This probably won’t come as a surprise to you, but I love taking photos of my family.
What I don’t always love though, is taking photos of them indoors. Our house can be really gloomy at times, and it makes it challenging to get the kinds of photos that I have in my head. I’ve learnt a few things though, over the years, that have really helped me get some great photos of my children inside our house.
So if you want to improve your indoor photography and get some gorgeous photos of your children without having to drag them outdoors, keep reading!
Look for the light
Photography is all about light. And when you’re taking photos indoors it can be harder to find good light than when you’re outside, surrounded by natural sunlight.
If you’re serious about taking pictures in your home, then it’s really worth taking some time to look for the light.
Grab a notebook and walk round your home at different times of the day. Make a note of what time of the day the light is best in each room. You might find that your bedroom is full of beautiful morning light, while your kitchen is flooded with warm, evening light.
Once you know where the light is in your home, you can set up photo opportunities with your children in the spots with the best light, depending on what time of day it is.
Play with the light
Once you’ve found the light, you can start to play around with it.
For beautifully lit portraits you can position your children in front of a big window, looking out.
Or you can get some gorgeously hazy images by backlighting them.
Go for black and white
Sometimes, no matter where you look in your home, there’s just not quite enough light.
When this happens your best bet is to push the ISO up on your camera, and accept that your images will be a bit noisy. What I find works well for these kinds of photos is to convert them to black and white.
Monochrome images just tend to look better with the grain than colour images!
Use flash if you need to
I really love natural light, and will try to use it in my photos as much as I possibly can.
Sometimes though, I have to make my peace with using my flash.
If you know you’ll need a flash for your photos quite a bit, then it’s worth investing in a speedlight that you can swivel round. This way you can bounce the light off the ceiling, or the walls, which produces much nicer results than when the flash is pointed straight at your subject.
Get in close to cut out the clutter
Another issue I sometimes have with taking photos of my family in our home is all the ‘stuff’ everywhere.
We are definitely not a minimalist family, and I don’t always want my photos to be cluttered with that stuff.
One way round this is to get in close and fill the frame with what I DO want to be in the photo – my children. This might be their faces, or it might be focusing in on their hands playing with toys, or their grubby knees at the end of a long day.
On the other hand, embrace the clutter
Sometimes though, I like to include the clutter and the stuff in my photos.
I think we’re in danger of editing our lives so much in our pictures that we lose something in the end result. There is something about the bits and pieces in the background of photos that takes you right back to when they were taken.
The books that are on the shelves, the mug you always drank from on the coffee table, all the baby paraphernalia that you’ve long passed on to friends.
Don’t be in too much of a hurry to delete it all.
Embrace the clutter and the stuff that will tell so much of the story of your family life right now when you look at it in the future.
Play with your angles
If you feel like all the photos you take of your family at home end up looking the same, then mix things up with different angles and perspectives.
Get down low, get up high, move around.
Step to the edge of the room for a wide shot, and then zoom in close to get the details.
Get in the frame
To really get great photos of your family, you need to be in them too.
Set everyone else up in the lovely light that you’ve found, put your camera on a timer or use a remote trigger, and then get in the photo with them.
Hopefully these tips will help you get some gorgeous photos of your family in your home.
What tip are you going to try first?