If a curated Instagram feed is one of your resolutions for 2021, you don’t need to travel far to take stunning photos. There are plenty of ways to take professional-looking photos from the comforts of your home, no matter what your house looks like. Here are some tips and pointers for home photos you can be proud of on social media.
Use natural light.
There’s a reason why this advice comes up in every photography-related content. Natural light is the best way to capture a moment; it’s the best way to shoot interiors, and it does away with the harshness of the camera flash or a ring light. Shoot during the daytime and keep the drapes open. Wait for what photographers call the “golden hour,” or the time of the day before sunrise and sunset when the sun is at its lowest—it will give your photos a warm and soft tone that you won’t achieve any other time during the day.
Incorporate unique and interesting details into an ordinary space.
Your home doesn’t need to be straight out of Architectural Digest for you to produce stunning photos. All you need to do is to find unique, interesting, and photogenic pieces to photograph and incorporate them into ordinary spaces, like a simple table or a window. Pay careful attention to the details of your home and even your possessions and find the best angles to photograph them in. Wait how the light changes throughout the day. When the right elements come together, you can create gorgeous photos out of the most mundane things in your home.
Know your camera from the inside out.
It’s true what they say about photography: “It’s not the arrow; it’s the archer.” OK, maybe no one says that about photography, but they should. It’s not about the camera or tool that we use; it’s how we use it. You don’t need the most expensive, most state-of-the-art equipment to produce quality photos. Even the “best” camera in the world is worth nothing in the hands of a photographer who doesn’t know what to do with it. So no matter your tool, whether it’s a smartphone, a DSLR, or even a film camera—make sure to understand it from the inside out so that you can take full advantage of its features.
Make use of a tripod and grid lines.
If you don’t have the most stable hands, consider investing in an entry-level tripod. Having a steady camera can help you be more intentional and purposeful in making your composition. If the lights are low when you shoot, a tripod can also help with your camera’s exposure because it can help you slow the shutter speed. A sturdy tripod also minimizes the risk of movement, which allows for more light to enter the camera than if you were taking the photo handheld.
Explore spaces in your home you have never fully explored before.
To the resourceful eye, any space can be shot in many creative ways. If you have access to your roof, consider staging a photoshoot from there since you instantly have the benefit of having natural light and other interesting elements like trees and other buildings and structures. If your home has an insulated roof system, consider taking photos from that height or angle since it’s sturdy enough to handle your weight. Just take every precaution you can so you don’t fall!
Opt for one subject.
Choose a subject you want to focus on. Don’t be afraid of negative spaces. Your subject shouldn’t fill up the entire space; rather, at least three-thirds of your photo should have negative space. If you’re using a smartphone, don’t forget to tap the subject to optimize the lighting and focus function.
Use leading lines and focal points. Leading lines are simply any lines in your composition that direct the viewer’s eye to your subject. Some examples include a path through the woods, a narrow hallway, staircases, roads, and even building facades.
Explore color grading and filters.
Once you’ve mastered the art of composition, explore the best possible apps for color grading your photos and using filters. Fixing the contrast, brightness, exposure, and saturation can go a long way in improving your photo.
The Bottom Line
Nothing can help boost one’s mood than a well-curated social media feed. While we should never find validation from people’s likes, learning how to take photos well can help us appreciate what we have instead of being resentful about our circumstances. So see your current situation through a fresh pair of lens—pick up a camera and document your time in quarantine.