Doing an in-home couple session can be super beneficial for you and your couple in more ways than one, especially if camera shyness is a factor. Sometimes, even the most outgoing, bubbly and comfortable-in-their-own-skin couples can kinda tense up in front of the lens.
In fact, we all do it — as soon as we know we’re being watched, we begin to change our behavior.
So, you can find yourself in a tricky situation if the soon-to-be weds do want a more formal photoshoot as well. How can you get the most from them if they find it uncomfortable to pose for you?
Our answer: suggest in home couple session.
Keeping the couple in their own surroundings can help wash away any fear or insecurity, as well as provide a fun — and totally unique — home studio backdrop.
It’s also an ideal solution for a couple who’s planning to elope but wants to document their wedding journey for others.
With so many reasons to do it, here are our in home photo tips.
Swing by to Meet the Couple Before Their Couple Session
Combine a camera-shy person with nerves about being publicly intimate, and THEN also not knowing the person behind the camera very well… well, it’s no wonder that they clam up.
Alleviate these nerves by meeting up beforehand. Get to know your couple and allow them to get to know you a little.
This pre-session meet will deliver a bunch of different benefits.
For one, you get to see what they are all about, and get a read of the energy between them. Are they giggly and silly, more solemn and serious? This will impact the style of shoot you plan for the day.
Another benefit for you: you can scope out the space, so you turn up more prepared on the day. How much natural light does the home get? What kind of decor will you be working with?
These — although entirely out of your hands — can have a suuuuperbig influence on how the prints turn out. So, it pays to be prepared!
And most importantly, it gives the couple a chance to meet you and see what you’re all about.
Once they realize you’re only trying to get some gorgeous wedding shots for them — and that your camera is nothing to be intimidated by! — they’ll soon relax in your company.
If there’s no chance to hang out before, plan an extra half an hour at the beginning of the session where you arrive & just have coffee together. Have a chat, get to know each other and ease into the couple shoot.
Give the Home A Little Tidy Before — But Don’t Declutter Too Much
Okay, so you’ve gotta use your judgement here.
If you turn up and their home is messy, then you will need to sort it out a little.
But — and this is very important — you need to also respect their space.
How do you think the couple will feel if you come through like a whirlwind, changing the space they call home? It’s certainly not going to help them relax.
So, you’ll need to strike the right balance: create a photogenic space, with good framing and composition, but maintain the unique personality of the home that is theirs — the place they call home.
Create A Relaxed Atmosphere for You in Home Couple Session with Some Sweet Tunes
Music has a magic ability to loosen people up, so whack on some tunes to break the ice and get them in the mood.
Perhaps there’s an album the couple loves, or that has emotional significance for them? Maybe, they’ll even give you a little teaser of their first dance?
If not, come along to the in home couple session with your own smartphone and portable speaker, so you can step into the role of DJ if needed.
Without music, it may take you all a little longer to warm up.
Plan A Fun and Disarming Warm Up Activity to Kick Off the Shoot
Nothing lifts energy levels better than a short and fun warm up activity.
Doesn’t have to be anything serious or demanding, it could be as simple as whipping up some pancakes — something which’ll act as a subtle aphrodisiac.
If you get the sense your couple has a playful streak, then a mini round of Mr and Mrs could be a great way to get everyone laughing.
Ultimately, do what you gotta do to get the couple to open up. It’s surprising how quickly this can happen with a good ice breaker. Then you can roll straight into capturing gorgeous loved-up shots.
Keep the Couple Laughing Throughout the Whole Session
Staged smiles look so… staged! So, as the photographer, it will fall to you to encourage natural and genuine smiles from your subjects.
The best way to guarantee this? Keep the couple laughing!
Dancing around to music, asking them questions about their relationship or the big day coming up, encouraging them to interact with each other and their home… all of these will keep the giggles flowing.
Don’t Be Scared to Get Up Close and Personal
Despite what we said above, if all you get are happy and hilarious final shots, you’re missing a trick.
There’s something wonderfully private about a couple’s home. That’s why a home session has one major advantage over a studio or outdoors shoot… you can get way more up close and personal!
PDA isn’t PDA if it’s in the home; by nature, it’s not public!
Knowing that there’s no one else watching may provide the right mood for some mega romantic gesturesto take place.
Of course, not all couples will be game for kissing and cuddling in front of you, so don’t push it if you get a slightly frosty reaction.
But towards the end of the home session, you may feel like the mood is right to get some more intimate shots. Ask one to hold the other in their arms, encourage a few little kisses on the cheek or the lips.
And if you’re shooting a heterosexual couple, don’t just let the man take the lead; knock convention on the head and have the woman make the first move.
Keep it PG though guys, right?
In Home Couple Sessions Are A Great (And Unique) Add-On for Your Wedding Services
Home sessions can be fun, for you and the couple, and produce some beautiful end results.
It might be that the couple treat a home session as a practice run for the ceremony itself or are looking for some standalone photos to print in an album.
Either way, there’s really no additional cost or complexity for you. So, if you’re not offering home sessions already… why not?
And home sessions aren’t just perfect to capture pre-wedding anticipation. You can also get some incredible, intimate moments in maternity home sessionstoo – check out our article on that, if you’re interested!
Connection is what it’s all about. Feel free to reach out to us with any comments or questions you might have, even if it’s only to say hello. If it wasn’t for our beautiful community, this place just wouldn’t feel the same.