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Do It At Home!
Five Reasons to Have Family Portraits Taken at Home

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Do It At Home!

By Gabrielle Clay | Photos by Studio 14

We live in Montrose, where there are THOUSANDS of awesome places to have photos taken, and I’m guessing that you chose to live here because of all of those beautiful views, too!

But, this summer and fall, consider hosting your family photo shoot right in your own backyard! Whether you take some snaps yourself or hire a professional photographer, thinking about doing your own porch portraits can make the experience all the more fun! Here are six perfect reasons to do your next photo shoot at home:

1) To celebrate your new home together.


When we bought our new house in Montrose, I couldn’t wait to get photos of the two of us and our dog on our very own front porch. Whether it’s your first apartment together, your first house, or the home that you just absolutely LOVE, at-home photos are a perfect way to document and share this part of your journey!

2) To include your pets.


I’ll be honest: my dog is basically my child. She makes every day better. Taking pictures of her, though, is challenging and the best shots we’ve captured have been around the house. Loading up your pets and schlepping them to a photo shoot location can be a literal drag. One way to get phenomenal photos with them is at home! Your home is usually the most familiar to your fur babies and your pets will be the most comfortable. Photographing animals isn’t easy and take a little patience, but it’s rewarding to have those memories forever!

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3) To share your personal style.


Your home tells pretty much everything about your personal style. Outdoor areas make a great outdoor studio. It may literally be a Porch Portrait! And indoor photos can be extra special. Taking photos both inside and outside of your home allows you to show off your personal style in what you wear, how you decorate, and what you surround yourself with.  It’s an honest depiction of your personality through the objects and spaces that you have curated yourself. I love witnessing how different people plan their homes, how they choose their amazing landscapes and surroundings, and I think it is SO fun to document people in the areas they’ve created for themselves!

4) To be your most authentic self.


Regardless of whether you spend the most time there or not, your home is usually where you can be the most honest, unfiltered, and ridiculous version of you--real, raw, genuine you. Are you nervous about taking photos in public and having people stare at you? Do it at home instead. You can put on your favorite tunes, wear your favorite clothes, sit in your favorite room, go to your favorite spot, be with your favorite people. And be 100% yourself.

5) To make everyone in the family feel comfortable.


Got kiddos? Chances are they will be the happiest and most natural in their own home. I love photographing younger kids in their own element. Same goes with a partner who might not enjoy being photographed. Your home is your safe space and that alone can help you be more relaxed in photos. Being in a familiar space can make a significant difference by actually removing the stress to make the experience FUN! PLUS, no extra worries about packing up everybody in the car, commuting across or out of town, being late, or any of the hassles of getting family photos taken.

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Hey, even if your home isn’t featured on HGTV, you just need a few simple tips and tricks to make at-home photos work:

For outdoor shoots, schedule for early in the morning or later in the evening after dinner. This gives you that amazing golden hour light. Shooting at these times of day also reduce the chances of having squinty-eyed shots. If your time options aren’t flexible and you must do mid-day, find shady spots to help create softer, more natural light which will help reduce shadows.

Scope out your outdoor studio. Maybe your garage door is a perfect backdrop. Perhaps that new fence you just built is the perfect prop. Walking silly across your backyard makes for amazing candids and fresh, bright, relaxed photos.

If you do indoor shots, hide the clutter. A full-scale house cleaning is not necessary but clearing the space of unwanted “props” will make a huge impact. Pick just three places to do photos and hide the clutter elsewhere!

Pick spaces with at least SOME natural light. The more, the better! I usually look for areas near windows. If you are low on natural light, you can also play around with indoor lamps, string lights, a fireplace, or even candles!

The bottom line is that taking amazing family photos doesn’t need to break your bottom line! Exotic on-location shoots are cool but can be cumbersome. Porch portraits in your familiar space often turn out much better than you’d expect.


Give it a shot!


Give it many shoots!


Have fun.

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