5 Cozy At Home Family Photo Ideas: Get Your Annual Family Portraits Done Without Leaving the House!

Home is a special place

At home family photo session for mom and daughter in the living room in Katonah NY

At home sessions give you a chance to show off an unseen member of your family and that is your house!

Over the years working as a lifestyle family photographer in Westchester County and New York City, I can undoubtedly tell you that the most relaxing sessions for families have been done at home. Where you are raising your kids, where many family meals have occurred and where you’ve celebrated milestones and birthdays. Home is where people are most comfortable. 

Before you say, well my house is just not photogenic – let me stop you right there. Every home is different and unique and there are creative ways to show off your house’s features and make it photo worthy (aka ensure great natural light and space for you and your family to connect).

I work with families in New York City apartments, spacious homes in Westchester County, in big backyards or small concrete patios. Every area and home is different, and brings a uniqueness to the table. I specialize in being able to make any space work, and have worked with families all over, including in: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Cold Spring, Peekskill, Rye, Scarsdale, Larchmont, Chappaqua and Katonah.

If you’re unsure how to plan an at home session, I had you in mind when I put together my top recommendations for locations in your house. As a bonus, I’m also including how you can incorporate your favorite family activities into them. 

While you probably won’t use all of these locations and activities in one session, I recommend being prepared to venture into these locations, and discuss them with your photographer ahead of time so you can all be on the same page

Family Photos on your Couch and Living Room

This is where most families spend a lot of their time together whether playing games, watching TV or doing homework. There are fond memories to capture in this room.

An easy thing to do is snuggle up on the couch. I like to ask families to play telephone (where you sit all in a row and the person at the end whispers a sentence into the next person’s ears and then you see what the last person says – it makes for some fun laughter and gets everybody to relax!)

Another favorite is peekaboo, depending on the ages of the kids this can be quite fun! You can also bring out your children’s favorite game and play with them. Kids love the undivided attention so it will really keep them engaged and your photographer will be able to document the candid moments you have been dreaming of.

Family Photos in the Primary/Main Bedroom

Who doesn’t love to cozy up in bed with their parents? Whether it’s early morning snuggles when kiddos & dogs wake up their parents, or mother’s day breakfast in bed, or a rainy movie day, it is a happy place for many. 
I find that many parents are willing to let their kids jump in the bed too which always gets a big smile from all.

The bed is also a great place to make a family sandwich or have a tickle fest! You can even relax in fun family pajamas if that’s something you do often!

Family Photos in the Kitchen/Dining Area

In my family, we always gather in the kitchen because that’s where the food is! The kitchen is the place to be whether you’re having a meal, baking, or preparing snacks.

The benefit of having an at home session is that you can always take a break for some food. Some great activities to do in the kitchen would be having your child help out with preparing breakfast (sometimes it gets a little messy but messy moments will be the ones you want documented), gathering around the counter for some snuggles, or even helping mom and dad clean up!  

Family Photos on Your Balcony or Front Porch

Family of three on rooftop balcony, In Home Photoshoot, NYC Westchester County Family and newborn Photography

If there is a front porch or balcony area in your home, we can even take some photos outside. This will get you an “outdoor” view without having to leave your place, whether it’s sitting on the front steps, or in your favorite patio chair. It will also give kids a chance to jump up and down and get really silly and wiggly.

A moment on the front steps will be so cool to look back on as your family grows. If you ever move, then you will have a really awesome memory of how your first house looked. These memories you capture in YOUR space will matter later when they look back and get to see the homes/apartments they lived in throughout their childhood.

It’s amazing what kids will remember when they have a visual to look back on. CORE MEMORY!

Family Photos in the Kids’ Rooms or Playroom

Most children will LIGHT UP when their parents sit down on the floor with them and play (even when they are being photographed), this is the perfect opportunity to get those candid shots of you and your little ones while they do what they do best…being children… and playing!

Plus as a parent you can think about which toys they are into at the moment and have that documented. It’s always fun to look back to see how your child has grown and all the things that they treasured at each stage in their lives.

I hope this gave you some helpful information for your next at home family photo session. I am a lifestyle photographer specializing in newborn, maternity and families serving Westchester NY and NYC.

Follow me on Instagram or Pinterest for more of my family life and work as a photographer. Or inquire with me here if you’re ready to unplug and have a fun family photo session.