Five Reasons You Should Do an In-Home Session | Charleston, West Virginia Wedding Photographer

An in-home engagement session in Charleston, WV. In-home sessions are perfect for engagement, anniversary, new babies or just because.

When I moved to West Virginia and bought a house, it totally wiped out my savings. Unfortunately I still needed to buy key things like a fridge and a washing machine. So my grandmother helped me out.

At that time, Grandma was in her late 80s, though, and couldn’t make the five-hour trip to see the house in person. So, for her 90th birthday, my then-boyfriend (now husband) Austin and I decided to hire a photographer, do an in-home session, and make an album/book for Grandma so she could “see” the house for herself.

Between booking the photographer and having the session, Austin and I decided to get married, so our in-home lifestyle session turned into an in-home engagement session /birthday present for Grandma.

Since that time, I’ve shot dozens of in-home sessions to commemorate everything from buying a house to selling a house, to a new baby, or even a new dog. There’ve been engagement sessions, anniversaries or “just because” sessions. These photo shoots have  become some of my favorites. .

So here are 5 reasons YOU should consider an in-home session for your next shoot.

1. They are relaxed and fun.

Generally the first thing I like to do when I arrive at your home is ask what your favorite kind of music is. I often travel with a little portable speaker that we’ll hook up to a smart phone and start your jams. Then we’ll grab some coffee, you may snuggle up on the couch in your PJs or comfy clothes, and we’ll just hang out -- all while I’m cracking dad jokes and asking you about your life.

2. You don’t have to dress up.

The awesome thing about in-home sessions is you really don’t have to put a lot of effort into what you’re wearing. In fact, I recommend you dress for comfort. Leggings, oversized sweatshirts, jeans and t-shirts are all great choices because we’ll probably be sitting on the floor some or sipping wine on the back porch and, honestly, this is what you’d be dressed like if I weren’t there so embrace it!

3. Pets, kids and camera-shy partners tend to be more comfortable.

Being home is comfortable. And unlike a park or public space, you’re not going to have an audience for your session, which means you can just focus on hanging out together and enjoying yourself rather than feeling self-conscious. Home is also where kids and pets can run around unchecked and where you can do anything -- bake cookies together, play board games, make breakfast, pile on the couch, and break open some books.

4. Your home is where you spend much of your time with your loved ones -- document it!

We often think of photo sessions as things to commemorate big events in our lives -- weddings, graduations, new babies, milestones -- but I really believe the moments worth capturing are the little ones. Document your Saturday rituals, your dogs while they’re still young, your kids playing in the sandbox, your grandparents over for a summer BBQ -- these are the ones that make up our lives and they are the ones that so often don’t get documented. Which is a true tragedy.

5. You don’t have to pack up everyone into the car and make it somewhere on time.

When you are doing a session at home, you don’t have to worry about everything being perfect. If there’s clutter that didn’t get put away, we’ll do a quick sweep and move it aside for the shoot. If your dogs get anxious in loud public spaces, at home they can cuddle up on their spots on the couch. If your partner HATES dressing up or always runs late -- no worries -- when you’re home, I’m coming to you, and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the quality time with your loved ones.