Why Your Home Is Not Too Dark For A Family Photoshoot

As an Edinburgh-based family photographer, I have many clients that also reside in and around the city. With its rich heritage and culture, beautiful architecture and breathtaking backdrop, Edinburgh attracts scores of visitors from all over the world. But what people don’t flock here for is sunshine. Not to say that we don’t enjoy gloriously sunny days, but they certainly can’t be relied upon. Which is why, when booking a family photoshoot at home, clients often worry there won’t be enough light for me to work with. Well, here I hope I can lay these worries to rest...

Woman lovingly kissing her male partner’s head whilst he smiles contentedly in black and white.

Light plays an integral role in photography, but I can get all the light I need from just one small window. Many older homes in Edinburgh are blessed with rather large, grand windows but, I assure you, even if you have a modern home with small windows, I will find at least one room with sufficient light for our photoshoot. More often than not, the best time to shoot a home-based family photography session is mid-morning, when the sun is at the highest point in the sky, filling your living space with the optimum amount of light. It’s also the perfect time of day if you have a young family – not too early that you’re rushing around getting ready but not too late that the children are tired and cranky! However, before the photoshoot takes place, I always do a little research and ask a few questions to familiarise myself with your home. I like to find out which way your rooms face, as this may influence when we shoot, particularly, if say, your room of choice is flooded with light at a certain time of the day. You can read more about how I approach family lifestyle photography here.

Mother and father holding newborn baby, standing in front of a window.

If there really is only one room that lets in enough light, but that room happens to not be a favourite of yours, don’t despair, most of the photographs can be close-ups – intimate shots, particularly befitting maternity, newborn or couples' photography sessions. I will focus in on faces, capturing unique expressions, loving glances and eye-locked gazes. During maternity photography sessions, the bump will be the star of the show and, during newborn shoots it will, of course, be the baby. The close-up options during a newborn photoshoot feel endless – shots of their tiny feet and hands, mother and baby nursing, baby sleeping, baby gripping their first soft toy, etcetera, etcetera. Many scenarios cross over into family and couples’ photoshoots too, with cuddles and kisses, and snuggles on a sofa or bed. And, of course, couples usually love photographs of their engagement or wedding rings, close-up shots of their hands affectionately intertwined.

Woman cradling her baby bump in front of a window in black and white.

A thoughtfully placed prop will go a long way when shooting in a confined space. Flowers, artwork and soft furnishings enrich the images with their colour and texture. An attractive detail in the room, like a period feature or the corner of a mantlepiece can add context and interest. To produce an even wider catalogue of images, I can also play with the light, altering the atmosphere and the depth of the shots. Some of the ways in which I can do this is by asking you to look towards the window to highlight your faces; shooting at an angle to the window, or partly drawing curtains and blinds, to create shadows or, if you’re lucky enough to have a window with a tree outside, positioning you in front of it to create a pretty dappled light effect. In the darkest depths of winter, a simple way to add light and set a cosy familial scene is by stringing up fairy lights or lighting a candle or two – the results can be magical.

Boy in green t-shirt cuddling teddy bear with fairy lights in the background.

If, before reading this, you did have any doubts about whether your home is light enough for a lifestyle photoshoot, I hope I’ve now dispelled them. You can find out more about my home photography sessions here. If you'd like to book one, or have any questions, simply fill out the form on my contact page, and I’ll be in touch.