Tips for A Successful In-Home Photo Session : Rochester, Michigan Family Photographer

There's something special about candid photos captured in your home.  That's why more and more families are choosing in-home photography to document their "everyday."

But let's face it, getting yourself and multiple other humans photo-ready can be a daunting task. "Now I have to make my house look good too?"  I understand this can sound stressful for most moms..

But, believe me when I say, it does not have to be stressful.  Today, I'm going to give you some tips on how to have a fun, low-stress, and successful family photo session in your home.  

Don't stress about a clean house.

Yes, you will want to tidy up a couple rooms (especially the ones that get the most/best light).  But your house does not need to be spotless! 

There is zero judgement for piles of toys in the corner or laundry baskets overflowing with unfolded clothes. Part of a photographer's job is to crop and compose images in a way that avoids distractions, and I do my best to do just that.

Sometimes, however, I like to include these little distractions in a photo.  In the photo below, I loved the child's artwork that was hung haphazardly above the bed!  We almost took it down, but I decided to leave it because it tells a beautiful story.  Of course, I also cropped it out in some images, so the parents have a choice of which they'd like to print (why not both?). 

rochester michigan family photographer

We can also tidy and move things as we go.  I've been known to clean off a nightstand or two in my day.      

Choose comfortable outfits.

In-home family photography is very relaxed and casual.  Any of the following might occur at your session:  jumping on the bed, snuggling on the sofa, playing on the floor.  Choose your outfits accordingly!  I find that casual and comfortable attire works best for an in-home shoot. No need to put on your Sunday best! 


Shoes are always optional.  :)

Relax and enjoy the family time.

What I truly love about in-home family photography is the ability to capture authentic, everyday moments.  This isn't a staged shoot in a random field (nothing wrong with that either...I love a beautiful field as much as the next girl!).  This is your home...your life!  Relax and just soak in this time with your people.  

During the session, you will often hear me saying "don't look at the camera, look at each other."  I will give you prompts and activities to help you forget the camera is even there. 


Also, don't worry if the kids aren't perfectly behaved little angels.  I've never met a kid who obeyed their parents for a full 90 minute photo shoot!  The beauty of an in-home photo shoot is that we can take a break, grab a snack and just play. Often times, some of my favorite images come out of those little breaks.   


Get outside if you can!

Just because it's a "in-home" shoot, doesn't mean we can't go outside!  Weather permitting (this is Michigan, after all), I love to get outside, at least for a few shots.  Everyone loves a change of scenery!


My goal as a family photographer is not only to produce meaningful images, but to make sure you have a fun and low-stress experience!  Here are a few more of my favorite shots from this session...

Ready to book your very own photo shoot?  Click the button below and we'll get the ball rolling!

Denise Button is a child and family photographer located in Rochester, Michigan and serving the Metro Detroit area, including Birmingham, Royal Oak, Clarkston, Oakland Township, Bloomfield, Rochester Hills, Troy and beyond.  She focuses on fun, lighthearted, candid moments and real connections.

Winter and In-Home Photo Sessions : Metro Detroit Family Photographer

It’s single digits outside (make that negative digits....BRRRR).  So, once again, I thought it would be the perfect time to profess my love for in-home family shoots. 

I seriously love shooting in clients’ homes.  There is such a cozy, relaxed and intimate feel to the photos.  It’s you.  And your babies.  In your home…where you live life, day in and day out.  You can’t get much more personal than that. 

Tiny, Everyday Moments....Captured

A toddler jumping on the bed.  A baby who can’t quite sit up on his own…yet.  Dad carrying his giggling daughter away for a snack.  Mom snuggling her baby boy in gorgeous light that streams in from the window. 

Speaking of light…the home featured in this blog post did not particularly have an abundance of light.  And that’s OK.  I mention this because it’s the one concern that gets raised almost every time I receive an inquiry for in-home photography.   “Will my home be bright enough?”

If you have a couple of windows and a door, we are good to go.  In this particular shoot, we focused in the bedrooms because they had great window light.  And since this family photo session took place on an unseasonably warm December day here in Michigan, we were also able to sneak outside for a few shots…bonus!  (I’m always up for squeezing in some outdoor shots, even in the winter!)

