4 Indoor Photography Lighting Tips You MUST Know

Like thousands of other people around the world, we’re currently spending most of our time at home and practising social distancing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. And like thousands of other people around the world, we’re doing our best to maintain as many of our daily habits and hobbies as possible – including our photography practice.

Still, we know that indoor photography can be a challenge for even the most experienced photographer, given the restricted space and less-than-optimal lighting conditions. To help you get around both these roadblocks, we’ve teamed up with the photography experts at Ted’s Cameras. From how to harness natural light to the best settings for indoor photography, read on for their top tips for the best indoor photography lighting.

1. Don’t forget about the sun

Being indoors is the perfect opportunity to take your natural light photography to the next level and experiment with new and unusual lighting conditions. Before you set up your indoor photography shoot, scout around your house for the rooms and spots that have the best light. Note them down – including the time of day that they are the best lit – and open up curtains and blinds to maximise natural light even further.

If you’re dabbling in indoor portrait photography, it’s a good idea to scout spots during Golden Hour, which will give you beautiful warm light for soft, atmospheric portraits.

2. Consider a reflector

Shooting in a dimly-lit room that doesn’t get much natural light? Reflectors are a great way to maximise what little light you do have, and are cheap, easy to use, and extremely effective. A good photography reflector works by directing light at your subjects and reducing dark and deep shadows, resulting in high-contrast shots and flattering product photos and portraits.

Top Tip: If you don’t have a reflector on hand, you can improvise your own using a plain white sheet, blanket, or picnic rug.

3. Embrace artificial lighting

If you want full control of your lighting conditions, you may want to consider artificial lighting. There are plenty of different photography lighting setups, but three of the easiest for home use are:

  • Camera-mounted speedlights, which can be directed to bounce off walls and ceilings for even, bright light.
  • Portable LED lights, which deliver consistent, soft light that is perfect for simple, beautiful selfies and well-lit vlogs.
  • Full studio lighting setups that use softboxes, high-powered flash guns, and backdrops to build a home photography studio.

All three types of photography lighting will allow you to tweak every aspect of your lighting, from the brightness of highlights to the darkness of shadows.

4. Use the right indoor photography settings

The best indoor photography settings vary slightly depending on the specific model and make of your camera, but in general tweaking, the following camera settings can help you achieve great results.

Raise your ISO

A higher ISO will allow you to take clear, stable handheld shots indoors. Just remember that if you set your ISO too high, your images will come out grainy and noisy, so exercise caution.

Use a wide aperture

Choosing a wide lens aperture will let in plenty of light and ensure your photos are balanced and well-lit. It will also allow you to take your macro and portrait photography to the next level by experimenting with shallow depths of fields.

White balance

While this isn’t directly related to lighting, your camera’s white balance has a dramatic effect on the colours in your photo. If you’re a beginner photographer, feel free to leave your white balance setting on “Auto”; otherwise, explore the other presets on your camera, or learn how to set your white balance manually.

Shoot in RAW

Shooting in RAW will capture a large, uncompressed copy of your image. This uncompressed file means you can make extensive adjustments in post-production, from adjusting your white balance to fixing any exposure errors.

Use a tripod

A tripod is one of the oldest and most popular photography accessories in existence – and with good reason! A tripod is your best friend when it comes to capturing sharp, blur-free photos indoors. It can also help you experiment with more advanced techniques such as time-lapse videos or long-exposure photography, or simply prevent camera shake from spoiling your portraits and still-life images.

Develop your indoor photography skills today

Spending more time than usual indoors is a great opportunity to level up your photography skills and experiment with techniques you wouldn’t otherwise try – like indoor photography! With the right tools and careful setup, you can start taking beautiful, atmospheric indoor portraits and still-life shots now.

For more creative photography tutorials and advice, visit the Ted’s Cameras blog today!

Written by Ted’s Cameras