I often get inquiries from potential clients who have viewed my portfolio and assume I work out of a studio.
ALL of my family sessions, including the plain background photos, are shot in my client’s homes.
In this post, I’m sharing my quick and easy tips on how I create the studio look. And all without a portable backdrop insight.
No need for additional lighting, no heavy backdrops, using what is already available.
Over the years I’ve created many a minimalist image using only available light & my client’s walls. In most cases, my clients have asked for that style of image to be included in amongst their more natural playful images. As a result, they have become another element included in the lifestyle session.
For my clients who love this look, I take away the hassle and stress of loading the family into the car, worrying about bringing changes of clothes, snacks for the kids, extra nappies and all the other eventualities you may have considered by coming to you.
Not all clients have white, pale walls, work with what you are given. You are ultimately capturing their life in their home. If you happen upon a bright orange wall, don’t be afraid to use it. If your client is an art lover and every wall is adorned with amazing work, use it. Or your client is a bookworm and has a mini library, use that.
- When your client shows you around their home, look out for a plain wall.
- Be aware, you may have to politely ask if it’s possible to remove A picture frame if there isn’t one available.
- Remove as much clutter as possible to make your job easier when you’re editing. For example, the coffee cup in the shot. Take two seconds to move it or 5 minutes to edit out per photo!
- Remove any picture hanging nails in post.
- Ensure when you are shooting that you leave enough of an edge around the subject. This is in case you need to extend or clone any wall space.
- Look for your light source and position your subjects to catch the light where possible.
- Learn to see the light and work with what’s available.
But my home doesn’t look like your clients.
The assumption is that all my clients live in huge mansions and untouched show homes. First and foremost, THIS IS NOT TRUE. They are normal families living in one-bed flats to 4 bedroom penthouses. The London terraced house to the home in the country. It’s my job to create your lifestyle images in any setting. It’s my job to see the best light and to create beautiful images in any circumstance.
I assure you, your home is big enough, photogenic enough and light enough. So unless you live in an underground bunker, you have windows and your walls make the perfect simple backdrop.
Take a look at the pullbacks below and you’ll see how I work my magic.
A lovely large hallway with the main light source coming from the front door to the left of the shot.
Sometimes the wardrobes can double as a backdrop – natural light from a window behind me.
In terms of your home being photogenic unless you are auditioning for “The hoarder next-door,” we don’t have a problem. Your home is loved and lived in, an extension of you, your family and your life and that is what I am there to capture.
Speakers, doorways & wall lights removed whilst editing – light from a window to the right of the shot.
Remove the little things, unplug charging wires, other distractions can usually be removed in photoshop. Remember everybody has “stuff”, so please ease up on yourselves.
Window light behind me, the final image was re-cropped slightly, with the removal of light switches & picture hooks in photoshop.
Fantastic room – window light from the left – door frames & sockets removed.
The light issue. Natural light is my first love and always has been. If you have windows you have a source of light. We sadly don’t have the joy of warm Californian sun and mostly have to work around grey or overcast sky. It’s about seeing the light and working with what you have, and very much part of my creative process.
I’m actually balancing on the back of my client’s sofa for this one with the light from the window behind me – wall extended to hide the door & sockets removed.
These examples mainly focus on the cleaner studio look, however, I will utilize all of your home, after all, it is your own personal studio.
What’s stopping you from booking your next session? not your home!
Get in touch via the contact page and start documenting your life.