How to Photograph Your Life at Home | Quarantine Tips & Tricks

For Photographers

Apr 9, 2020

If you’re not working on the front lines or working outside the home (thank you to all of you!), chances are you’ve been safe at home for about a month now. While we’re all questioning our sanity occasionally, we are trying our hardest to savor this sweet time with our family over here. Whether you’re at home with kids, with your partner, or it’s just you, now is a great time to preserve these memories! If you’re looking for a few tips for photographing your life at home during the COVID-19 quarantine, we’ve put together a few suggestions for you below! No need for a fancy camera – a cell phone will do!

How to Photograph Life at Home During the Quarantine

  1. Shooting during the day with natural light is always your best bet for beautiful images. Find a room with natural light and you’ll be golden!
  2. If you have any spaces in your home with neutral walls and furniture, that’s optimal. Clean and neutral colors prevent colors from casting on skin and throwing off skin tones.
  3. Turn off overhead lights and/or lamps. This is HUGE. Having artificial light like lamps and home lighting really does a number on the white balance (coloring) of images (and the highlights/shadows, too). Try taking a photo with those lights on. Then turn them off, and try again. You’ll be amazed at the difference!
  4. Avoid harsh lighting like direct sunlight. If you see a large sunbeam coming through the window and casting a shadow on the floor, skip that space.
  5. Have your subject (a child, pet, plant, etc.), face a window. This will give beautiful natural light to your subject’s face.
  6. Avoid photographing your subject with a window behind them. You’ll end up with a bright background and dark subject with poor skin tone.
  7. If using a cell phone, tap on the subject’s face and your phone will adjust the exposure for you.
  8. If there’s something you want to capture in the evening without much light, that’s okay! Those moments can be so sweet and the dim lighting isn’t always a bad thing. Just avoid using the flash on your phone/camera.

A Few More Tips:

-Try different angles! Shoot from straight on, from above, from below – just play around to find something that captivates you!

-Try different compositions. Take a photo with your subject directly in the center of the frame. Take one with the subject off to the right, etc.

-Capture the here and now. Don’t worry about the clutter or the toys in the background. You’ll love the reality of the photos later.

-Don’t forget to clean your camera lens, too!

(Left: unedited iPhone photo. Right: Edited with Lightroom Mobile)

Editing Suggestions:

-Download the Free Lightroom Mobile app

-Avoid using filters. Adjust things like the brightness/exposure, contrast, highlights, and shadows. They will be the things that make the biggest difference without giving your photos a filer-y look.

-You can always try Lightroom presets that you can find online, too! These are great if you have a specific look you’re wanting. There are tons you can purchase online, but also some great free options.

-For editing our DSLR photos (we shoot with Canon 5D Mark IVs), we do all of our editing on Lightroom on our computers. This is not free, but the mobile one is!

*We also want you to know that these are tips if you’re wanting to try them. Do we do all of these things every time we take a photo of our kids? Absolutely not. We have tons of images on our phones that are taken with the window behind them, lights on, a dark room, and so on. Why? Because that just happened to be where and when the moment happened that we wanted to preserve. So, by no means should you feel like you need to do this with every photo. *

We hope this helps! Stay healthy, everyone!

*All photos in this post were taken with an iPhone 8.

Photos at home

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