundred times over and are truly custom to their family and lifestyle, home is where its at.

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Over the course of my career I've worked in hundreds of homes... everything from apartments, to near windowless condos, to sprawling, light filled estates. The most common question I get from clients when talking about location is whether their home will photograph well. You do not... in any way, shape, or form!... need to live in a showcase model home. I have never met a house or apartment I couldn't work with. Nooks and crannies with beautiful lighting almost always exist. Sometimes we have to move a few pieces of furniture, or use some unorthodox spots in the house. If I have access to most of the spaces in the home, chances are overwhelmingly in our favor that we'll find some perfect spots.

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We have the choice with at home sessions to either keep the focus on the child/family with more close up type images, or to incorporate decor and architecture. It totally depends on your home and the feel you're going for. Using various spots like staircases, foyers, chairs, and windows draws lends itself to more traditional portraits, while wide angles shots incorporating your child's bedroom or nursery bring in more of a colorful, editorial feel. The great thing about at home sessions is you can always mix the two, which is the most common route clients take... some traditional images mixed in with some lifestyle images, like your child reading a book on their room, playing cars on the wood floor, or snugging on mom & dad's bed. If you really love the lifestyle, magazine vibe, you can go entirely in that direction with an activity... like making pancakes, taking a bath, or playing a board game. There really are so many options!

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The unique, custom angle of at home sessions aside, one of the biggest perks is comfort. When working with small children, more often than not, I find these little subjects are most comfortable in their own surroundings. This especially holds true for kids who are naturally more shy or take longer to warm up. You are much more apt to achieve those natural, relaxed images on their turf, and where we can really take some time to play and chat on their terms. For babies and young toddlers, location sessions can sometimes be too overwhelming with all of the sights and sounds, leading to quicker meltdowns and less smiles. Staying at home keeps them more attentive and gives us more variety when it comes to posing and those classic infant shots.

Check out the images below to see a sampling of at home sessions!

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