The Top 3 Mistakes Photographers Make at In-Home Sessions with Clare Barker Wells and Yasmina Cowan

Mistake #1: Prioritizing location over light 

Our mantra for all in-home sessions is this: light is the number one magic ingredient in every image. We get it. You have a vision in your head. A family joyfully cuddling up on the bed, hanging out on their couch or dancing in their living room. It’s simply perfect. Cut to your arrival at a client home only to find a dark bedroom or overly harsh light in the living room. What do you do? Follow the light! Don’t be afraid to lead your family to photograph them in “unconventional” spots for the sake of better light. Find a window, a hallway, a kitchen that has light and take some photographs there instead of forcing images in dull or flat light just because it’s traditional. Sure, take what we call the “granny shot” in the living room or bedroom, but if the light isn’t working don’t be afraid to MOVE and get creative to make the magic. Your clients will thank you for it.
The Heart of Home In-Home Family Session

Mistake #2: Not prepping your client 

Do not underestimate the importance of client education. We’re going to repeat that because it’s just that important. Do not underestimate the importance of client education. As in-home photographers, WE are the experts and so much of our job happens before we ever even pick up the camera.Beautiful images don’t just happen. They take a lot of work. It’s our job to prepare the client with everything from guidance on what to wear, how to prepare their home, and what to expect from you when you arrive. The more education you do on the front end, the more certain you can be you’ll be able to focus on taking beautiful imagery on the day (and that’s enough to focus on!)
Heart of Home In-Home Session with Mom and Kids

Mistake #3: Letting your client lead the session 

We have all been there. The client who is trying to get you to recreate that picture she saw on Pinterest. Kids running around, parents chaotically shouting demands at them to smile, to stand this way, to sit over here complete with a candy bribe. While it’s well-intentioned, it’s not exactly a winning recipe for standout images. It is our job to take the reigns of the session. While we like to think beautiful moments and connection just happen, they more often than not do not without our leadership. A huge part of our jobs as in-home photographers is to direct our subjects with confidence and to give them guidance about what to do to try to minimize the chaos that ensues.
Heart of Home In Home Session Family with Kids


He(art) of Home is a series of global luxury photography retreats founded by Clare Barker Wells and Yasmina Cowan. It is a workshop built around the idea of home and their shared love of lifestyle photography. Their aim is to connect with photographers who want to embrace the unconventional in their business and photograph families where they feel most happy and at ease: at home. Follow them on Instagram here. 

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