There have been so many times in the last 11+ years when i have wanted to freeze time. There have also been times I have wanted to fast forward time, or rewind time (and make a better choice). That’s not an option. Freezing time though, that happens to be one option I actually have. Cameras are magical, aren’t they? Click down the shutter release, and bam! Time is frozen. Good thing too, because most of the moments I choose to freeze are what help keep me sane, when we are having some not-so-photo-worthy moments. Oh, I take pictures of those moments too, every now and then, but I try not to share those. I’m sure you get your fill of tantrums in your house. I don’t need to share mine with you too. Once upon a time, I was pretty sure I had all the tools in my belt to stop tantrums in their tracks. Yeah. I actually thought that. Then my oldest child spat at me in public when he was 3 and I was mid-waddle pregnant with our second, and I realized how wrong I was. He was a poster child- sweet and basically well-behaved with a touch of crazy in him. Yet, I felt the wrath of wild thing #1 that day in the mall. Sorry, I went off on a tangent, back to the reason you’re here- better indoor pictures.
Unfortunately, those moments you are trying to cling to don’t always happen when the lighting is perfect, or outside with a perfect background. and, even more unfortunate, these things can sometimes make people shy away from taking out their magical cameras in these moments they wish they could freeze.
Better indoor photos of your kids
- Turn your on camera flash OFF!! I know there will be those who disagree with me on this one. The thing is, unless you have a clue how your flash works, or have an external flash, you will end up with some icky shadows, or worse, red eye! Nobody wants that.
- Set your white balance appropriately. When you are working indoors, having camera set to auto white balance won’t usually do the trick, Specifically, if you are not using natural light. If you adjust your white balance according to the kind of light you are working in, you are less likely to end up with bright orange faces.
- Stop down. Opening your lens to the lowest possible f-stop will give your camera more light to work with. This will allow you to raise your shutter speed if you find it necessary to do so. It will also allow you to work with a lower ISO. plus, another bonus, it may just blur out distractions, landing the focus on your subject. If you’re not sure how to use your camera in manual mode, let me convince you to do so!!
- If you can’t get exposure right after you have chosen the aperture and shutter speed the way you see fit, don’t be afraid to raise your ISO. Yes, you may end up with a “noisier” image, but when you shoot indoors with low light, you learn to embrace the grain when left with no other option. Also, most cameras these days can shoot at higher ISOs with relatively low amounts of grain.
- Use a lower shutter speed and allow your camera more time to let light in. When you work with kids, a lower shutter speed isn’t always an option. However, if you’re taking pictures of sleeping babies, or otherwise quiet moments, it’s worthwhile to attempt the shot at a lower shutter speed.
- Try filling the frame in to remove clutter and other unwanted distractions in your shot. Or check out this post on removing distractions in your images.
- Find a window!! Finding a window, or a room with lots of available natural light, will open up your options when choosing your settings.
- If you set your white balance, and you’re still unhappy with the colors in your image, try turning it to black and white. This is easily done in Adobe Lightroom (here are some more things you can do with lightroom). Some of my favorite indoor shots would have been sent to the recycling bin had I not decided to try them in black and white.
- Work with ambient light rather than overhead lighting. Using table lamps, flashlights, tv light, etc gives the image feeling. You may end up with a shot that is a bit grainy, or dark, but when you look at the image it will take you back. Using overhead light almost always yields very unflattering shadows. I hope this helps!! Don’t stop taking pictures just because you’re stuck inside! You may just need to dig a few of these up when you’re having a rough day.
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stop avoiding your camera!!
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