Shooting indoors can be a bit challenging and frustrating, especially when you don’t have your own studio space. But indoor portrait photography doesn’t have to be very difficult, you can still produce stunning portraits even without having access to expensive studio lights. The difference between a good portrait and a great portrait can be just a little “tweak” in the position of your object, your camera settings, or type of lighting. That’s why we’ve provided you with a few techniques that you can combine to assist you in making great portraits indoors. So, it’s time to head indoors!
Take Advantage of Window Light
This is one of the best sources of natural light indoors. Indoor portrait photography is great when you set up your scene and move your subject close to a window or an open door. Not only does daylight look natural, it is also very bright and can produce an incredible and more flattering effect on skin tones and textures. Sometimes, even the effect of the brightest flashes can be nothing compared to the quality of the images produced in the presence of natural light. So, why don’t you utilize this free technique to make your photos amazing. On the right day, when the conditions are perfect, you’ll need no additional equipment for indoor portrait photography. You’ll just need to make sure your body isn’t blocking the light. You can even experiment more by moving your setup to the window side, this will allow your subject’s face to receive more light. However, you’ll need to be more careful as window light can be produce a high somewhat high contrast on a bright summer day. If you prefer not to use direct sunlight as your light source, then you can get more creative by getting it to cast a silhouette effect on your subject.
Use a Reflector for indoor portrait photography
There’s no doubt about it, using natural light can get you the best results in indoor portrait photography. However, in a situation where you have harsh midday sun streaming through the window, you’ll often get shadows in areas where direct light does not fall on and this can ruin your indoor portrait photography attempts. When this happens, one of the tools that can make a really big difference when taking photos indoors is a reflector. Using a reflector can help reflect the light onto your subject’s face to create a much softer light illumination. A reflector when used with window light, can add just the perfect amount of light to greatly improve your indoor portraits.
Your Camera Settings
There are simple changes you can make to the settings on your camera to achieve great results during indoor portrait photography. Some issues like motion blur or camera shakes can be avoided by making sure that your shutter speed is higher than your effective focal length since your shutter speed depends on your focal length. Also, seeking the right balance between the subject and the environment is very important. You will need to understand the limit of your camera’s ISO. This way, you’ll be able to combat any bad effects by increasing your ISO to its highest possible value, while still maintaining quality. In indoor portrait photography, you may need to increase it to ISO400, 800, 1600 or even 3200. However, each camera is made differently, some cameras can handle noise levels up to 800 very well, while others may produce very little noise at higher ISOs. But even if you get a lot of noise at higher ISOs, that shouldn’t necessarily be a concern for you as long as it does not get in the way of the portrait you are trying to create.
Use a Tripod
This is an essential item for indoor portrait photography. A tripod will help you get rid of camera shake and enable you to fine-tune your composition, making sure the images produced are sharper and of higher quality. Also, a flat surface is of great importance when it comes to taking great shots indoors. This, together with a tripod will prevent motion blur and help you make better eye contact with the subject. Be sure to explore the space you are working with. Any flat surface such as a kitchen table, or a coffee table can be an ideal surface to set up your equipment.
Be Aware of Your Background and Clutter
Indoor portrait photography is great, especially when you are shooting in the comfort of your home. But there’s nothing worse than taking a photo without paying attention to unnecessary objects that can overwhelm and strongly draw attention away from your subjects. Backgrounds can present challenges when it comes to taking photos indoors, but can also provide opportunities to take stunning shots during indoor portrait photography. Be sure to check out any colors that do not fit with the rest of the image, or bright patches that may distract the eye. One of the best ways to utilize distractions is to use the power of your lens to blur out the background to make your subject stand out. You can achieve this by shooting with a long lens of about 200-300mm, or shooting at a wide aperture. The wider your aperture, and also, the closer your subject is to the camera, the blurrier your background would be.
Control The Light Sources
When you have natural light available to you, sometimes it can be best to forget about that lightbulb hanging from your ceiling, or any other lights in the room so as to get the best image possible. Mixing natural light and artificial light can make it impossible to white balance the image causing photos to be yellow, hazy, or blurry. Choose only one lighting source whenever possible, you’ll find that even a single light can just be enough to produce the perfect portrait. If you are not interested in using natural light, then just close your windows and doors, and work with artificial lighting.
By keeping in mind, or combining all these techniques, you’ll be amazed at how easy indoor portrait photography is. With just little adjustments, coupled with some creativity, you can transform yourself into a real professional.