We did something a little different this year for family photos! We usually opt for outdoor photos at a park or somewhere scenic, but we went a little homier this year. Melanie Beddow of Mel B Photography came to our house once it was all decorated for Christmas for an in-home photoshoot!
Why an at-home shoot?
- It’s special. It feels like us. Something about having photos taken in our home where all the big and little things in life happen feels really warm and fuzzy. These photos make me emotional in all the right ways.
- We were in our comfort zone. Or more importantly, the kids were in their comfort zone. If you’ve ever tried to take pictures with toddlers, you know it’s a challenge. Having them at home, in their own space made it all go a little more smoothly.
- It was convenient. We didn’t have to drive anywhere so we weren’t as rushed getting ready. We didn’t have to pack anything or worry about a potential diaper change in the car. And we had all of our things nearby, so if we needed to change something or give the kids a snack, it was no big deal. Honestly, it was just easier for us!
- It is a beautiful way to document our home. I know I will look back on these photos fondly and remember our lives and our home at this point in time. And trust me, a good photographer will make your house look good!
- It made me get my Christmas decorations up early – and I have been getting to enjoy them for a whole extra month!
Tips for achieveing a similar look
I know not everyone lives in the Cypress/Tomball/The Woodlands area and has Melanie from Mel B Photography at their fingertips, so I asked her to help me come up with some simple, useful advice for taking indoor photos.
- Clear the clutter! You don’t have to clean your whole house, just move the clutter out of the area where you want to shoot.
- Use natural light from a window if at all possible. Turn off indoor lights!
- Think about what you are wearing and how that’ll work with the background of your photo.
- For example, if you are sitting on a white couch, you probably don’t want to be in all white. Contrast is good, but try to avoid anything too busy.
- Have something to “do”, especially if you have kids in the photos. When we are in action, our poses seem more natural and relaxed. Those usually end up being the best shots! In our shoot we were baking cookies, reading a book, and decorating our Christmas tree.
- If your children tend to be shy around new people, consider letting them pick their favorite toy or book to “be with them” or to show the photographer (as long as it’s something you don’t mind being in the photos). Anything you think will make the children feel more comfortable is worth it to get those sweet smiles!
- Have FUN! You are in your home so you will naturally be more comfortable. Turn on some music your kids like. Have a little dance party. Our kids love to be tickled, so that’s always our go-to!
I know ours was a Christmas themed shoot, but you can do indoor photography at any time of year. It definitely has a cozy, relaxed feel to it, which I love!
Mel B Photography’s outfit tips
Melanie’s number one question from her clients is “What should we wear?” Here are her two best tips.
- Pick only 1-2 non-competing prints.
- Pull a couple of colors from those prints to sprinkle into some fairly neutral outfits!
- Good neutrals include denim, khaki, greys, tans, creams, navy, or even a dark army green (depending on the context).
- Stark whites can be dangerous if not done well!
See what her family wore this year for their photos, following the guidelines she shared above.
Want to work with Mel B Photography?
Melanie Beddow, a Cypress local, is the talented photographer behind Mel B Photography and this holiday shoot. She does family, newborn, maternity, and couples shoots, so she can really help you no matter what stage of life you are in. She has a great eye for outdoor and indoor photography, both of which you can see on her website and on her Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Not only did she deliver when it came to capturing beautiful shots, but she was also an absolute joy to work with too. Her warm personality and ease of working with kids made it go very smoothly. As a mom herself, she knew how to get their attention and make them giggle. I always appreciate a photographer who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, and Melanie definitely fit the bill for us on that one.
My personal favorite part of Melanie’s style is how she gave the direction when we needed it but still allowed us to interact with each other naturally. I always appreciate direction from photographers, but when it comes to shooting with kids, sometimes it’s best to let them take the lead. Melanie knew exactly what she was doing in this regard and it really shows in the photos.
If you are local to the Northwest Houston area (Cypress, Tomball, or The Woodlands), I highly recommend checking out Mel B Photography. Her communication was excellent, her turnaround time in getting us our gallery was quick and her rates are very reasonable, especially for her quality of work.
I received this photo session from Mel B Photography in exchange for a blog post with my honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.
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Before you go! If you have school aged children and need fun Christmas gift ideas for your kiddo’s teachers, you’ll love our teacher favorites questionnaire! Head here to download!
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