Thursday, July 5, 2012

photo tip : indoor photography

If you know me, you know that I prefer shooting outdoors in natural light. I HATE shooting indoors, especially with ugly florescent lights. Everything comes out yellow and nasty and it takes forever to white balance the images in Photoshop. Even if you tried to custom white balance in the camera, it's still awful compared to the beautiful natural light.

But, sometimes you just can't choose. Indoor birthday parties, playdates at someone's house, can't be too picky.

So, here are some tips on getting decent indoor photos without using flash (I know I'm not the only one who hates flash photos)

Tip #1 Open up the aperture to the widest possible. This lets in the most amount of light (therefore, will be able to avoid using flash)

Tip #2 If possible, take your subject near a window. More light, the better.

Tip #3 Try different angles. You'll be surprised to see that certain angles will be give you better light than others.

Tip #4 Don't be afraid to bump your ISO. I frequently push my ISO to 4000 to compensate for low light. Knowing your camera and knowing how high you can set your ISO without getting the graininess will help.

Tip #5 Breathe, and pray.

Here's an example of my son taking a bath. In the images below, I had all my windows opened in my living room so that the light would flow in from the door. I also had my window opened and deliberately put my son in the tub when the best light came through window. In addition, I adjusted the mirror on the medicine cabinet so the light would bounce off to the tub. Now, my bathroom is super tiny and dinky. In order to get the most of it, I got a step stool to get a wide shot without capturing all the "bathroom junk". Oh, and I made lots and lots of bubbles so I can hide my son's "junk". Hahha

Canon 5D Mark II 28-70mm 2.8L (ISO 640. f 2.8, 1/200)

Canon 5D Mark II 28-70mm 2.8L (ISO 640. f 2.8, 1/250)

Canon 5D Mark II 28-70mm 2.8L (ISO 640. f 2.8, 1/250)

Canon 5D Mark II 28-70mm 2.8L (ISO 640. f 2.8, 1/250)

This last photo is taken in his room. All the windows were opened, but it was getting dark outside, hence the high ISO.

Canon 5D Mark II 28-70mm 2.8L (ISO 2500 f 2.8, 1/200)
Hope this helps!


  1. So stinking cute! Great tip with the mirror!

  2. LOVE these shots! thanks for the tips:)

  3. good tips! its hard when you're inside in the winter specially. doors closed,not much sunlight.

  4. What a great tip(s)! Those bath pictures are so precious--so bright and love the pops of color.