Can You Take Great Photos at Home?

March 15, 2015

It’s cold. It’s snowing. It’s raining. There are plenty of legitimate reasons that you can’t go outside or go on and adventure for your next photography exploration. There are also, however, plenty of legitimate venues for expanding your photography experience and understanding while stuck at home. Indoors. Where it’s warm.

Walk around your home, follow your normal walking pattern and pathway. What objects around you are you not taking account of? What fine wood detail or ornate brass candle holder has been left unnoticed for years? Macro photography is a great way to add life and a new perspective on objects we overlook in day-to-day life. It’s also a great way to practice composition and balance in photography. Spices, metals, vases, rust, even money takes on a whole new form when you take a few steps in!

Bokeh, bokay, boque, or any combination of the three still means the same thing; interesting shots you can compose even at home. You don’t need to be a professional photographer or buy expensive backdrops to have some fun with bokeh effects at home, in fact it’s actually pretty simple! All you need is a bit of tinfoil, a controllable light source, and your camera.

Crumple tinfoil into a small ball.

Open the tinfoil back up without flattening out the edges made from crumpling.

Stick the tinfoil behind your subject making sure to cover your frame from edge to edge. Whether with a directional lamp from your office, or a constant light from your local photography store, light your subject and background separately. (lighting them separately ensures for better exposures on both)


There’s strength in numbers, right? Well the same goes for interesting photography. Repetition provides us with movement; where do I get pulled into the photograph and where do I get shot out? Arranging repetitious colors, shapes, and patterns adds a hierarchy of visual stimuli. What can’t I keep my eyes from staring at? Maybe those are duplicated shapes, how many do I compare to find out? How varied can these objects be? There are plenty of dialogues created by repetition in photography, explore the different variations and how they affect the images’ flow.

Next, let’s play with backlighting our subjects! It’s as simple as arranging your lighting from the back of your subject and not adding light to their front side. Some objects will allow for light to pass through to the camera and more solid objects will obstruct light; you choose which is more fun! Fruit and glassware will allow enough light to pass through that you can actually photograph the details inside the object. Even slides or film can create a fun backlit narrative. Other objects, or people, will allow for little to no light to pass through creating a silhouette of a solid form. Create false landscapes by arranging toys or figures between you and your source of light.

Even on the coldest, gloomiest day stuck indoors there’s still plenty of fun to be had with your camera. With a little bit of staging the amount of expertise that can be accrued at home is only limited by the time you can put in to your work. But how much easier is it to work on your own terms and pace, all from the comfort or your living room?