I was talking the other day to someone who was interested in Lifestyle Sessions, but promptly said…

“My house is not nice enough to take lifestyle sessions in…”

Talk about a gut punch!

The home that you are raising and feeding and bathing your kids in is not good enough for photos, huge giant WRONG!

A professional photographer would see this as a challenge (I see it as a challenge).

One of my biggest goals in my photography career (that sounds so professional and weird) is to show anyone through imagery that their life and their lifestyle, be it their birth or their 5 fur babies, it matters, it is theirs and they should cherish it, hold onto it, relish in it and accept it.

5 steps to getting Instagram worthy photos in your own home without a trip to the dollar spot at Target!

Step 1 – Pick a room with a lot of light!

Light helps in so many ways, but if you are using a camera on your phone, the light with sharpen your photos and increase your shutter speed – no more instablur … Natural light is the best, you don’t need a huge window, just shut off the fake lights and play around with it – loose the flash!

My kitchen has the best light in the morning!

Step 2 – Pick your subject!

Figure out your subject, whether it be your cat, a cup of coffee or your threenager of a child, then figure out how to get it/them into the room with lots of light!

She needed a bath and I needed a subject!

Step 3 – Simplify!

I am a Mom of 3 girls who have friends over all the time, my life is far less than simple… I take the one space for my photos and simplify it – often trashing the rest of the house – but no one knows who looks at the photos! Take out clutter, your kids sock they took off for the 13th time in the last 5 minutes, just take off their other one. Move things with words or logos (unless you have a new iphone – click over to portrait mode – then it all just disappears in the background). Having a few simple things like a solid color pillow or plant or even a stuffed animal or two, adds some color but does not take away from your subject.

This play room is normally LOADED with toys – simplified to a pink and purple just for the photo!

Step 4 – Time to Shoot!

Figure out what look you are going for, don’t grab the kids or the cat just yet. Instead grab a stuffed animal or anything you have laying around ( from that clutter pile you just moved) and figure out where you should stand to get the look you want. If there are natural edges in your photo (a window frame or bed rail) line yourself up so those are level, make sure you are not blocking any of your light source. Getting at the same level as a kid vs standing over top of them will get you a much better point of view and often lead to a fun session!




Step 5 – Use your best camera!

One of my (least) favorite photo professors at Montana State University said to the class on one of the first days, “The best camera you have is the one you have with you!”

He wanted us all to carry our big cameras everywhere, but also made the point that sometimes that is not an option. Most all cell phones have cameras these days, and most of the cameras are pretty amazing under the right circumstances! Whether you have the last DSLR or you have a cell phone from the straight talk section at wal-mart. Use it! Clear off the lens and use it!


All of these photos were taken in my home, all of them had little to no planning, and ALL of them were done in my kitchen which is never THAT clean. I am sure you could spot the rings in my sink, or the goobie hand prints all over the faucet… this is real life, this is my life, and I love it. I want to remember these times. I want to remember the foot prints on the floor, the blanket forts and the boots I move BACK to the shoe room multiple times!

Here I am with my littles, we pulled off a fun St.Patties Day shoot in less than 15 minutes! I cut up an old green dress (no Mother should ever wear- ha!) made matching tie head bands, got the girls dressed in coordinating clothes and set the self timer. Not before I opened the window shade, moved the pile of clean laundry from the futon to the bed, moved a pile of random mail on the shelf, and plopped all the girls down with guitars to distract them while I made sure the light was good.


5 Minutes of shooting later… and we have these gems – My hubby loves them!




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