If you’ve thought about booking an in-home family session, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!  As an added bonus, I’m offering $50 off winter in-home sessions…all you have to do is sign up for my e-mail newsletter by January 7 to get the deal.  Just click the "newsletter sign-up" button at the bottom of this post…but first look at a few more images from this adorable, in-home family photo session! 

Denise Button is a child and family photographer located in Rochester, Michigan and serving the Metro Detroit area, including Birmingham, Royal Oak, Clarkston, Oakland Township, Bloomfield, Rochester Hills, Troy and beyond.  Through her photography, she focuses on fun, lighthearted, candid moments and real connections.

The Beauty of Morning Photography Sessions - Rochester, Michigan, Family Photographer

If you’ve ever inquired about an outdoor family session with me, you know that I recommend shooting during Golden Hour, one or two hours before the sun goes down.  But did you know, there is another Golden Hour?  Yes, there is, and it happens the first hour or so after sunrise.

Now, I’ll be completely honest and tell you I have typically preferred to shoot in the evening, because, I’m just not a morning person.  And sunrise happens really early.  And on weekends, I enjoy sleeping in, lounging in my PJs and drinking like 17 cups of coffee.  But I recently had to reschedule a family session due to a bit of uncooperative weather, and the only time that worked was…you guessed it…morning.

So I woke up before dawn that day and took my coffee to go.  As I pulled up to the park where we were meeting, I was in awe of the dreamy light.  The sun was just starting to peek through the trees that were showing off Michigan’s lovely fall colors.  And at that moment, I asked myself, “Self, why don’t you shoot morning photo sessions more often??”

Besides the amazing light, there are several other reasons that I am now in love with morning family sessions. 

Happy Kids.  

Do you have kids that NEVER let you sleep in?  Then a morning family photo session might be right for you!  A lot of kids are early birds (I’m looking at you babies & toddlers!).  They are up at the crack of dawn and ready for action.  Morning is their happy time, and this translates to wonderful, happy pictures!  This is not to say you can’t get wonderful, happy photos in the evening.  I still love shooting in the evening, and if your kid is a night owl, like mine (I think it’s genetic), then you're golden.  But often, little kiddos are early to rise and early to bed.  In that case, a morning session might be right for your family.  This little guy was definitely happy to be at the park on this beautiful fall morning!       

Smaller Crowds. 

Public parks in the Rochester and Metro Detroit can get really busy.  But when you arrive at sunrise, you will barely bump into anyone.  I’m not anti-social or anything, but I do love having free reign of the space in which I’m shooting.  Less people means less of a chance of photo-bombers.  This beautiful path probably would have been full of joggers, walkers and bikers later in the day.  But in the early morning, we had the place to ourselves!   

Abundance of Light.

Every minute is precious during golden hour.  When you shoot in the evening, eventually you run out of light.  In the morning, you are gaining light every minute, which means we can shoot as long as needed to capture all the photos we want.  Of course, as time goes on, the sun will move overhead and give us more harsh lighting, but that’s when I seek shade and we're able to capture a few more shots.  This adorable picture was taken towards the end of our session, after the sun had gotten pretty high.  We laid this cutie down on a blanket under a tree and, with the help of her daddy, captured some adorable baby smiles.  

Get on with your day!

Morning photo sessions are awesome because you are finished early and still have the entire day ahead of you, so you can get on with your weekend!  And if you have a baby/toddler, they will probably take the best nap ever!  You can head home and make another pot of coffee.  That’s what I did after this shoot! 

And of course, THAT LIGHT. 

As I said earlier, I’m not a morning person…it’s just not in my blood.  But when I have a morning family session, for some reason I can pop out of bed no problem!  And when I do get out to take photos in the morning, I realize what I am missing by sleeping in. 

I know outdoor photography season is just about over for this year, but it’s never too early to get your family photo session on the calendar!  Next year I’m making a pact to do more morning sessions.  Who is with me??  

Denise Button is a child and family photographer located in Rochester, Michigan and serving the Metro Detroit area, including Birmingham, Royal Oak, Clarkston, Oakland Township, Bloomfield, Rochester Hills, Troy and beyond.  She focuses on fun, lighthearted, candid moments and real connections.