A Joyful Approach to  Family Photography


Is My Home Too Dark for an In Home Session – Columbia Baby Photographer

Is My Home Too Dark for an In Home Session?

Columbia Baby Photographer – Kim Whipps Photography


One of the questions I’m more frequently asked during newborn and family session inquiries is “would my home be too dark for an in home session?”. To that, my answer is always no. I can make almost any home work, to the point where you don’t even NEED windows!

Let’s dive into a brief portrait lighting lesson to reassure you that your home is definitely not too dark for an in-home newborn or family session. I promise.

Lighting in Maryland homes can be tricky. Most often we have trees blocking the light near the windows, or sometimes other houses if you’re in the city. Home placement, furniture placement, the weather, etc. So much can impact it. Because of this, I made sure to learn both natural lighting and off camera flash.

Natural Lighting for Newborn and Family Sessions

For the most part, I’m always able to use all natural light during in home newborn and family sessions. We set up closer to windows which fortunately for me is where most families have their sofa’s or master beds placed. The first thing I do is open up all of the blinds and see where the light falls.

For this session here, I started with baby Vincent and we set up his poser right behind the sofa in the above photo, next to the window. I could see the light source was nice there so we pushed the sofa up a bit away from the window to allow some more space.  This was literally taken in between their sofa and window. I was able to photograph all of his solo shots there and some beautiful close up’s of him with mom.

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When it was time to move onto family, I knew we needed more space and I also wanted to replicate some of the adorable maternity images we photographed in their home a month ago.

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Ironically, even though it wasn’t an overcast day when we had the newborn session, the light was definitely a bit darker the morning of their newborn session. Most likely a result of the spring bringing on more leaves on the trees nearby. Regardless, I knew we’d have to make some adjustments.

Bring on the off camera flash!

Supplemental Lighting for Newborn and Family Sessions

Columbia Baby Photographer

I don’t often need to use supplemental lighting in newborn or family sessions, but it’s helpful to have the equipment and knowledge in the cases where I do need it. As a studio photographer for years, I am experienced in all types of light modifiers, from soft-boxes and strobes, to continuous lighting, to hot shoe flashes. I always bring my trusty Einstein but usually am able to keep it in my car. Typically, with lifestyle sessions, we are moving around a bit so I don’t like to be tied down to a soft-box if I can get away with it.  So in this case, I used a Speedlight attached to my Canon R6 hot-shoe, and bounced the light off the window behind the couch, so it would just enhance the light that was already there and also produce natural shadows.

So yeah, I don’t want you stressing one bit on whether or not your home is too dark for an in home session. I will likely write more on this topic, but for now, I need to get back to editing some cute and adorable families! The bottom line is, any home is good. I’ve got you covered. 😉

If you’re an expecting mom or have welcomed a new baby and you are looking for a Baltimore area or Columbia baby photographer, I would love to talk with you! To see more of my maternity & newborn portfolio please click here and feel free to reach out and ask any question you can think of. 

Xo Kim

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