5 Tips for Taking Photos with Natural Indoor Light


It is time to think about shooting your photos inside with the summer fading behind us and cooler weather on its way, Here are some tips for using Natural Light to catch the right shot.

Natural Indoor Light

Do you know what the word photo means?  It means light and that is what photography is all about. And since natural light is the cheapest (it’s free) and easiest to deal with, I’m going to give you some non-technical tips for shooting Indoors with Natural Light.

Tip 1 Windows & Doors

Natural light comes through Windows and Doors and throughout the day, it changes color and angle, each of which you want to use to your advantage as a photographer. With that in mind, you want to check various rooms and take an inventory of the different light that is available to work with at various times of the day. Light has a warmer look at sunrise, it has is cooler with a more neutral color midday etc. Take some test shots in different parts of the house at different times of the day to get an idea of what you think will work best with your subject.

Tip 2 Play with the Light

Whoever thought about playing with light? Well, the angle of the blinds and the sheerness or thickness of the curtains allow you to do just that. You can change the direction and the intensity of the light for different effects. On a professional shoot, a photographer will take test shots just to see how the lighting works with the subject.

Tip 3 A lighting prop?

A lighting prop is a tool to help to create different kinds of light. It can be a reflector, it can be a backdrop, each as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. You can simply take a sheet and put it over a mirror or use a reflector in the doorway, or both at the same time. There is a photographer I work with, and the first time she opened the front door of her studio and started shooting, it was very innovative. It is now a technique used all the time.

Tip 4. Use a tripod

A tripod comes in handy for taking photos indoors, especially in low light. That is, if your camera is in auto mode, like a smartphone, or if you adjust to a slow speed to let more light into the lens, a tripod will help eliminate the blurriness that occurs if you do not hold the camera perfectly steady. From a technical standpoint the benefit of a tripod is that you can use your camera at its lowest ISO setting (which creates good image quality), and a small aperture such as f/8 or f/11 (allowing for a greater depth of field) and your tripod will eliminate an unsteady hand and the blurriness that is created. I use a tripod and can take video selfie that doesn’t look like a selfie.  Give it a try.

Tip 5 Technical Details

The most important technical part of the shoot – the pre shoot CLEANUP.   That is, to make sure there are no random objects that will be caught by the camera or that there are no reflective objects that are accidentally effecting your lighting.  It’s a good idea to take test shots to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

Remember – The most important thing is for you and your model to have some FUN

Photo Courtesy of Verschieden Oberlichter