In-Home, Studio or on Location?

With professional family portraits, deciding whether to do the session in a studio, at home or on location — it can be hard to determine which is best.

In-Home Session

I advise doing family portrait sessions at home, especially with young children. It is the perfect way to capture the family’s love and connection in an environment they know and where the children are at ease. At-home sessions also offer an excellent variety of options for imagery. Children often need a break from the photo session, and they can play or eat while I capture mom and dad, nursery, and children’s room details. Sometimes those moments when children go off and play are some of the best images.

Before arriving at you home we will have talked at least once, probably texted about wardrobe and the weather, When I arrive we’ll walk through and choose locations in the home, I may move a few things around! It’s really a lovely way to capture family photos, the kids enjoy it and we can create some beautiful images that will last a lifetime.


This is my second recommendation, first with kids older than 1-1/2. It seems that getting kids away from home has it benefits too - they can run around, it’s an interesting change. And older kids tend to behave better for a different adult, when not at home. This makes it easier on the parents. Choosing a location like a nature center or arboretum – yes we want trees, hills and flowers, but outbuilding and other structures really help add diversity to the images. Most photographers will have 3 or 4 locations they know well and have chosen because they can create great images there.


I do in-studio sessions for newborn posed sessions and some portraits like headshot or “kid shots” (see below). For me and my style of photography, it doesn’t make sense for me to do in-studio family sessions. It depends on the style that you’re looking for - lifestyle photographers will generally not shoot in-studio. For the brighter a little more posed photography in-studio is great. Some studios will have several areas setup for sessions like a bedroom, living room and large window background - this helps add some variety to the images..

Lisa Poseley