An In-Home Session Style Guide for the Rest of Us
I gave Austin a trip to Asheville, NC, for Christmas. We rented this super cute Airbnb and I decided I'd like to get some couples photographs done while we were there. So I found a photographer and booked. But when I started searching Pinterest and Google for "in-home sessions for the average person" not much turned up. See, I'm 5'3'' and about a size 8-10 right now and Austin is tall and very thin. I'm not really self-conscious about how I look – most of the time I'm proud of how strong and fit I am – but certain poses and clothing accentuate the difference between our body types. Which I don't love.
For our shoot I ended up just wearing clothing I wear every day (literally – I'm a Target T-shirt and sweater, Hue Leggings, LL Bean Jeans girl – that's pretty much ALL that's in my wardrobe), and it was fine. But the process got me to wondering – there really aren't examples of in-home sessions for the average person. Most of the examples I see on Pinterest certainly don't look like me. So I decided to create my own examples. I put out a model call and recruited five amazing couples of various sizes and walks of life. I also held a women's event to create an "In Home Session Style Guide." These are images from that event.
Basically, what we determined at the women's event is wear whatever-the-hell you want. The important thing is to be comfortable and be yourself. But if you need some help, I have a few tips.
Don't Go Loose on Both Ends
Basically, if you are wearing a loose top, pair it with leggings or fitted jeans, and vice versa. You'll see one of our models rocking some amazing loose pants here in a bit if you scroll down. But she paired it with a fitted crop top and the result is glorious.
Graphic Ts and Patterns - in Moderation
Personal preference here, but I'm not a big fan of logos for in-home shoots. The focus should be on YOU and your partner, not advertising for some company. Graphic t-shirts and big patterns can be done well, but try to keep the colors a little muted and only go with a pattern on one end.
I have mixed feelings about open, cardigan-like sweaters. They can make a robust gal look bigger. If that's not something you want to do, then I'd stay away. If you are small and want to look a little bigger then open sweaters are your friend. If you LOVE your open sweater, want to wear it and don't want to look bigger, you have a couple of options: (1.) Belt it as one of the models does below. (2.) Wrap it around your body like another of the models does.
Leggings, Jeans and Sleeper Shorts
Leggings and fitted but stretchy jeans are awesome for in-home shoots. Short sleeper shorts are sassy and cute, but if you are self-conscious about your legs, they are probably not your best bet. In-home shoots can involve a lot of cuddling, which bunches up your body. I love my legs, but sometimes even I am a little shocked by how much thunder is in my thunder thighs. If I were doing an in-home shoot in the summer, though, I would wear shorts. Just be forewarned.
Fitted is Better than Bulky
Ok last one. Basically, wear clothing that is slightly fitted to the body. Bulky clothing makes the body look bulky. Tight clothing is going to show everything under the clothing whether you want it to or not. So when in doubt, opt for items that are a little bit thicker in material and just skim the body. They tend to be the most flattering.
*A note about this shoot: the event was an open-invite via Facebook and Instagram and we had five people participate. Each of the women brought two to three outfits (except for one woman who wore one). I didn't give them a whole lot of direction before they showed up, so for the most part these outfits reflected their unique style and body types.
Any questions or ideas to add to this? Add them below! I'm the first to say I am NO fashionista, but having a style-guide like this would have been helpful for me. So here it is.