Photographing families in their home…

…is the most fitting and beautiful way to create family photography or films that tell your story. Incorporating these four elements instantly brings beauty into your home. As someone who has documented my own family over the years, I can attest that our home as the backdrop for our photos adds to the storytelling element in ways that a pretty sunlit field just can’t. While photos outdoors are wonderful, the storytelling element of family photography becomes much more lucid when families are photographed in their home. Your home is the backdrop of your life. It can’t be overstated how wonderful it is to incorporate the place where you laugh, live, grow and love together in your family photos and film.

So many people may be reluctant to have their photos taken at home because they worry that their home doesn’t look like it belongs in a magazine spread. I’ve photographed many families at home and not a single one of the houses I was invited into was professionally decorated. It’s not necessary to have a perfect home for photos. Instead, by incorporating these elements, the simple beauty of home and family life comes through.


The first thing that I did when we moved into our home was take down all of the window blinds so that the natural light could stream in. I put up curtains to soften and beautify the windows. Curtains can easily be moved to the side so that the light coming in from outside is unobstructed. Our house faces west, so this means soft golden sunset light in the evening and first morning light streaming through the back windows. It’s one of my favorite things about our house. Natural light has a way setting the mood and instantly making a room feel joyful and full of life which is what I’m always looking for when I photograph families at home. Whenever someone books an at home session with me the first thing I will tell them to prepare is to fully open all the curtains and blinds and turn off any artificial light so that natural light can fill your home. I also love the addition of candlelight or a fire burning in the fireplace to lend to an engaging atmosphere that brings people closer together.

Light sets the mood, clarifies and gently call us to look closer. Light represents hope, life, revelation and joy.



With family life comes a little bit of chaos especially if you have little ones who are busy playing and moving from one thing to the next. I fondly remember the days when toys and random socks were strewn about our house when the kiddos were little. For your session, I say leave some of it out. It’s part of your story. However, I always made it a point to play “clean up” with the kids to put toys away before dinner time in order to create a sense of calm. As they have gotten older, a beautifully ordered home is a calm atmosphere to come home to after a long day of work or school. Order creates peace that allows for wonder, freedom and creativity to flourish. If there is constant clutter and chaos it can feel a bit anxiety inducing. I highly recommend decluttering each room in your house, and intentionally curating the items found there. A variety of natural fibers like linen, cotton, wool, wood and stone help to make a room feel more natural. Curating a room doesn’t mean that you have to be a minimalist, it just means that the things found in each room have purpose and lend themselves to creating a mood of order and peace in the home. Home becomes a peaceful refuge from the chaotic world outside.

“Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.” – Pearl S. Buck




I grew up with an Italian grandmother, so some of my fondest moments include good, whole, nourishing food. Some of my loveliest memories of my grandmother are when she taught me how to make chocolate chip cookies and can tomatoes that she grew in her garden. In high school, I went to my grandparents’ house every day after school, and my grandmother would have a chocolate milkshake or a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies waiting for me. It is something that I often do for my own kids now, because I remember how cared for it made me feel. If food is a love language, my grandmother spoke it well and the comfort food she made nourished my soul. When I book in-home storytelling sessions with families and they need a suggestion of an activity to do together, I often recommend making something together in the kitchen. It can be cookies, homemade pizza or Saturday morning pancakes... whatever food you love to make and share together. I often wish I had images of my grandmother and I canning tomatoes together. Those memories exist only in the depths of my heart and mind. If the kitchen is the heart of the home, it is food that provides nourishment, stability and connectedness. Documenting a family in the heart of the home it is truly special.

“The kitchen is the heart of every home, for the most part. It evokes memories of your family history.” – Debit Mazar



Home is your retreat from the world and a place of rest and recharge. Cuddling up in a warm blanket and soft pillows remind us that home is a place of safety and peace, but comfort is more than just coziness. For a deeper sense of comfort, include family photos in your decor. I know every interior designer of today will disagree with me, but I highly recommend family photos on the walls and tables over impersonal artwork to decorate your home. Every single room should have some type of gallery of family photos whether it be a framed wall gallery or frames or photo albums displayed on a table. “If these walls could talk,” they would tell your story. So, fill your space with your family as art. When your kids see their photos prominently displayed in their home it sends them the message that they are beautiful, valuable and loved. Growing up in a space where they see themselves in photos, surrounded by their loved ones, helps them learn who they are and where they fit. They understand the story of their family and grow up with a stronger sense of belonging. Flipping through a photo album together is another activity that I always suggest for my families. If you want genuine smiles and a sense of togetherness in your photos, this trip down memory lane works every single time.
“There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.” – Charlotte Bronte
While a magazine worthy home may make the pages of Architectural Digest, the story of love that exists in a family home is much more beautiful, in my opinion. These tips for beautifying your home are so simple to incorporate into whatever your house looks like right now. It’s so much more about creating the feeling of a home than a superficial perfectly designed house.
“Houses are made of bricks and beams, homes are made of love and dreams.” – Unkown