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5 Handy Tips for Indoor Portrait Photography

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Why is indoor photography so appealing? The reason is that indoor spaces, particularly homes, have a familial atmosphere. Being in a location full of someone’s beloved possessions is both eye-opening and heartwarming. Photographing that location with its happy owners is even better. This kind of environment gives portrait photographers a chance to take photos that are both intimate and welcoming.

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Indoor photography is a fantastic source of inspiration and creative growth. While the limited amount of light can prove to be a hassle at times, it challenges photographers to make the most of what they have in any artistic situation. Using their indoor photography skills, experienced photographers can fearlessly take stunning photos and impress their clients.

If you’d like to enhance your portfolio with striking indoor portraits, here are 5 effective tips that will help you get there!

Use Windows of All Sizes

Any light, no matter how insignificant, can add something unique to your portrait. Windows are the most important source of light in any indoor location, so use them fearlessly. Here are ways you can use window light:

  • To create warm and ethereal images, use your window as a background. Don’t worry if your results end up looking overexposed. Mild overexposure will enhance your photos, creating a soft canvas that will be easy to color correct during the editing process.
  • If used with curtains on a sunny day, a window will create beautiful shadows. These can be used as decorations on your model’s face.
  • Direct window light on a gloomy day is ideal for taking simple and well-lit portraits.

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Find Appealing Backgrounds

Wallpapers, paintings, decorations, or even simple backgrounds will make your client stand out in various ways. If you want a minimalistic feel, use white walls. If you want to focus on compositions that complement each other, include more items in your shot. Use backgrounds you’d typically ignore. Before you know it, you’ll have an abundance of diverse photographs happily waiting to be shared.

Play with Artificial Light

Artificial light doesn’t have to be professional. Lamps, torches, Christmas lights, and anything you can think of can contribute to your shoot.

If you’re struggling with harsh artificial light, cover it with a semi-transparent material (e.g. paper) or a material that will cast eye-catching shadows on your model. The results will stand out in the most refreshing way.

If the temperature in your photos appears too warm or too cold, adjust the temperature in-camera or shoot in black & white mode. Alternatively, you can ignore the unnatural colors and fix them in your editing program later. Lightroom does a great job when it comes to desaturating unnecessary colors.

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Use a (DIY) Reflector

If there’s very little light available, a reflector will help you boost it. Think of reflectors as milder versions of windows. They can be professional or homemade. Regardless of their price, they’ll enhance your model’s face, add more liveliness to a room, and let you control light. Even a blank sheet of paper will work!

Don’t Be Afraid of High ISO Numbers

Most DSLR cameras nowadays are capable of handling large amounts of grain. Increase your ISO if your photos start to look blurry and dark. If your grainy photos look too overbearing, however, use Lightroom’s handy noise reduction tool.

Mastering indoor portrait photography will take your client photos to the next level. Regardless of the lighting situation, you’ll feel comfortable in any environment. Limitations related to space and light will cease to intimidate you.

The next time you step into a building, look around. Find a detail that could benefit you. You never know where your next best idea will come from. So go out and shoot fearlessly.

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