If you're like us, picking up your camera to take pictures of your kids "doing their thing" happens inside your home A LOT! Some of the best memories captured are when they're playing in their rooms, reading with their siblings, or eating their first foods in their high chair.
There are several things you can do to make the best use of the natural light inside your home when you're shooting on manual mode. Here are 6 tips to help you find the best natural light before you start snapping!
1. Choose a Room with Natural Light
There are rooms in every house that are dark and rooms in every house that have more windows and natural light. Try using your camera when you're in your brighter rooms, or move to one of those rooms if there is something you're wanting to capture. Also watch the light in these rooms throughout the day- you'll notice that the light color and quality changes throughout the day. For instance, I know that I love taking photos upstairs on the South side of the house in the morning, and also downstairs on the West side of the house in the afternoon.
2. Open the Blinds
Maximize the natural light coming through the windows by opening the curtains and blinds! You can even take it as far as looping the curtains up over the curtain rod to let even more light in. Every little bit helps. You will need to change your camera settings if you started shooting when the curtains or blinds were drawn. After you open them there is a lot more light inside the room and you can generally lower your ISO.
3. Turn off the Lights
This is one of the simplest tips that makes the biggest difference! By turning off the electrical lights wherever you're shooting you can eliminate that yellowy tint and reflections those lights cause in your photos, allowing you to take advantage of the full color and quality of natural light. Turn out lamps as well as overhead lights in the ceiling.
4. Move Your Subject Near the Window
Below each window, there is a pool of natural light. Stand back from the windows and you will see that pool on the floor. These pools of light are great places to photograph your subject. Even in a late evening and low light situation, these pools of light near the window yield the perfect setting for catching your child's candid play or capturing your baby eating his messy, solid foods in his high chair.
5. White Reflects Light
The color white reflects light and can be a natural reflector when you're taking pictures. Rooms with white walls, white bedding, and white furniture can be utilized this way by placing your subject to play or pose on or around these elements. (Tip: buy an inexpensive, large piece of white foam or poster board to use as a reflector)
6. Open the Door
Similarly to the windows, you can use the front or back door as an ideal photo spot. Put your baby down to play with blocks or books in the door's pool of light. Try opening the door to let even more light inside an entryway or room!
We hope these tips help and inspire you to practice manual mode using natural light in your home!
Angela and Kacey