How to Prepare for a Lifestyle In-Home Session

On the surface, it’s easy to assume that preparing for an in-home photography session is just about picking out cute outfits, finding a cute spots in your home (maybe getting some new decor to spruce up the joint), and showing up lookin’ all cute + totes perf.

Welp….. I hate to tell ya…. That’s not how it works. At all. Nope. Nerp. Nuh-uh!

I mean, that’s if you actually want a smooth flowing photography session tailored to YOU.


Storytelling Sessions are fun, less stressful, and a more engaged photography session so I can capture all those special little memories + authentic moments for you. I want you to laugh + be silly. I want you to cuddle + love on each other. You’re living your beautiful story. I’m here to capture it.

In-home sessions are really amazing to capture! Every single image is steeped, rich in so many emotions and treasured memories. It’s a moment of your life -a piece of your story- frozen in time forever. Here are some things you really need to consider as you prepare for you next family or couples lifestyle session.

Your WHY

Most people think “session preparation” starts with what-to-wear and the location…. BUT it actually starts with your “WHY”!!

Think about WHY you want to book a photography session. What is it that you want to capture? What do you plan to do with these photos…hang them on your wall? Make an album or book? Your “why” will also drive your photographer selection.

Your PHOTOGRAPHER

You’ll want to match your vision with the right artist, so if you want traditional, posed portraits… Sugar Plum Creative NOT for you! But if you want to capture images that create a story -your story!- and is genuinely dripping with your vibe + personality; you want to have fun and create new memories…. then look no further!! Sugar Plum Creative’s YOUR jam!



Hi! I’m Erin

I’m the owner + photographer/storyteller behind Sugar Plum Creative

I’m also a wife, toddler-mom, cat-mom, wanna-be-plant-mom, and artist

I love glitter, I think I’m funny, I love to laugh, the 90’s are my J A M


The QUESTIONNAIRE

Now, we don’t send this out for fun to make you fill out another form…. the questionnaire is actually SUPER IMPORTANT to a successful and smooth flowing session. No lie!! You’re sharing the fun things you like to do together, your favorite music, your favorite color (because I’m apparently still in second grade….).

It’s a little insight into you and what makes you tick, so I can help create the best session ever! We’ll plan the activities based on what you love doing – and even a backup plan if kiddos don’t feel like cooperating (which happens A LOT so don’t sweat it!! For real!)



You created amazing, tiny humans…

But make sure to take time alone during your session

To celebrate your love + honor your journey

Together


Your HOME

Okay, so this IS a lifestyle session, so if you clean your house like my husband would for in-home photos…. so fresh + clean it looks like it’s staged to be sold ….it’s going to be a little too stark. Yes, clear clutter. No, don’t remove all the knick-knacks.

Create a minimal, but still lived in feel in your home. I mean, it does need to look like you live there. So for families, definitely leave a couple of your kids’ favorite toys out. This helps them feel more comfortable with a stranger in their home, and it induces play (and natural smiles!).

Your YARD

Just because this is a “home session” doesn’t mean we have to stay inside! As long as the weather allows for it, we’ll definitely plan on spending some time outside. We can use your front yard or backyard, or even your driveway to chalk or blow bubbles!

So, think ahead about what you want to do, and if it means going outside, make sure your yard or porch is cleaned-up, de-cluttered, and photo-ready!

Make a PLAN

The week leading up to your session, do ALL LAUNDRY that will be photographed! Wash, dry, and iron/steam if needed, and then hang them up to minimize wrinkles. Don’t un-do all that hard work! Pull out shoes and accessories too.

Two days before your session, clean the big stuff in your home (sweep, mop, clean windows, bathe pets, etc). Save all detail work (de-clutter, clean windows again, etc) for the night before so it’s ready for the next day. DON’T TRY TO CLEAN THE DAY OF & DON’T WORRY ABOUT PERFECTION! It’s too stressful to deal with while you’re getting ready, and you’ll drive yourself nuts striving for perfection (that doesn’t exist because we’re all beautifully imperfect… and THAT’S perfect!)

If you want to have your makeup and/or hair done for your session (because it’s soooo nice to be pampered from time to time!), make sure you get it scheduled as soon as you book your session! Another reason I advocate for getting your makeup & hair done is because it’s one less thing for you to worry about and stress over with all the anxiety that can stir up preparing for a session. Just breathe – I got you! I can refer you to some amazing local talent to help you get ready! Check out my Makeup & Hair Pinterest boards some inspiration!


