Shooting indoor portraits is a tremendous opportunity to undoubtedly get creative and explore diverse techniques. You are in a smaller environment compared to working outdoors, but you have more control over the space. No need to worry about weather elements or bystanders in the photo when you are shooting indoors. In an indoor setting, it is easier to control your lighting source and make it perform to your exact needs. Also, by using backdrops indoors, you can secure it, move it, and not have to worry about it blowing away in the wind. With a few quick tips to get you started, you will be on your way to grasping the concepts used in shooting portraits indoors.
The lens you choose for your indoor shoot is especially important because you are usually working with a smaller space. It is not always possible to be as far away from your subject as you need to be. This is where the correct lens will come into play. A wide angle lens is paramount in portrait photos. With this particular lens, the focal length is considerably smaller than that of a normal lens. An 85mm lens makes for a great tool when it comes to portraiture. It allows almost the same short distance away from your subject while preserving the image quality.
Another quick tip for shooting portraits indoors is to set a wide aperture to capture a shallow depth of field. Shooting in the Aperture Mode on your camera will set the shutter speed to the correct exposure.
Lighting indoors can be tricky but there is one source that you can always count on: windows! Windows are a photographer’s best friend. Soft lighting generated from windows can be the only light source you need. One big mistake that you must avoid is using more than one light source indoors. You should not have the lights on indoors while also using the light from the windows. Mixing light sources can confuse and throw off the color balance. Stick with the window light source and it may be all you need!
Backdrops are a photographer’s best companion when shooting portraits indoors. They are versatile, portable, and easy to use. When shooting portraits indoors, it is useful to be able to move your backdrop around. You never know if your window lighting source may move and you have the ability to move with it. They can be easily hung up using clamps, painters tape, curtain rods, etc. There are an abundance of custom backdrops for every situation. Scenic backdrops that are incredibly realistic looking and a great asset to any photographer.
The use of a tripod when shooting an indoor portrait can be a valuable tool. Without the outdoor elements to interfere, a tripod will greatly reduce camera shake. Besides the normal shake from clicking the camera, holding a DSLR camera for long periods of time can be wearing. Your tired hands become shaky and hence, camera shake.
Reflectors can be a great resource when utilizing the window light indoors. This is a tool made of reflective fabric that differs in sizes and colors. When a subject is facing forward and the window light is directly on half of them, a shadow can be casted on their opposite side. A reflector placed on the side with the shadow can bounce the light onto the shadowy area.
Shooting indoor differs moderately from shooting out in the “field.” The control you have over your environment indoors allows for innovative concepts to come to life in a an abundant way. Your portraits will flourish with practice and determination.