Whether you’re photographing a family session, newborn session, or another type of session in a client’s home, here are my best tips for you!
1.When you arrive don’t park in front of the client’s house. You never know where the good light is going to be, so if your car is out front, the sun may reflect off of the windows and cause lighting issues inside. It’s best to park in front of a neighbor’s house and walk a little bit further to your client’s front door.
2. When the client invites you in, leave your shoes by the front door. Many people these days choose to go shoe-free inside their homes, and you want to make sure that you respect their house at all times. Taking your shoes off right away is also helpful if you need to climb or stand on furniture to photograph certain angles of their family.
3. Always put things back where you found them. Whether you have to move furniture, remove shade screens from windows to let in more light, or take away small clutter that you don’t want in the photos, always walk around the space before you leave and make sure you put everything back where you found it. You don’t want to leave extra work for your clients when you leave.
4. Bring your own water. Sometimes a client will offer you a beverage, but don’t expect it. Remember, you’re not really there as a guest; you’re there to do a special job. This goes along with not wanting to make more work for the client when you leave–no glasses or cups for them to clean!
5. Be respectful of their home. Don’t ask for a tour, don’t snoop around, don’t stay longer than necessary, be very careful around fragile objects, ask before you move anything, wash your hands…I could go on and on. Treat the home like you would want someone to treat your home and you’ll be good to go!
6. Offer to help. If you’ve ever been in front of the camera, then you know how much work it takes to get ready beforehand. From getting the kids dressed, fed, and hair done to tidying up the house and getting it camera-ready. Your client may be a little frazzled when you arrive and that’s okay! Offer to help them out with whatever they need. I’m always happy to brush little girls’ hair and put a bow in it–this also helps the kids feel comfortable with you!
Planning ahead and being polite goes a long way! I want your clients to be blown away not just by the photos they receive, but by their entire experience working with you. I want your clients to sing your praises and say, “She was so respectful!” or “He was so helpful and courteous!” or “Our kids had so much fun!”
I hope these quick tips help you as your prepare for your next in-home portrait session. Let me what you think in the comments below!