Christmas is so close now – and despite the lack of snow here in the south of England, it’s still getting chilly and the best place to be seems to be indoors, snuggled up on the couch underneath a blanket, a hot drink in hand.

When it comes to family photography, most people talk about the colours of autumn, changing leaves and fun in the park. Yes, that can be amazing for photos. But the style that I offer doesn’t rely on nice weather or pretty surroundings. Documentary family photography happens right where you are – and if it’s cold outside, where you prefer to be, might very well be your home.

5 reasons why winter in-home family photo sessions are the best

That’s quite a mouthful of a title, isn’t it?! But let’s just get to it…

The spirit of Christmas and family and togetherness

December is filled with the spirit of Christmas. Fairy lights, decorations, Christmas trees, mince pies, letters to Santa, Christmas shopping, family time… The older we get, the more the focus changes from presents to family gatherings but no matter your age, there’s always something magical about this time.

It also seems to be the time when parents remember they have a fancy camera they can bring out to take some family pictures. I know it is with my family. Every Christmas, my dad would get his DSLR out, realise the batteries are flat and that he didn’t even download last year’s photos from the SD card. It won’t stop him though to suddenly rediscover his joy of taking pictures. However, the photos aren’t that great. And he’s barely in them. But then again, I will take pictures too, which means he’s in them but I won’t. Someone is always missing…

What if you could have someone else do this for you? Someone to capture everyone around to make sure no family member will be missing in the photos because they’re holding the camera year after year? You can have some real, honest and beautiful memories captured in an unobtrusive and candid way buy hiring a photographer – I know, you probably didn’t see that suggestion coming, reading an article on a family photographers blog 😉 But just stay with me!

 

How much do you enjoy the cheesy smiles, unflattering photos, being blinded by an on-camera flash and the fact that mum or dad are never in the photos? Obviously, none of this might apply to you, I’m literally just speaking from my own experience.

So, in the spirit of family gatherings, booking an in-home family photo session is a great way to have a collection of images of everyone around. With a documentary session, you also know you’ll get some honest moments that show your family connections, your dynamics and traditions in a way that won’t be forced. There’s something really special about capturing real emotions and family routines in pictures. Years later, you will be able to look through an album of photos and remember the traditions you started when your kids were little. Or that small flat that you lived in right after starting your own family. Those memories will be priceless!

Indoor activities to do together

What are your favourite indoor activities? Something you love to do when it’s too cold to go outside… Baking a cake? Reading a book? Painting? Jumping on the bed? Anything goes!

The best thing about a documentary family photo session – no matter if that happens indoors or outdoors – is that you don’t have to change what you would usually do. You just go on about your day while I come and hang out with you, documenting things that you like to do as a family.

But it’s also not necessary to plan a million activities to fill the day – sometimes there’ll be downtime where everyone spends a bit time on their own. That’s part of every family’s routine and getting pictures of that will be just as valuable as anything else.

The excitement of the time of the year

Children love winter for Christmas and the excitement of getting presents. And making Christmas cookies. Opening another door on the Advent calendar every morning for a little sugar rush. Snow outside (depending on where you live) and the anticipation of building a snowman… All the things!

Children’s imagination is endless and the ideas they come up with are not just amazing but sometimes hilarious. This is what makes winter so magical. It’s cold outside so a lot of family life happens inside. You get to see more of each other within the confinement of your home. While that obviously can be tough at times, it can also be exciting. It means we spend more time making the house cosy and comfy and just hanging out in each other’s company.

The excitement of winter is hanging in the air above us. With busy lives and family responsibilities, it’s not always easy to see or appreciate. But if you pause for a moment, you’ll be able to feel it. Maybe even see it. That’s what I want to capture for you!

The weather doesn't matter

During an in-home photo session, the weather outside really doesn’t matter. Of course, a sunny day will provide more light inside the house (great for photos) but even on gloomy and grey days, we can create beautiful images of your family at home.

If you plan an outdoor photo session, you will most likely have to reschedule when it’s raining non-stop. There’s always the opportunity to put on wellies and a raincoat and brace the weather but after a little while, this will get old. And cold. But if the outdoors where not even part of the plan, there could be a snowstorm outside and it wouldn’t make a difference to capturing you indoors. See how this makes literally everything easier?

What about Hanukkah?

This literally just came to my mind when speaking to a friend this morning. The end of the year is so defined by Christmas which is much more than a religious holiday. I’m not religious at all so for me Christmas was never about celebrating Jesus – but it’s still tied to Christianity originally.

However, Hanukkah happens in this beautiful month of December too. The Jewish Festival of Lights… It’s full of history and meaning and if you celebrate this, wouldn’t it be amazing to have some of your traditions documented? Just think about it! What are activities that you connect to Hanukkah that could be photographed? What would that mean to your and your family?

What do you think? Are you with me on the advantages of winter indoor family photo sessions? It’s not too late to book one before Christmas or for the new year. Get in touch so we can talk about your family and plans.

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