Cozy At-Home Couple’s Session Tips :: Arri + Patrick

There's nothing like an at-home, cozy, lifestyle sesh -- relaxed, surrounded by the things you know and love, not distracted by cheering bystanders (beyond me, of course), just love this! There is the reason why "Home is where the Heart is".

Arrianne and Patrick's session was no different - 'sweet' and totally at ease is the best way to describe the vibe start to finish. With kisses and hugs and laughter between sips of coffee we explored their dreamy White Bear Lake boat docks apartment. And, since they basically have a coffee shop in the building, we explored those common spaces as well (kid in the candy store! I tell ya!). We had fun!

Read on for some tips if an at-home session seems just up your alley! —Ester

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You don't need an occasion to do an at home session! 

Newborns are great, but an engagement session is not the only reason to have your love documented at home. If a no-reason session seems frivolous, make it your Anniversary (or an early Valentine's day? Christmas? Birthday?) gift for her or to each other. Guys, let me tell you a secret… A way to your heart might be to show up naked and bring food, but… a way to her heart is to not just gift photos, but to be all about them, excited, game for anything - that’s pure romance. She digs that. I promise. And, these are NOT the kind of photos you can take yourself or with your iPhone. It’s love, it’s motion, it’s emotion, it’s me figuring out what makes you tick, what’s your flavor. What a better way to celebrate love than to capture it, and cover your walls reminding you every day of how you feel! Cuz, prints baby. LOVE PRINTS!

Here are a few things to know about at-home sessions: 

(i.e: what Pinterest won't tell you ;)) 

  • HOW I GET INSPIRED - If you just can’t keep yourself from browsing Pinterest, that’s cool. I’ve fallen prey to the obsession as well at times LOL ;) But, I’m going to ask you to limit yourself to 1-2 images MAX to show me during your session. I do NOT want a Pinterest board. Believe me, I’m full of ideas! I do my own research. And, I get inspired by your surroundings, showing up in your home and seeing what I have to work with. Browsing your shelves and seeing what you’re into is like a spark that ignites inspiration (vintage records? awesome fireplace? plush couch? amazing white on white bedding? gorgeous light in the bedroom? coffee paraphernalia that would make the local nerd coffee shop blush? cuddly poodle?) — every couple is different. I LOVE seeing your place, the artwork you choose, your decor, and seeing what will tell your story best! Show me the real you, show me what you’re into, show me whether you’re all nerdy scrunched nose laughter while you brew your double espresso macchiato with Oatly Barista Milk, or lose yourself in a good book in your matching reading nooks - the goofball, the nerd, the introvert, the extrovert ready to jump on the bed. I want to get to know YOU, and your love language. That’s how we get the best photos that fell like you!

  • Let’s speak GEEK - PICK INDOOR OR OUTDOOR, let’s not try to squeeze both into our session (unless it’s right outside your house, and the light is blessed) - When you’re browsing the almighty Pinterest, falling in love with more and more ideas — keep in mind that those awesome shots you see indoor vs. outdoor were all likely taken at completely different times of day, and different sessions , different locations (states / countries). Our best bet is to stick to one option, indoor in this case since that’s what you’re considering. If we get lucky I can try to make something happen right outside, or on your deck, etc. but plan on one and you'll get better results. There are so many fun options for indoor sessions!

  • WHEN IS THE BEST LIGHT INDOOR? - Well, it depends on what we’re going with. Generally speaking 9 or 10am works great for indoor, 1.5 hrs before sunset works best for outdoors. WHY? It's because while the sun is getting towards overhead, which is not great for being outdoors - think Dracula shadows, harsh bright light, squinting, etc. - the light comes in from the windows inside our homes in a diffused manner. The later in the day, the more sunshine peeks into the windows eventually flooding the space with light OR the light hides over nearby trees and buildings and your house gets dark. Personally, might light has very interesting warm light at around 2pm, but if I was scheduling an indoor session (which I’ve done for me and my babe and have loved it!!!!) I’d still go with 10am.

  • PRE-PLAN + PREP - Keep in mind, your hose is becoming our studio for the day, so make sure your space is fairly de-cluttered, beds made, toss pillows fluffed and in their order, TV remotes & Kleenexes put away, etc. or we'll be spending more time dusting and tidying up than snuggling and shooting. Now, you do not have to vacuum under the couches or clean out your china cabinet (unless you need motivation, in which case proceed away ;)), we’re talking surfaces decluttered, staged, tidied up.

  • OUTFITS - COZY IS THE NAME OF THE GAME - so wear something you can semi-move in, sit on the ground or couch in, etc. Otherwise my conclusion from the sesh will be - she looked cute and... he wore really tight pants (read - couldn't breathe LOL ;)) Go barefoot whenever possible!

    Girls, you don’t have to get a pedicure, but a slather of rich lotion makes sure your feet are not white and crackly (especially in the winter). No polish or nudes / neutrals are better than chipping polish. One of my favs is “Stop it I’m blushing” from OPI, or “Tiramisu for Two” also by OPI - they go with anything! Onyx - well, who does'n’t like black… And if you use a coat of Seche Vite quick dry your digits will dry before you have a chance to mess them up. :)

  • THE DETAILS - I love oriental rugs, nail-head couches, white-on-white bedding, and overall seeing what makes your space spell "you". We might not stick to one place. Sometimes a kitchen or a seemingly un-romantic space like the laundry room or a gorgeously lit hallway can create the coolest photos!!! I go where the light is dreamy, and where the inspiration takes me, so don’t get weirded out by me shooting a couple frames of your fern, or some books on the shelf, just relax and get into the whole experience. :)

    Thanks for reading! Can’t wait to see your home, see what you’re into, and capture your story. --- Ester