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Your WARDROBE

Oh… this is the part where people kinda start to freak out! Hard!! Suddenly you have ‘nothing to wear’… am I right?!? I go through this too! Like, it’s fine to wear at home or to work, but ON CAMERA????!!!??? Hell-to-the-NO!! Haha! THIS IS NORMAL!!! Please read that again.

First, take a deep ass breath and remember that this isn’t supposed to portray “the perfect life” – it’s your life! What do you have that best represents you? And I get it – sometimes we get ‘comfy’ and lose our style (I’m stuck in a legging & tank mom-look every day, and I’m trying to re-discover my style) and might have to make a purchase or two… or three…. to feel like your outside matches how you feel inside.

Coordinating for the whole family can be tough too – make sure you coordinate without looking too matchy-matchy. If you ever start feeling overwhelmed (like at the thought of matching multiple people), I’m here for you to help you narrow down your outfits and accessories if you need it! Check out my Pinterest board for some ideas!

Stay POSITIVE

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You’re probably like, “DUH!”… but having a positive mindset about your session as you get ready, before you arrive, and when you get there, makes all the difference! For everyone that’s a part of the session! This is exactly why I love having games and activities ready for kids of all ages – sometimes you just don’t know which attitude will show up for a session, but games and bubbles usually brings it all back to fun + smiles! 🙂

REMEMBER: if YOU are stressed, your family will be stressed too, and the photos will show it. Let go of fake perfection. Love your life. Celebrate your love. This is YOUR STORY.

Eat HEALTHY

Try cleaning up your diet in the weeks leading up to your session: cut back on sugary + processed foods, carbonated + sugary drinks; drink more water; eat more raw fruits + veggies.

Before your session starts, make sure to eat a filling, nutritious meal so you don’t end up hangry during the session. I know kids can be a wildcard when it comes to trying to prepare meals ahead, or maybe you missed grabbing a snack getting everyone else ready… so have snacks ready-to-go that are also “camera-ready”. This doesn’t have to be a crazy Pinterest creation/fail (ha!) Think fruit snacks, berries, melon, yogurt, or popcorn. YUMMY + EASY! happy belly = happy kids = happy parents

Introduce ME

Especially if you have little kids, you need to prepare them that someone is coming over to their house to hang out and take pictures of them playing. This will help to cut down on their adjustment to a stranger… because no matter how well behaved your kid is in real life, the moment I show up, they’ll either get super shy (like my daughter does) or get really weird and hyper (like I did, aaaand I’m pretty sure I still do…).

Either way, I expect it 10000% and it’s just a matter of time before they come around.  So please don’t feel like you need to apologize for your sweet precious because they ‘don’t usually act this way’. I believe you! But they still need to work it out! Telling them to stop or ‘act normal’, or getting upset, only makes it last longer. I take no offense to it but if their favorite toy or game is close by to distract them from my presence, then it’ll help them to get over me being there. (this is also where Stay POSITIVE comes in too!!)


Sugar Plum Creative Columbus Ohio Lifestyle Portrait Business Personal Brand Photography Films Videos
Sugar Plum Creative Columbus Ohio Lifestyle Portrait Business Personal Brand Photography Films Videos

Celebrate SUCCESS

So, I’m not above bribing my kid. If you feel that bribing with a treat is what works for your and the apple of your eye, make sure you have it ready to go after the session is over! Also, reward YOURSELF for a job well-done!! (photo of Cakes By Kat Bake Shop treats #supportlocal)

Print PHOTOS

Make sure that once you receive your download gallery that you make arrangements to print your images! This part is often overlooked these days. Yes, having digitals is GREAT, but nothing truly compares to having tangible images to enjoy (and even hold) everyday in your home.

Cover your walls and fill your home with your love + beautiful life! That’s why Sugar Plum Creative provides high-quality printing options, such as small prints, wall art, metal wall prints, albums & books. However, sessions do include a Print Release to print photos at other print labs. Just do your research on the print lab if you choose to order elsewhere – colors can be distorted when using retail print labs over professional print labs.


I would love to help you capture your amazing and unique story!

Click here to book a MAY Mini Session!

Every story is special and should be documented because it’s your legacy.
Let your story live on for years!


– Check This Out Before You Go! –

Follow Sugar Plum Creative on Social Media!

Beat the #FOMO and keep up with Sugar Plum Creative on all things social so you don’t miss out! Definitely make sure to follow along on Pinterest for all sorts of inspo too!

lifestyle portraits + brand photography
storytelling sessions

Columbus, Ohio


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