Do you ever see your child doing something sweet at home, but when you try to capture the moment it looks dark because there is not enough light.  Indoor photography can be so much trickier than outdoors since there is less light to work with. This can make our images dark, grainy or blurry. Of course, there is always flash photography. But the flash on top of your camera will give you a harsh light that will not look good, so unless you’re armed with a few off camera lights, it’s easy to miss the moment.

Learn the Light in Your Home

The best was to take photos indoors is the work with the light in your home. Start by paying attention to it. Where are the brightest spots? How does the light change in the day? Do you know what direction your house faces? This can tell you about the light in your home.

  • Please note the comments below relate the the northern hemisphere. If you are in the southern hemisphere, the opposite applies.
  • East facing windows – Get the morning sun, will be cooler and darker in the afternoon
  • West facing windows – Get the afternoon sun, the setting sun may stream in through the windows
  • North facing windows – Do not get any direct sunlight. The light is softer and more diffused. Get’s less light than south facing windows.
  • South Facing Windows – Get a lot of light. Direct sunlight in winter when the sun is lower.

Try taking photos in different spots and different times of the day. This will give you an idea of where the best light is, and what effect different light has on your images.

One benefit of positioning her table next to the window was I always had enough light to capture sweet moments like the time she had tea with Peppa Pig.

Work with the Light

No you know what lighting works, you can use it to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to home some things around to get the best light. If there is a bright spot in the middle of your living room, put your child’s favourite toy there and encourage them to play with it. Or move the board game your family are playing closer to the window so you have enough light.

My daughter and I love to bake together so I know this was a moment I wanted to capture. The trouble is the kitchen table is tucked away in a dark corner, and if I used the counters I would be too afraid of her falling to take any pictures.

Our kitchen faces west and gets the afternoon light streaming through the windows. I knew I wanted to capture it.

The solution? I brought her little table from the living room and placed it in the middle of the kitchen. I decided to have her face away from the window. Firstly, it was late afternoon and the light was strong, so if she was facing the window the light would be been flat and far too bright. Secondly, I love backlit images and I wanted to light to stream through her hair in light the flour as she was baking.

Even though the sun is coming from behind there is still plenty of light bouncing off the white surface so that her face is lit. I love the light streaming through her hair (it also does a great job of hiding some of the clutter behind her!)

I love the way the light looks on the floor. I don’t usually encourage toddlers to throw flower, but in the case I let her go wild!

We had so much fun with the session we did it again. This time it was later and the sun was lower in the sky, so there is less light available.

How to take photos indoors