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Guide to in home sessions - photographing couples

Quiet, intimate, and climate-controlled fun

Wed 18 Dec 2019
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Photo by @murphyephotography

Gone are the days of stiff, cookie-cutter couple portraits in front of tacky blue backdrops. As more and more people discover the joys of welcoming a photographer into their home, we’re getting to see snaps that offer a personalised and intimate window into a time of their lives. Even offering a different set of advantages to the ever-popular location shoots, there are many reasons why a in-home session could be a perfect option for your couples. With full control of space and distraction, the creative possibilities of an in-home session have the potential to lead you deeper into an authentic depiction of the unique personalities in front of your lens. The appeal of a quiet, intimate, and climate-controlled zone without a single tourist or rubbernecker invading your personal space is often enough to convince couples to choose this path. Here are some things to consider when feeling out whether an in-home session is right for you and your clients.

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Image by @bebavowels

1. Comfort

If you’ve fought the uphill battle of keeping hair out of your face in the wind, you know the struggle. Add lipgloss to the equation, and that uphill battle just gets steeper. Not to mention the betrayal of upper lip sweat, or on the flip-side, blue lips and chattery teeth. Don’t get us wrong, we love The Great Outdoors, but being exposed to the elements can really create a few hurdles on the road to getting that money shot of your couples in love.

The camera isn’t great at telling lies. If the couple you’re shooting is uncomfortable, the image will show that. If they’re self-consciously buckling under the curiosity of nosy tourists, or freezing their butts off, it won’t matter how beautiful the backdrop is.

The peace of mind that comes with shooting them at home allows them to relax into a space that is already familiar to them, allowing you to capture what really matters: their connection.

If your couple isn’t comfortable with snuggling up in public, this gives them the opportunity to express affection in a space that is private and familiar. Have one of them throw the other onto a bed. Failsafe way of making them giggle? Get them to let out a little farting sound when they land.

Plus, it’s not PDA unless you’re actually in public. So what to call it? DA? We might keep brainstorming that one.

Prompt ideas:


List your favourite breakfast foods in a british accent in her ear.


Mess her hair up then pull her in for a quick heated kiss.


Use your nail to trace a shape on his back, slooooowwwly, so you give him goosebumps.


Arch your back like a cat stretching.

Photo by @caramia

Physically walking into our client’s spaces, and being able to explore their lives through the things that they choose to surround themselves with gives us so much insight. What moves them? What’s important to them? What makes their house a home?

Their space is a goldmine for conversation starters about what they value and how they live. Ask them what they’d like to showcase and what they’d like to avoid. Ask them what their favourite part of the house is, how they spend their mornings on their days off.

It’s where they likely spend the majority of their time together -- complete with the souvenirs they picked up in Guatemala, the housewarming gift from their parents, and that much-debated velvety pink cushion nestled into the corner of their couch.

Prompt ideas:


Pillow fight!


Read your grocery list aloud to each other.


Make a fart nose when you land on the bed.


Tickle the little hairs on the back of his neck.


Count the freckles on each others faces.

Photo by @halliesigwing

3. Celebrating at home

Whether they’re celebrating an anniversary, or are beginning to settle into the new house they’ve just bought together, having an in-home session is often a really special opportunity for couples to celebrate the home they’ve cultivated together.

For all you wedding photographers out there, this could be an incredible opportunity to simultaneously get to know your couple better before the big day whilst also helping them create a memento that represents a precious stage of their relationship. Ask one of them to pick the other up and carry them into the next room, getting a shot of them framed by their space.

Side note: In most cases it’s important they live together if you’re going to shoot them at home. If they don’t, finding a space where they feel equally comfortable (like a really beautiful AirBnb) is often the best place to start.

Prompt ideas


Try to roll the other person off the bed.


Put your hands on his chest, very posessively.


Whisper into the others’ ear the most intimate moment they shared together recently.


How do you keep each other laughing?

So, things to keep in mind are: how confident are your couple expressing themselves romantically in public? How outward are they with their affection? What’s the weather been like lately? Are they renovating? Does their house get a lot of beautiful natural light? What sort of location helps you to capture their relationship in the best possible way?

In-home sessions can offer unique advantages for your couples, allowing them to express freely without worry of judgement or distraction. Looking beyond the current trend of pillow fights and cuddles in sepia hues, there is a deeper message to be told about the intimate moments of couples in their homes.

Let's recap:

  • Start by getting to know your couple and gleaning some insights about their dynamic.
  • Figure out if they live together, and if the space they live in is suitable to shoot in.
  • Use dynamic prompts to capture the intimacy of your couples at home.
  • Download the unscripted app if you haven’t already for endless posing and prompt inspiration to nail your indoor couple photoshoot sessions
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How do I prepare for an indoor couples' photography session?

Preparing for an indoor couples' session involves selecting a suitable location, considering lighting options, and discussing your vision with the clients.

What are some creative indoor photography ideas for capturing intimate moments between couples?

You can explore ideas like cozy home sessions, in-bed photos, cooking together, or even using props to create a unique and intimate atmosphere.

What equipment and lighting techniques are essential for successful indoor couples' photography?

You'll need a camera with low-light capabilities, prime lenses, and the knowledge of using natural or artificial lighting techniques to create a warm and inviting ambiance.

How can I help couples feel comfortable and natural during an indoor photoshoot?

Building a rapport with your clients, offering guidance, and using prompts and poses that encourage genuine interactions can help couples feel at ease and natural in front of the camera.