As of late, I have received a lot of requests to do in home sessions and I always feel a little pang of guilt when my response is always “Im sorry, I don’t come to you, I work out of my studio”. And I always want to explain myself but often there isn’t the right moment or its not in the right context or I don’t have the time. But I decided to explain my reasoning in an organized, thorough way so that my clients can understand WHY I choose to only work out of the studio. And no its not because I just don’t feel like it, or its more convenient for me, or because I don’t like to travel. There are several reasons why I no longer travel to clients’ homes. I know that it seems like such a great idea. After all, what new mom feels like lugging her baby, car seat, diaper bag full of all the things you can possibly fit into a 11×16 bag, your husband, etc into the car to travel to a new place you’ve never been to. But in reality, the few in home sessions Ive done have always somehow turned into less of a convenience than you would think for the newborn mom and family. And here is why.
1. Control. Yes. I admit it. Im a complete control freak. I like to have MY stuff at my fingertips. I know where things are. I know what I need and if something doesn’t work out, I can change it out quickly without having to inconvenience anyone. Newborns are unpredictable. They poop on your first blanket. They pee in your cutest pair of pants. And often times, things need to be substituted or reworked and when I am at my own studio, I have the freedom to do that. Rather than have to eliminate one whole set from your session, I can rework and change things so that we can get settled back into the workflow. And if you’ve ever browsed my website or been to the studio, you know… I have a lot of STUFF! Props, and blankets, outfits, hats, banners, backdrops, floors, etc. When someone says “you know Im not really crazy about that” its not a big deal to just pull out a few options and make a few adjustments. Sometimes, a color you think you will love, just doesn’t fit with your babies skin tones. Sometimes your blanket is too pink, or the baby has a bit of jaundice, or that cream throw blends too much with their skin. Or you really want a nice color to accentuate your babies crystal blue eyes or hints of red hair. Its important for me to have access to different things without loading my entire studio into my car. Some set up require quite a bit of preparation, in which case I like to have things set up and available for when you arrive so we can start right away.
2. Environment. The environment in my studio is suited to optimal newborn conditions. The temperature is perfect. There is enough space for me to move around freely. I can position my lights in the exact way I have to. Every in home newborn session I’ve done Ive either had to move furniture or rely on natural light all while trying not to inconvenience the client. My lights have a large footprint. They take up a lot of space and even an inch off can make a huge difference in the lighting of a photograph. Its important to me that i provide the highest quality photograph to every client. Understandably every parent worries about brining their baby to a new place within the first 2 weeks. But think about it. What is the first place you bring your baby to when you get home from the hospital? The doctors office!. And i can PROMISE you my studio is less germy and more comfortable than a doctors office 🙂
3 Convenience. You may think its easier for someone to come to you. But in reality, it really isn’t. You are paying me to do a service. I want you to be able to come in, hand over your baby, sit back and relax. In home sessions require a lot of work and energy on the part of the client. I don’t want my client to have to feel like a host. You don’t have to tidy up before I come, move furniture, prepare the proper room, worry about temperature, etc. I don’t have to pack up 100lbs of equipment and props and lug it through your house. And the best part, you don’t have to clean up after I leave. I am sure many of you who have come to me know that after a session, the studio looks as though a tornado has barreled through! Yes it will take you some time to get prepared to leave the house as a new parent. And it takes some getting used to. But once you walk in the door, you have a mini- vacation! You can relax, take a nap, have a snack and watch the show!
4. Time. Sessions last around 3 hours or so. When I have to come and set up, it significantly cuts into our shooting time. Setting up and getting everything together easily takes me a half hour before every session. That doesn’t include having to put up and breakdown set ups. Some set up require quite a bit of preparation, in which case I like to have things set up and available for when you arrive so we can start right away.
So while it seems enticing to have a photographer come to you, I encourage you to think about what I have presented here. And if you still feel like you’d rather have someone come to you, that is a personal decision and its totally fine! There are plenty of wonderful on location newborn photographers! Im very fortunate to have a space to call my own. I have learned over the years that when I have control over the environment, it is much easier to produce consistent quality results, which is my main goal 🙂