Photography Week: Indoor Photography Tips

Welcome to Day 2 of  Photography Week! Today we’re going over some indoor photography tips. Did you  miss yesterday’s post? On Day 1 we discussed outdoor photography and a beginner’s guide to the DSLR camera.

 Today I’m going to introduce you to my secret weapon for indoor photography…the external flash! I picked up this Neewer flash on Amazon (affiliate link) for under $40 and it has made an enormous difference in my indoor photography. If you don’t live in a house with lots of natural light this is a must-buy
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Let’s look at an example…. Here’s Levi in the nursery. This room only has 1 window and the sun is on the other side of the house for most of the day so it gets very little light. To compensate I used my highest ISO setting (6400) and you can see the photo is still very dark and has odd shadows. Even he looks unhappy about it 🙁
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On auto my camera uses the flash. The lighting is very harsh and unnatural and he has shadows around his body. Still no good
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Then I used the external flash. This is a tiny bit overexposed but that’s my fault not the flash 🙂 Now it looks as if this photo was taken in a room with gorgeous natural lighting. So much better!
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Here’s his nursery captured with the external flash. Bright and cheery!
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Now the question is how do you use it? The external flash mounts right on top of your camera and the flash can be angled in any direction. If you aim the flash right at your subject (like your on-camera flash) you will end up having all the same problems. The key is to bounce the flash off the wall/ceiling behind you which diffuses the light and gives you nice natural lighting free of shadows. Mr. Safari here is demonstrating for us. His flash is angled back at the wall/ceiling behind him and that light then bounces back towards his subject. The external flash comes with a variety of power levels so you’ll want to play around with it a bit before doing your photoshoot

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If you’re lucky you have some nice lighting in your home and won’t need to use a flash. In our old apartment we had excellent light in the kids’ room. The key to capturing that light is to have your subject facing the light source. In this example my kids are facing the window and I am in-between them and the window (I crouched below the window so I wasn’t blocking it’s light). Look around your house throughout the day to find areas that might work well for photos. Ideally you would also have a blank wall to use as a backdrop instead of a messy room 🙂IMG_6883

This photo was taken in our kitchen at night so all of the light is coming from our overhead lights. I still like this photo better than the versions taken with my on-camera flash but you can see it has a bit of a yellow tint from the light source.
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I hope that helps you with your indoor photography! Tomorrow and Thursday we’re going over backdrops!

6 Responses

  1. I have some spots in the house where it is too difficult to get the subject facing the light source because the setup of furniture. Because I don’t have an external flash I have even used a mirror to redirect natural lighting towards a subject!

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