Photographing our life in our home is my very favorite way to capture our everyday. We are all self-proclaimed homebodies over here so we spend a lot of time at home. Taking photos indoors can definitely be tricky and learning how to maximize the light and areas within your home is a must. I truly believe magic can happen in any home or place, so if you're shaking your head saying there's no way to get good photos in your home, then I'm here to tell you you're wrong (and what to do to make those magical photos happen). Here are my 5 tips for better indoor photos.
1. Study the light in your home
Before you even pick up your camera, take a week or so to learn the light in your house. Figure out which way your house faces and then determine which rooms get the best light and when. Walk around and peek in each room throughout the day. As soon as you "spot" the light, you'll know it! Keep a little cheat sheet of your house until you know the light pattern inside and out.
For me, I know the front of our house faces northwest so the sun rises at the back of our house and sets in the front. I kind of just keep this in my back bottom and try to utilize the space of our home based on the light. If, for example, my daughter is getting ready to do her homework, I might suggest she sits at our dining room table (because the sun is setting behind her and I can get a fun sun flare).
2. Know your camera settings
Even if you have a super well-lit home, you're likely still not going to have as much light as you would have outside. Know your camera settings and how to make them work for you. I tend to shoot wide open (aka - using a large aperture like f1.8-2.2) + bump up my ISO to make sure my shutter speed stays about 1/150 or 1/200. Some times my ISO creeps up to 1000-1200, which might bring more grain into my photo, but will ensure my subjects and any movement in my photos isn't blurred.
4. Turn off any indoor lights
Unless you are purposely shooting with ambient lighting, I highly recommend turning off any indoor lights. Indoor lighting gives off a warm, yellow color cast and can add harsh shadows and unwanted colors to your subjects and surroundings.
I always turn off ALL the lights when shooting indoors - lamps, closet lights, overhead lights, hall lights. Your family might think you're crazy, but I promise it will be worth it!
4. Push the piles of clutter to the corner
Life is messy and we all have piles of laundry, toys, etc. scattered throughout our homes. That's part of life and should be photographed as well. But if it doesn't tell or add to the story you're trying to tell, then push the clutter out of the frame. It doesn't mean your life is "picture perfect"...it just means that the laundry piles or stacks of books has nothing to do with your son and daughter tickling each other.
5. Look for interesting compositions
Once you start looking at your home, I promise you will never see or photograph in it the same. I am always on the lookout for interesting compositions, leading lines, textures and more when I capture an image. Interesting compositions can take an average image to an extraordinary image! I love to frame my subjects and feel like it really helps to tell the overall story of our day. I'm always peeking in at my kids through door frames, windows, mirrors, etc. Get creative and have fun!
looking for more inspiration + tips?