Home Sessions: is there enough light in my home?
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“I want a Home Session – but I don’t think there’s enough light in my home…!”
I know! And that’s one of the reasons I LOVE Home Sessions in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Window light gives depth to a storytelling session.
I want you to trust me, but here is the breakdown:
- A visit. Before our session, I’ll visit your home a week or two prior to get a sense of the light and architecture. I will mentally register where I will get the most light, and where I can get away with less light. This is phase one of the planning on my end. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll ask you to send me pictures with specific instructions.
- I turn off ALL the lights during my visit. This is a fun one. I get to watch your jaw drop: wait, whaaat? But, Nicole – it’s SO dark! “Take a picture of your kid facing the window right now.” Boom: a beautiful portrait that makes your kid’s eyes look brighter. + lightbulbs shine light from different directions (not to mention in different hues): they are a photographer’s nightmare. So, unless you want a full black-and-white session, you’ll have to trust me on this one.
- I plan for light in every section of the house. Weeks before our session, I will send you a questionnaire to fill out: make sure to add all the activities you like to do as a family (this family wanted to bake a Vánočka – Czech Braided Sweet Bread & I was lucky enough to leave with a chunk of it!!) – this is where I plan activities around the light. Of course, no plan is perfect (especially with kids), and there are times where I will use my fancy camera’s settings to adapt and get creative. Keeping it real!
- Guidance. If you take the time to pore over the images below, you might notice that I position parents strategically. First of all, because I want you to look good, AND because this way I get the kids to revolve around you exactly where I want them to be. And when it gets a bit crazy (as it should), I give your kids pointers or say “Do that again… but over here will be way cooler!”, gently guiding them into the light.
- I also look for shadows and darker corners, because the contrast between shadows and light brings the depth I need to create a storytelling session.
4 extra tips for the ideal setup:
1. Clear the spaces in front of the windows, since that’s where we will hang out most!
2. Brainstorm activities you can do in rooms that have windows. Typically this will be bedrooms, living rooms and kitchen spaces.
3. If there is ANYTHING you want in the pictures (an heirloom painting, pictures you framed, a statement piece in your home that you love) that isn’t near a window, let me know when you fill out the questionnaire. We’ll make it work.