This guide will walk you through the how-to’s for a successful in-home style Family Portrait session with hot tips on what works best for your family photography shoot.

P.S This style shoot can also work for Maternity, Newborn, Engagement and Headshot Portraits too!

Hey guys! I thought this photo session was one worth sharing as a blog because I feel the style of it can be easily implemented in any Portrait Session and the tips in here are worth sharing if you are wanting some fine-art, documentary style photographs in the comfort of your home!

Take a step away from the usual and have your portraits captured in a much more unique way that is best telling the story of you and your home-life. This is a place that will indefinitely hold the most memories for you, therefor turning these images into pieces of art that will be even more special to yourself and those involved in the session.

I always aim to produce work that has a lot of meaning. Dreamy and timeless imagery that is best representing your individual stories in the present time. So let me take you through the appropriate steps to best achieve this for your photo session!

Rule number 1:

So with any of my photoshoots that are held indoors, they will always work best when we are near a part of the house that lets in a lot of the natural light. Because if we aren’t near this natural source then our photographs will look muddy, boring and flat.

Without light and shadows playing together on our portraits the images will always look quite basic and plain and we do not want that! We want to enhance your story with proper use of lighting.

Lighting is a tool that can be used to help or encourage a feeling in any photograph – and for a photographer this is so important to master and use for each and every session.

Every photoshoot is going to be different because each session has a different story. But with the use of light we can manipulate this to suit your particular and present vibe!

That is why it is so important for me to converse and get to know my clients before our sessions commence. To successfully represent who you all are I must gain some background knowledge on who I am photographing – this is super important as it all ties in with the way I use the light in your portraits.

Rule Number 2:

Now, this one is a hard one to put into words as it can contradict itself – “A TIDY MESS”

Because the way I shoot is more documentary it’s important for your home to be in its natural form. As this will best represent your living space because it is realistic to you. BUT…

…It does help to be photographing in a space that is tidy – in respects to the finer details that won’t require me editing/photoshopping too many unnecessary objects or messes out.

See what I mean by contradicting? Haha!

So, the best way I can describe this is I want your home to be as it is but with the unnecessary parts to be tidied or put/cleaned away.

I want to see the children’s toys and books but we don’t want these aspects SO involved and present in your photos that it is overbearing.

Because after all, my main focus is YOU. The objects in your home are but sprinkling of information in your images to further enhance the story we are expressing.

I hope this makes sense as this is a very important part of a successful and minimal story-telling photo session.

Rule Number 3:

HAVE FUN! Act as though I am not even there (I know, easier said than done haha!).

This is the great thing about being photographed in the comfort of your own home – you are already comfortable!

Knowing that no extra eyes are gawking or having a nosey at what is going on is a huge bonus with feeling totally comfortable.

I will lead with instructions on where I want you to be and I may initiate some actions for you all to do from time to time (lifting kids up in the air etc). Initiating actions like these will encourage natural movements and natural emotions and this is where the magic is. This is where I’ll be waiting to capture those intimate and raw moments! Haha, sounds creepy but it’s the truth!

YAY! So now you know a few of the KEY elements to a successful in-home style family portrait session – or any kind of portrait session for that matter! That is the great thing about an in-home documentary style portrait as it can be implemented to maternity, newborn, engagement and even headshot portraits too! A lot of versatility.

Please check out the following link here: Eilish Burt Photography Portrait FAQ’s

To check out my commonly asked questions for portrait photography. Because if you have any questions relating to your session, you’ll probably find it there!


February 1, 2022

In-Home Documentary style Family Portrait, Auckland – And How To Have One In Your Home

Eilish Burt


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