Shooting indoors can either be really fun or really frustrating. Whether you are using your phone or a professional camera, knowing the right little tricks it can be so much easier! I actually love shooting indoors as I find it forces me to get more creative! You know I’m here to help you stay creative and keep on making killer content from the comfort of your home. Keep on reading for my top 8 Tips for shooting photos indoors.
Look for that natural light
Natural light is your best friend. If I’m shooting at home I always try and use natural light. When indoors, you should look for skylights, windows, open doors, any kind of natural light seeping into your space. It will make all the difference in your photograph. You can use front light (face the light directly), sidelight, or even have it behind you to backlight you. My favorite is facing the light completely to avoid any unnecessary shadows that I would later have to fix via photoshop. If you have white curtains, you can use them as a way to give yourself that pretty, glowy, diffused light. Blinds also help so you can adjust how much light comes in creating fun shadows. Reflectors are also great for bouncing natural light and filling in any harsh shadows.
Take note of optimal light times
Something I always do is plan my shoots around the natural light source. I know exactly when the light will start to hit a certain room. I know that in the morning before 9 am, my office gets harsh morning light but around 10:30 it turns into a beautiful, indirect, light glow. I also know that the sun starts to seep through my bedroom (on the opposite side of my house) around 2 pm and it eventually turns into fun shadows when the light trickle through the blinds. Spend some time observing the light in your house and take note of what you are seeing.
Artificial light (when all else fails)
Other light sources. If you don’t have good natural light you may have to use some artificial light. If I’m being honest, though, you may want to avoid this at all costs. It doesn’t look as natural, it can be harder to get right and takes practice to nail it. If you must, though, here are some options. A ring light can be a good option for a portrait shot. I love to use a ring light when I’m not using natural light. Another great option is to use a flash and a good diffuser. If you don’t have a diffuser, there are simple tricks you can use like putting a white table cloth over the flash to diffuse the light or bouncing the light off the ceiling so that it’s not as harsh.
Mind your background
Shooting at home can be especially hard because it’s easy to get a messy looking background. Even if your home is relatively clean! I know that I always have to tidy up a bit before I shoot at home. John and I definitely live hard. Don’t worry too much because people love to see the inside of people’s homes and it can add a great story to your image. It’s always nice to see how people live, but you may have to do some adjusting and cleaning before shooting. Another simple idea is to find a clean wall that is next to a good window and shoot in front of that. Nothing wrong at all with keeping it simple! If you want to simply blur the background a bit, open up your aperture (from f3.2 to f2.2 for example) and it will definitely soften the background a bit so that the focus stays on you (or your subject).
Use the right equipment
Choosing the right lenses makes all the difference. If you have a good lens with a wide aperture, it can be super helpful so you can use a lower ISO (the setting that will brighten or darken your photo). Having a high ISO can add too much grain to your photograph if you aren’t careful. When I am shooting indoors I typically shoot at 2.2 Aperature with a low ISO using a wide-angle lens (typically a 24-70 or 35 mm but my 35 is probably best since it can go down to f1.4). If I want all my background and decor to also come up sharp sometimes I will shoot at a higher Aperature like f4.0 (so the background is more in focus) and bring down the shutter speed (so more light is let in). Using a tripod can be super helpful so you can keep the shutter very low and reduce any blur from camera shake. If you want to learn more about the equipment I use, see this post here.
Check your White Balance.
One thing a lot of beginner photographers aren’t aware of is their white balance on their camera. White balance is the process of removing unrealistic color casts. The white balance is what makes sure the whites are white in your image. It can also add warmth or coldness to your photo. If your photo is too blue or too yellow for your liking, you may want to adjust. Try different ones until you find what’s best. Every camera has this setting in a different place but you may find it in your menu under ‘WB’ or you can check your camera’s manual to find out where it is. For indoors using natural light, typically the three settings you want to try out are Cloudy, Daylight, or Shade. Don’t worry, you can also adjust the WB while editing the photo (if you shoot in RAW), but it’s a lot easier if you get it right while shooting. Or simply use your phone and you can avoid all this!
If you need more inspiration for shooting at home check out this post where I share a ton of great creative indoor Photoshoot ideas.
Don’t forget your props.
Props, texture, and all those little details are so important and can make all the difference. This is something professional photographers always use to their advantage. Using props can add a great story to your image and keep it relatable. I love to use cameras, coffee cups, newspapers, blankets, and even my dogs. Even bigger things in your room– furniture like your bed or sofa can be a prop. If you need more help with this, check out this post for better lifestyle photo tips.
Think about your composition
As always, the composition is KEY. When you have a lot going on in the background, making sure the photo is well balanced is especially important so the viewer’s eye knows exactly what to focus on. Use leading lines, shadows, and architectural lines to help you. My next photography post will be all about composition but for now, a light google search on image composition will help you a lot!
I hope this helps! If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, you may want to stop by and follow along and join the #FVphotochallenge. I share fun, creative shoot ideas, and videos on how I did them. Through this hashtag, you can also see what other creators have created after trying the challenges out! It’s a great way to get some inspiration for shooting indoors and find like-minded creatives!