Redefine | In-Home Sessions Feature by Jessica Byrum – Photographer

pinnableredefine“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it.”

Why are you passionate about this topic?

So often I hear “my house is too ugly/old for in-home photography” and basically, it’s crap. Our house was built in 1910, there are no straight walls, nothing is the right shade of white, and half of our cupboard doors/drawers are missing. But I shoot in my house every day. It’s not about the space you have, it’s about how it is used.

I shot this entire session in an entryway, a bedroom, and a bathroom. I delivered over 100 images to this client.

When did you first learn this technique? Or, when did you first realize you liked this topic?

I have 3 kids under the age of 3. I’ve been pregnant and/or have had a newborn for the last 4 years. Getting out of the house isn’t easy, so I got used to using the space I had here at home. It taught me to see the light and possibilities of a shot from every possible angle, because I’d get bored with shooting if I didn’t move around and try to areas in the house.

When I go into a client’s home for their session, I ask them if I can look around. I see where the light hits, the corners and shadows it creates. Even if the client thinks you’re nuts, you have to make them trust you. They don’t see their home as we do. To us, it is a blank canvas.

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique? (aim for at least 5, but any are welcome)

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask to look around. The small bedroom in the back that they keep their sewing machine in, may be hiding the best light.
  2. Use more than one outfit! And don’t be afraid to ask to look in their closet. The red dress from this session called to me from the back of mama’s closet.
  3. Move around! Stand on a chair, shoot through door frames and around objects, use the natural lines in a room to your advantage.
  4. Think of pictures you’d like to have for yourself, shoot that. Chances are, the client doesn’t even know what they want.
  5. Bump that ISO! In-home/documentary/lifestyle sessions have a lot of lee weigh when it comes to grain, so if you don’t want to use a flash or artifical light, crank your ISO a little.
What were the challenges for you in the beginning?
 
When I first started in-home sessions, I struggled with white balance! A lot of times, homes don’t have the same colored walls in each room. I struggled with artifical light too. Mastering Kelvin has changed my work entirely. Now, I can pretty much walk into a room and set my Kelvin exactly where I need it.
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ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: 
I am a 30-something mom of 3, married to an outdoorsman. I am a self-admitted photography nut. I can’t turn it off! I think about it all day, it keeps me up at night. I often wake up in the middle of the night with ideas that I have to get out or they will gnaw at me. I fully believe in finding your voice, in not following every photographer out there, because it will muddy what your own vision is.
My kids are my main subjects, but I love love and brand new babies too!

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