April 23, 2020

6 Tips to Get Great Photos at Home

We’ve been in a creative rut lately, can anyone else relate? This quarantine has felt like an eternity, and we’ve been antsy for the outside world. We are happy to stay home to flatten the curve (it’s the responsible thing to do, folks!), but staying home for this long has felt like a roadblock to our creativity!But, it has dawned on us that THIS is the time to create! We want to use this extra time we have on our hands by creating! When else will we ever have time like this again to try new things, get good at the things we already do, and to reinvigorate our passions!? What gets you excited to create?So, in the spirit of getting  creative, we decided to do a home photoshoot and create a guide with 6 tips to get great photos at home! We enlisted the help of our siblings (who we are quarantining with). We hope this gives you ideas on how to take excellent photos without having to go anywhere.


Lighting is K.E.Y.

Lighting is SO much fun to play with, right?! We spent a few days watching the lighting in different parts of our house to see when the best time to shoot was. We ended up shooting around 4pm against a window with white screens. This created a beautiful soft-box effect. Who needs to buy a soft-box when you have beautiful, natural lighting?! We wanted to play around with backlighting, so we got a few beautiful shots of Hanna with that in mind! We think lighting is one of the most important tips in our 6 tips to get great photos at home.

As we shot into the afternoon, we got to play with the shadows. They added so much depth to the photos, and a little angst (everyone loves a little angst). If you don’t have a window with a soft screen, you can tape a white sheet over the window to create a similar effect.

Location, location, location!

Some say location is everything, we say “ehhhh”. When taking photos at home, the world is your oyster (or your home is your oyster?). We used a white, wrinkled sheet held in place on a backdrop. If you want the illusion of a photo studio but don’t have a backdrop, simply tape a sheet to your wall. But, you can use a bare wall, the floor, even your living room! Mix it up and try different locations. You can also take this party outside when it hits golden hour to get some glowing photos, or wait until blue hour when your photos will look more moody and dramatic! You really can take photos any where, you just have to have a vision of what you want to get out of the space.

Show Off Who You Are with a Prop

If you don’t know what to do in a photo, why not bring in a prop? Not only will you have something to spice up your photos, it’s also a way of showing off who you are! Do you love music and you rock the guitar like nobody else? Is your dog your favorite person in the world? Or are you have a love for plants?! These are all things you can incorporate into your photos that show off the authentic and real you! You can even use your clothing as a prop to play with like I did with my sweater!

Hands and Hair

The rule of the 2H’s (just made that up on the spot). If all else fails, work with your hands and hair! I NEVER know what to do with my hands during a photoshoot and I often feel awkward. Can you relate? Never fear! Playing with your hands and hair is one way to create movement and interest in a photo. Swoop your hair to the side and give a cheeky side glance, or create an interesting angle with your hand. You also start to feel more confident as you sassily whip your head back and forth (cue Willow).

Angles

Everyone sees the world from eye height, but why not get lower and try a different perspective? Trying different angles for each person can help prevent the photo from turning out a little awkward (clearly I’m speaking from experience here!). Just experiment and don’t be afraid to try new angles to shoot from that may be unfamiliar to you.

man looking thoughtful away from the camera against a home made backdrop

HOT TIP: Don’t Stop Moving

If you take anything away from these tips, it’s this one! Moving during a photoshoot not only gives you interesting photos, it also gives you an extreme confidence boost! As you start to warm up, you’ll get more comfortable trying different poses, expressions, and stances. See which ones you like and keep moving between them, changes a few things each time to spice up your photos.

We hope our 6 tips to get great photos at home give you a few ideas on how you can level up your home photoshoots, and a few ways to feel more comfortable in front of the camera at home! We know this is a time or hardship and stress for many of you, and we’re praying for peace and guidance during this hectic time. Take time to create and do things that give you joy!

If you’re wanting more information how to plan elopements and intimate weddings, click here! We’d love to connect with you and support you as you plan during this time. If you’d like to see more of our work, check out this blog about a Joshua Tree engagement photoshoot.

Gear used for this photoshoot:

Some of the links below are affiliate links, where we earn a small commission if you click on the link and purchase an item at no extra charge to you. We appreciate you supporting us as we continue to create, and hope to share more valuable content with you.

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The Party's This way—

Josiah and Summer are photographers and videographers based in Orange County in Southern California. They specialize in elopements, small weddings, and branding.They are dedicated to telling authentic stories and forever chasing Southern California sunsets. 

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