Life Inside: In-Home Lifestyle Photography

with Danielle Hatcher

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Full Participation sold out.
Study Along seats available!

In this fun and informative course you will learn how to incorporate indoor lifestyle photography into your client sessions or while photographing your own family. We will discuss ALL things lifestyle – in the home, backyard and beyond – including light, directing and guiding your subjects, finding your voice, lens choice, staying creative, and much, much more. Whether you already shoot some lifestyle work or you’re looking to shoot lifestyle more often, this is the perfect course for you!


4 weeks


daily shooting encouraged


4 hours of work per week


this course has prerequisites


To get the most out of this course, it is recommended that you are able to obtain proper exposure in your images and that you are somewhat familiar with LR or ACR.



Danielle Hatcher is a natural light, lifestyle family photographer specializing in capturing beautifully honest families. She’s a native Californian, currently living in the burbs of Sacramento. Married to her husband for almost 10 years, they have 3 kids and 12 year old rescue dog. She loves Diet Dr. Pepper, cooking, working out, playing golf, shopping, traveling, binge watching Netflix, and of course spending time with her family. She is truly honored to photograph families in their home (and her own family too!) turning simple everyday moments into ones that won’t soon be forgotten.
Her portfolio is available here.

The following photographers also participate in discussions and provide assignment critiques as teaching assistants:

A number of course alumni are invited to engage in discussion, share insight with students, and provide feedback and encouragement throughout the course.



• Week 1 – Introduction PDF and Website Video
• Week 2 – Composition and Connection PDF and Shooting Video
• Week 3 – Lighting PDF and Shooting Video
• Week 4 – Image Polish and Staying Creative PDF and Shooting/Editing Video
• Instructor-Led Online Q&A for Each Lesson
• Personal Critiques of Weekly Assignments by Instructor and TAs

Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students receive instructor and TA critiques of the posted assignment each week and have lifetime access to a Workshop Alumni forum for continued peer discussion after the course concludes.

Study Along students will have access to all materials and will be able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum and receive access to their own private subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments.

Welcome & Preassignment

Week One

Reading: Why Lifestyle; My Story + Your Story; Documentary vs. In-Home Lifestyle vs. Outdoor; Lifestyle/Portraits; “Selling Lifestyle”; Finding Your Voice

Week Two

Reading: Purposeful + Impactful Compositions; Owning the Image; “Props” – What to Include vs. Not Include; Working with Multiple Subjects/Creating Connections


Week Three

Reading: Seeing Light; Types of Indoor Light; Quickly Assessing Light On-Location; Light Flow


Week Four

Reading: Lens Choice; Shooting Creatively (freelensing, using a prism, purposely OOF images, etc.); Culling and Editing Workflow; Image Delivery; Image Displays and Ideas; Personal Projects


The CMU workshop is a 100% online classroom experience. Once you sign up, you have access to a course forum that is open 24 hours a day so that you can learn and join discussions on your own schedule.

Each week students receive a set of course materials– these materials generally include a PDF and/or videos. Throughout the week, instructors and TAs are present in the forum every day to answer questions and offer encouragement. Students receive an assignment each week that pertains to the topics covered in the course materials and class discussion throughout the week.

Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students post their assignments in the forum and receive instructor and TA critiques each week. They also have lifetime access to a Workshop Alumni forum for continued peer discussion after the course concludes.

Study Along students have access to all materials and are able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum. They also receive access to their own private Study Along subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments, but they can follow along with instructor critiques of the Full Participation assignments.

Whether you are a Full Participation student or a Study Along student, the course materials are yours to keep.


  • Kirsten Baker says:

    What a wonderful course! Not only does Danielle give so many valuable insights on how to take an in-home lifestyle photography business to the next level, but I also came out of the course seeing my home and day-to-day routine with fresh eyes. I can definitely tell that my personal work is so much stronger for it. The best part by far was Danielle’s presence and responsiveness throughout. She gave us video critiques on our assignments, which meant that a) we got much more detailed feedback on our images than if she were to write them up, and b) we got to watch her personally take our photos into Lightroom and see any little tweaks she’d make to an image to make it stronger. She was also great about answering all of our questions live on Periscope and then uploading the videos to the forum for those of us who couldn’t make it live. Seriously, take this class. And if you can swing it, go for full participation. Getting to interact with such a warm, kind, and talented mentor like Danielle is absolutely worth the price.

  • Beth Venit says:

    I just finished this workshop and I am so sad it is over. I am a hobbyist that may someday decide to turn this into a business. I think this workshop was great even if I never need the business side. And if I do go into business there will be so many things I can go back and reference. Danielle was an open book. Whatever you wanted to ask her about shooting and business she was happy to answer. I really liked how she would answer our questions via Periscope. I am a really visual learning so it was great to have her show us things instead of just typing all the answers. I also really liked the video critiques of our homework! This is really one to take full participation. You will just get so much out of it. I feel like I have a whole list of projects I have been inspired to work on thanks to this class!

  • Molly Lynch says:

    I took Danielle’s course as a study-along because I cannot commit to full participation right now. Even as a study-along, this course was SO worth the money and time I spent! Danielle is a great instructor — approachable, knowledgeable, fun. You feel like you are chatting over coffee with a good friend. Danielle’s course has given me the confidence boost I need to push forward with my slowly growing business. I feel like I have a lot of new tools to move my photo sessions more into the homes of my clients. Thank you, Danielle!

