MIKE + CAROLYN // BOZEMAN, MONTANA IN-HOME LIFESTYLE SESSION

If you know me at all, you probably know that I'm a little bit of a home-body. Don't get me wrong: I LOVE a good adventure, be it a short hike or a week-long vacation. But I do love coming home.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I also love laid back in-home sessions. I love them because your home is where your everyday life happens. Life isn't made up of grand adventure after grand adventure; rather, its the day-to-day routines that make up your lives together and those little things are worth documenting and remembering. For better or worse, this season in your life together is temporary: you won't always be living in that little studio apartment overlooking downtown, or maybe its the basement of your friend's home while you're saving up for your own. Or maybe you're in the house of your dreams (lucky you!). Either way, there will be a day when this phase is long over and it'll be hard to remember exactly what it looked like, all the little things you loved about it, and all the nuisances that drove you crazy about it. So whether its just selfies with your iPhones or with a pro, make sure to take a few photos to document your life together in the home you share.

Side note: I also love these sessions because it is so much easier to relax when you're in an environment that is familiar and comfortable to you. This means we get more relaxed, genuine moments that truly represent you and your relationship! And if I'm being totally honest, these types of sessions mean the most to me because I have this theory that sometimes, a photo can be enough to remind you of your "why" when things get tough. I've noticed over the years that the photos I print most often for myself are the ones that are a little messy: snapshots of a real, great moment. They aren't perfectly composed portraits and I'm usually ugly-laughing in them (you know what I'm talking about!). But when I look at them, I remember that day, that moment, and all the things that made me so happy in that moment. Posed portraits don't do that for me. And here's the thing: no matter how perfect your relationship, there will be days, weeks, months, or even years where things get off-track and you have a hard time remembering why you chose each other. When that happens, it gets too easy to dwell on the not-so-great and forget the rest. But I really believe that surrounding yourself with tangible reminders of the good times can be enough to remind you when you need it most (which leads me to another point: print that s***! You're never going to scroll three years back in your iPhoto library to find that photo when you're mad at him - put it on the wall so you see it whether or not you look for it!). Maybe I'm alone in this notion, but I'm holding on to it :) 

Anyway, Mike and Carolyn were nice enough to let me into their Bozeman home for a couple hours for a super relaxed, in-home lifestyle session. Even better, they quickly let their guards down and let me into their physical and emotional bubbles. Hallelujah! When this happens, everything else just falls into place. It doesn't matter if the dishes are left out, the bed is unmade, the laundry is waiting: when you let me in to that sacred little bubble, what you get back is a true and raw image of the way you live and love together. And at the end of the day, isn't that what matters most? Fun fact: that red bracelet he's wearing? He had matching ones made by a monk for him and Carolyn. *Collective "awwwww"* Also, guys she has mermaid hair and its amazing!

Check out a few of my favorites below!

Preparing for Your Session

     Hello! So I've been thinking a lot about how I want to use this blog: whether I want to limit it strictly to sharing weddings and sessions, whether I want it to be informational, or as a way for you to get to know my personality a little better. I think a combination of all three suits me best, so I'll be sharing ALL. KINDS. OF. THINGS. Weekend adventures, tips and tricks, client spotlights - all the good stuff!

     For my first post, my friend Jessie (who also designed my website!) suggested I share some tips and tricks based on the most common question I'm asked when someone books a session: "so...what do we do?" The following is a short primer on preparing for your session.

 

Wardrobe

     When deciding what you and your significant other will wear for your session, there are a few general guidelines which are provided below. The most important thing to keep in mind though is what you will be comfortable in: it’s hard to act natural in your photos if you aren’t comfortable! With that in mind, the following are a few general suggestions for you to consider:

  • base color: think neutrals (white, off-white, tan, gray, olive green, navy, and black).
  • accent color: think complimentary bolds (for example, if you’ve chosen khaki as your base color and a brighter blue as your accent color, he might wear khaki pants with blue-based plaid shirt, while you wear a cream/off-white top/dress with a bright blue scarf, sweater, or piece of statement jewelry).
  • accent patterns: if your man will be sporting a pattern, think large plaid patterns for him and stripes or large floral prints for you. Just make sure to keep everyone’s patterns in the same color scheme to create a cohesive look. Additionally, if you are worried about stripes making you appear wider than you are, stick with vertical instead of horizontal.

If you need some inspiration, I’ve created a Pinterest board with wardrobe suggestions. Feel free to check it out at https://www.pinterest.com/keeleymckay/wardrobe-suggestions/. And don’t be put off by the formal outfit choices you may see: those pins were chosen as much for their color choices as anything. Use it simply as inspiration to create a wardrobe from your own closet that you can feel comfortable and like yourself in!

Theme

     My style is best described as lifestyle/documentary. This means I don’t spend much time posing people or setting up staged scenes with backdrops and props. I strive to capture your life as it really is, because I believe these will be more meaningful in the long run than a staged photograph. That being said, there is a little bit of “creation” involved, so please consider the following:

  • What do you like to do together? If you’re into outdoor activities, you can plan your session around that: grab a sled, bundle up, and let’s head for the hills! Need a Christmas tree? Let’s get one together! Is hiking more your thing? Let’s go!
  • What time of year will your session take place? If it’s in the summer, you can make just about any time of the day work (keeping in mind that the light will be better or worse depending on the time of day), but if it’s in the winter and there is snow on the ground, the reflection from the snow will create a glare. Also, if it’s cold, you may end up with red, runny noses - which is totally fine as long as you know your photos will reflect that.
  • Indoor lifestyle sessions can be a unique way to capture you together: do you play games? Set up the Monopoly board, grab some snacks and have fun!
  • Relaxation is key! Whatever you choose to do for your session, it’s often helpful if you are able to spend the day relaxing beforehand. Have breakfast together, listen to your favorite music, take a shot of your favorite whiskey, whatever you do that makes you happy - do that! This will help you go into the session happy, relaxed, and in sync.

I’ve found couples get the best photos when they are actively engaging in an activity together, rather than being instructed to look at me and smile over and over. This allows you to relax and it lets me capture your natural chemistry and interaction. So think about whatever it is that makes your relationship special and let’s build your session around YOU!

24RS.jpg
25RS.jpg