These Palos Verdes family photos were so much fun! Mama Kate had the brilliant idea to snap her maternity photos at home in the morning, with a relaxed, intimate vibe. Then we transitioned to family and maternity photos at St. Francis Church in Palos Verdes. Both spots were in the morning, so even though we shot during an August heat wave, the air was still cool and fresh. I love the way these photos really bring out the personalities of each family member, and the authentic connection they have as they wait for their baby girl to arrive any day now.
(Click READ MORE to view more photos from this session)
Thousand Oaks family photos at home during COVID! Baby Claire was born at the very beginning of the pandemic (can you imagine?!?) and mama Alex missed out on newborn photos. BUT she didn't miss out on a sweet set of family photos with little Claire making allll the googly giggly baby noises and smiles. I'm so pleased with how these family photos at home turned out. Hanging out in the backyard enjoying one anothers' company. It just doesn't get better than this.
Honestly I didn't even know 3-day-old babies could smile. But Baby Goldie can! What a precious family photo session at home this was, with a new baby in the house and two doting older siblings and two more loving parents. This family is amazing and I so enjoy photographing them through the years and capturing moments like this at home with the kids.
These family photos at home in Agoura Hills are particularly special because the Fahy family are a one in a million family.... no, really. They just had their second set of twins. (Naturally, I might add.) Sure, the odds might have been with them because both mom and dad are themselves twins, but it's still pretty incredible. Two pregnancies, four kids. Where I come from I call that a bargain.
Since organizing the logistics of four children under the age of three to go anywhere requires an act of superhuman will, the Fahy's opted to have a photo session at home to commemorate the arrival of their second set of twins (Ethan and Lucy). They read books, they bounced on the bed, they tickled, they played with trucks, they got up and down and up and down with both sets of grandparents nearby. It. Was. Sheer. Joy.
And as It turns out, the older twins (Henry and Theo) are already big car guys (um, so adorable) so when they heard I drive a sports car, they basically vetoed the remainder of the photo shoot so they could run out to the street (in their boots) to sit in it. (Scroll to the end for that goodness.)
The Steinbacher family has a new baby in the house! Meet little Rhett, who arrived a few days early because he just couldn't wait to meet his big sister. We snapped these photos at home, with Rhett at 11 days old. Perfect timing for (mostly) sleepy snuggles with some open-eyed moments.
Photos at home are a great way to have newborn pictures made, because everyone is most comfortable and you have all the gear you need in case of a baby pee puddle. I recommend snapping newborn photos when Baby is 6-10 days old because newborn skin is still perfectly smooth with no breakouts (common with newborns).
The Zachary family gets a medal for cracking the at-home-photo-shoot code: BAKE COOKIES!!! Who would have thought that such a simple idea would result in SO many too cute for words detail and giggle photos?!? And then while the cookies were baking, we explored the rest of the house: play room, tea party in the bedroom, even a cuddle puddle on the couch and about four minutes of chalk drawing outside (three-year-olds have short attention spans).
Move over, perfect beach Christmas card photos, the cookie-making family photo session is here.
Does this cute family of four look familiar? Maybe you recognize Mama Z's baby bump from a couple years ago >> My how these kiddos grow...
I've said it before and I'll say it again:
I. Love. At home. Photo shoots.
And here's why:
1. It's part portrait sitting and part photojournalism. As you can see, some of these photos are posed and Christmas-card or frame-worthy. Cool. Totally what most people want for family photos. BUT, lots of these photos are the "in-between" kinds of moments. The snacks on the kitchen floor. The diaper changing and "Let me show you my room!" kinds of scenes that only happen when kiddos are comfortable in their own space. You don't get stuff like this at a park or at the beach. This is magic, and it only happens at home.
2. It's a time capsule. Not only will you have photos of your little looking the way they do today, but you'll have a snapshot of your whole space. Years down the road, these frames will trigger a whole host of memories, from "Oh, I remember that painting!" to "Look how small the trees are," to "Whoa that was before the remodel!" These photos aren't in a sterile studio or impersonal park; they're in your home.
3. Everyone is way more comfortable. You. Your kids. Me. Your pets. No one is going to get a parking ticket. No one has to hike to the "shoot location." No one is worried about random strangers in the background. It's just all you, your family, and your love, in your space. So kick your feet up onto the couch. Take a break to nurse your child. Change your outfit if you're feeling it—because you can!
I've been loving these at-home shoots lately, even and especially when there's a newborn in the mix. There's nothing like taking a few minutes to freeze time, especially when it feels like it all moves way too fast.
The holidays, a new baby brother, a cool grassy backyard, a sweet scooter.... all good reasons to celebrate with a family mini session at home! Whitney (mama) is a dear friend of mine who is really good at remembering to schedule photo shoots at regular intervals, to document the ever-changing, picture-perfectly imperfect moments that make up life with little ones. (She's also really good at remembering to print those photos too... I know, she needs to teach us all.) This at-home session was sweet and unexpected and snuggly, just like I imagine life with two-and-a-half-year-old and newborn boys is.
I'm starting to like this family-photos-at-home thing and I really hope it's going to become a trend. Read the rest of this post to see the sweetness of the Collins' family's 6am home session, featuring snuggles, scratch-made pancakes, a few tears, Curious George, and some back porch truck driving.
As a photographer, I work with families, couples, and brands in Southern California. As a graphic and website designer, I work with rad companies and humans around the world.