  • Divya says:

    If you are on this page, sign up for Danielle’s next run immediately! She is beyond generous with her time and truly pours her heart into the course and into mentoring everyone through the four weeks. I am so sad the class has come to an end as it was the perfect course to help push my indoor work to the next level. Danielle was always there for advice and provided endless tips and tricks. I can see myself referring back to her workshop materials for years to come! Thank you Danielle!!!

  • Britt says:

    This workshop taught me so much about my own shooting style and about how to shoot and edit to draw attention to the story I want to tell. I really enjoyed watching video of Danielle interacting with her clients and her own children. This workshop is invaluable if you want to shoot in home lifestyle for your business or if you just want to capture the daily moments in your own children’s lives.

  • Erin Kunysz says:

    I am still a hobbyist but I took this class hoping to gain some confidence and skills to take the step and shoot someone other than my kids and it was exactly what I need to push me out of my comfort zone. For me posing people seems so intimidating and I felt the lifestyle would be a great way to capture genuine moments of families in their element so I wanted to learn more about this as I aim to take the next step in my photography journey. She covered how to sell an indoor lifestyle shoot, composition, lighting, and how to get creative. She gave great video critiques on the final assignments which was so helpful.

  • If you have any interest in Lifestyle photography and want to take your images to the next level, take this class!! Danielle completely blew me away. I knew this class was going to be good because I love Danielle’s work, but I had no idea it was going to be this incredible.
    I highly recommend full participation because her feedback is invaluable. Seriously, sign up for the next run. You won’t regret it!

  • Karra Cappelli says:

    This class is AMAZING! I will never do a “study along” class again. This was my first “full participation” class and I believe it was worth every penny! The feedback you receive makes you feel confident in your work. Thank you Danielle for an amazing class!!!

  • Margaret Nissen says:

    Indoor shooting was one area of my photography that I did not feel like I had a good grasp on. Not anymore! Danielle gives you the skills and confidence to walk into any indoor space and photograph any group of people. From lighting and composition, to editing and staying creative, Danielle covers it! She is very active in teaching this class, and gives fun and honest critiques (you feel like she is a friend you have known for years!) If you are looking to shoot indoor, take this class!!

  • Danielle Dobson says:

    I’ve always struggled with in-home sessions, things like finding variety, handling different indoor lighting, and even just getting my own enjoyment out of it, so I signed up for this course and it has completely changed my attitude towards these sessions! I’m now excited to do them, I can approach them with confidence & know that I’m going to have some great images for my clients! Every week was so helpful, I particularly enjoyed the website video which explores how we can set ourselves up to book in-home sessions, while I also really enjoyed learning about different lighting and how to be creative with it and use it to enhance our sessions. Also, some really helpful tip on creating connections! I was never bored, and every week walked away excited to start shooting and practicing what I’ve learnt. Danielle’s feedback was also particularly helpful and super encouraging. If you are looking to do more in-home sessions, or have even been doing them for years but need to rediscover your joy in them, I’d definitely recommend you to do this course! No regrets here!!!

  • My business is just starting out and I really want to include inside lifestyle in my sessions, I was just going to wing it, but … then after I said no more workshops for a bit so I saw Life Inside and it sounded to good to pass up. I was right, this workshop was amazing and exactly what I needed. I feel much more confident in everying a new enviroment and coming away with great photos, all thanks to Danielle. Don’t miss the opportunity, if you have any desire to do this workshop – just do it!!! By the end of the 4 weeks (whichs goes SO fast) you will see an improvement in your indoor lifestyle photos, which will benifit both your personal and profesisonal work.

  • Andrea Johnson says:

    This class was so good!! From learning how to sell indoor lifestyle photography, to learning new ways to be creative, and getting great feedback on weekly assignments. This class was the extra push I needed to start portfolio building and I’m really excited to see where my photography will grow from here!

  • Kirsty Hamilton says:

    I have loved every minute of Danielle’s excellent course, she has been extremely inspiring, encouraging and very generous with her time and expertise. Videos of her actually doing a shoot were incredibly useful and there was a wealth of information in written and video form for each lesson. I’d highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to hone their lifestyle photography skills!

  • Kelly Mort says:

    This class was amazing!! I was on the fence about in-home lifestyle, but I really wanted to know if I should pursue it for my business or not and I have fallen in love. In-home is so special and intimate and Danielle is a wonderful teacher. I loved her live critiques, the pdfs, shooting videos, editing videos, and even presets. I hammered out four portfolio building sessions during the class and all of them will be perfect for my website. If you are on the fence on this one, take it!!

  • Lisa Burnes says:

    We’re wrapping up the Feb 2017 run of Life Inside: In-Home Lifestyle Photography with Danielle Hatcher.

    You guys – this class was SO good! I’ve learned so much in the last 4 weeks – selling lifestyle photography, composition, connection, light, editing, and even some different creative photography techniques! Danielle’s critiques were gentle, but also thoughtful and she really pushes you to improve and find YOUR own style.

    I loved this class and recommend it 100%, whether you are interested in in-home lifestyle photography for your business or for your personal photos

  • It’s week 4, my last submission has been made and I’m so, so sad to have come to the end of this truly amazing course! I can’t even begin to tell you how utterly wonderful Danielle is. Learning from someone who lives and breathes lifestyle photography is so inspiring! It has complete transformed me as a photographer.
    The wealth of information (new learning, ideas, tips, tricks) and heart poured into this course by Danielle is invaluable! From the moment the forum opened, she was so incredibly generous with her wealth of knowledge, time and support. Really, I would recommend this wholeheartedly to any lifestyle photographer or lover of lifestyle.

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