I get it, we can all feel sometimes like it’s harder to take photos when we are stuck in at home, rather than in the great outdoors.
But there are loads of opportunities for capturing great photos of our kids indoors as well as out.
So today, I’ve come up with 8 ideas for photographs you take of your children at home, along with a few tips and tricks for each one.
Ready? Let’s go!
1. Simple Window Portrait
Let’s start with some basics shall we? All you need to do gorgeous portraits of your children is a large window with some natural light coming in (although NOT direct sunlight) and preferably, an uncluttered background.
If you are just starting out, you can have your subject face into the light (so you as the photographer have the window at your back) as this will bring soft even light onto the face. It’s not the most dramatic light to be sure, but it’s super easy to work with when you are first starting out, and will give soft creamy skin, and beautiful catchlights in the eyes.
When you are a bit farther along, you can move your subject sot that the light is coming in from the side. This helps add more shadows to the face, which in turn help give it more depth and dimension.
Of course for younger children you might not get exact placement, so just plonk them down in front of a large window and hope for the best :-)
Who doesn’t love to see their child sleeping? Melts your heart every time. (I have a theory it’s because they’re finally quiet, but whatever)
Anyway, if you have a child that naps during the day, that’s brilliant, because you can usually get photos of them in good natural daylight, which does make life easier.
That said, I also love images taken of my child sleeping in low light. Just as when photographing during the day, side light is more flattering than overhead lights.
A little tip here is to use the Pro HD Softbox App (or something similar) on your iPad - it allows you to add a small amount of directional light to the scene when shooting when it’s dark!
3. Favourite Activity
There are SO many opportunities for photographing your child just by letting them do their favourite activities, such as painting or, bizarrely, in my son’s case washing the paint pots AFTER we’ve finished painting.
The same thing applies here as it does for taking a portrait - try to set the activity up in a place that you know has good natural light coming in. So in this image below we have natural light coming in through the window in front of him.
Making sure you pick the right light to set up your activity in is half the battle!
Ahhh, bathtime. Who doesn’t love it?
Plus, kids are always usually darn happy in the bath which makes it a great time to take images!
Again, try to use natural light if you possibly can as this provides a softness that overhead lighting just can’t keep up. (Since I have a super small window in my bathroom I do tend to also dig out my speedlight for these)
I also love to add loads of bubbles to the bath - it helps give your child a little modesty, and it makes bath time more fun!
If your child is small enough, and you don’t like the light you have in the bathroom, you can always plonk them down in the sink instead!
5. Low Light
One aspect of shooting indoors I really LOVE is the ability to use low light to get more dramatic images.
It can be trickier to shoot when there is less light to be sure, so make sure that you find a pocket of light to place your subject in - this could be light from a table lamp, light from an open door, or as we said earlier, light from something like the soft box app.
Then simply make sure that you let as much light into the camera as possible by opening up your aperture, slowing down your shutter speed, and whacking up that ISO.
If you are not sure what settings you should be using in different situations, then be sure to download my FREE manual settings cheat sheet - I give you suggested numbers for all three :-) Go here to grab it.
Another thing to watch out for when shooting indoors is CONNECTIONS - moments that happen between people where they connect in some way.
This could be siblings sharing a secret, or reading time with Grandma, or the tickle time between father and son.
I always like to have what I want to capture in my head and try to set up a situation where I can try to take it. For example, setting up reading time with Grandma in the chair next to the nice large window…
7. Jumping on the bed
And who doesn’t love jumping on the bed?! Well, you probably, but your kids probably love it. Especially if they’re not allowed to do it all the time :-)
For this type of image, it’s really important to have a high enough shutter speed or you’ll end up with motion blur in your image. I would say at least 1/800 to ensure a crisp, clean shot. I’d also shoot with a smaller aperture than you normally would to help make sure that you get your subject in focus. (Don’t forget you can download that manual settings cheat sheet for more help)
A good tip for bed jumping shots can be to get down low and shoot up - it makes them look like they’re jumping higher :-)
Finally, do make sure that you do this safely of course - nothing on the bed that they could land on, no jumping on the sides (always in the middle) and I make sure I get rid of any stray items at the side, and I also put some pillow over any hard corners. We have a HUGE bed so this is never a problem for us, but be super careful that there are no accidents!
8. Get in the Frame
Don’t forgot to capture the connection YOU have with your child - by getting in the frame with them!
It’s so, so, so, so incredibly important that you have images of you and your child together, so don’t let your dislike of having your photo taken get in the way.
Plus, remember, you’ll have full control of the culling and editing process :-)
I won’t give you tips on how to get in the frame here, only because I’ve already written an epic blog post about it which you can read here: how to take a self portrait.
That’s it from me today, be sure to have fun photographing your child at home!