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6 Modern Family Photography Tips for Indoor Fun

Creating stunning indoor family photos without expensive equipment through lighting, focal length, and background choice.

Traditional family photography is almost always done outside because the natural light affords many opportunities that require no effort. However, photographing inside is a different project altogether. Since you do not have the advantage of sunlight, you must create your own lighting environment to accurately capture your family in all its perfection.

I recently set out to better understand the difference between family photography outside and family photography inside. From the outset, I’ll have to add the usual caveat about my aptitude as a photographer. This subject title is not my wheelhouse of expertise; however, I have some abilities to investigate and present findings.

The world wide web is a space filled with information, and I believe we should all contribute to this space with data and information. I believe that I was interested in this topic and that my findings may help someone in the future, so I decided to try and produce a succinct post.

Here are 6 solid tips to help you produce the stunning results you want, giving you the best family photos without purchasing an expensive lighting studio.

1. Just Start Taking Pictures to Commence Your Family Photography

When working with your initial setup, take a couple of experimental shots. First, it’s good to establish a starting point. Then, take a few pictures of your current environment and see how well the photographs turn out.

This initial trigger-happy tactic will allow you to know what adjustments you need to make to improve the quality of your shots. Besides, your initial shots may come out much better than expected, giving you an even more vital starting point to turn your family photography into professional creations.

2. Use Long Focal Lengths

Long focal lengths open the lens up to capture a lot more light. This is a critical tool to take advantage of your little light indoors. More exposure leads to more brilliance in your photos. Most professionals will use 80-200mm lenses set to 145mm to create a stunning effect. Make sure you use an f/2.8 lens as well.

Family photography with mum taking picture with her family while sitting on the sofa

3. Set Up A Tripod For Your Family Photography

Holding the camera still while indoors can be a challenge. If you want to completely eliminate shakiness, invest in a tripod. It will automatically produce much higher-quality family photos that look sharp and crisp.

There is no need to focus on steadying the camera when you can leave that to the tripod. Focus instead on mixing your lighting and altering the scene to create the perfect set of photos.

4. Experiment with Your Lights

The only way to know whether you’ve achieved a stunning photo is to experiment. The old adage goes, “practice makes perfect”. And that couldn’t be truer in this context.

Different lighting angles create drastically different effects. Try different positions, different types of lights, and different temperatures. They can all create different pieces, each with its own mood and personality.

5. Set Your Background

Your background plays a vital role in the establishment of good indoor lighting. When you begin your photo shoot, place your subject in front of a black velvet cloth or drape. Black is known to absorb light, which helps focus exposure solely on the subject.

Use a prop to keep the cloth up. At the same time, you capture your subject in various lighting styles and camera angles. You will soon gain popularity with family, friends and kid’s friends with grade-A photos that will put your local family portrait photographer out of business. This may not be a great idea if you plan to be loved locally.

6. Use A Fast Shutter Speed

Fast shutters capture light in unique ways. Shutters can capture light and angles that may not even be visible to the naked eye. This is the best method for taking selfies with kids who have trouble sitting down for a few moments at a time.

A good starting point is to set your camera to 1/160th of a second using f/2.8. ISO 500 also helps. In line with the tips above, use this in combination with a tripod and different lighting angles to elevate your indoor photography potential.

You can easily integrate your newfound skill of family photography into fun family activities at home!


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