I think that the home has some of the best photo ops available to the serious amateur photographer. The problem is that we just don’t include it in our list of photo destinations. So if you need to be inspired to get creative this is what you need to do to practically have a fun photo day. You wake up in the morning with a passion to shoot pictures, draw the curtains and the rain starts to beat against the window. All your hopes of a photography fun day go out the window. But, that isn’t the end of you photo fun for the day because there are lots to shoot around the home. Let’s get creative and shoot things that you usually wouldn’t.
1. Shoot a portrait
Rainy and overcast days offer some of the best natural lighting opportunities for a photo shoot at home. So find a place to shoot that has a large window with plenty of light coming in, the more the better. The overcast cloudy day offers beautiful diffused light that can result in amazing portrait photographs. So keep the idea as one of your top. Until you have done a photo shoot of a family member or friend under these conditions you won’t know what you are missing. Soft light is gorgeous and you won’t believe how different your photos will be. You might need a reflector to fill in some light on the opposite side of your subject’s face but that is all. No more additional light should be needed.
2. Shoot a still life
Under the same conditions shoot an object that is interesting and has perhaps some texture or pattern. The side lighting will create an amazing image without the harsh shadows of flash or direct sunlight. The side lighting picks up the texture and brings it out creating an image hard to duplicate with artificial lighting. Now this one can really turn into a fun experience by adding a little challenge. Make sure that you have easy access to the object from all angles and then shoot it in 50 different ways so that each image is different from the others. And, if you are really adventurous increase that number to 100. I call it my 100 shots challenge. By the end of the session I can guarantee that you will feel a sense of achievement.
3. Shoot some detail
The one thing we never appreciate in our homes is the detail of life. The ordinary things we use every day and never really take a close look at, like the toaster, the bathroom tap, the textures in the living room or the cutlery in the draining rack. All these items make remarkable images when photographed close-up because you see the detail not usually focused on. I also include the 50 or 100 shot challenge in this task because you won’t believe how many angles you can shoot a simple kitchen fork from. So look for the little things and enjoy finding out more about life in your home as close up as possible.
Photography of any genre gets as good as you make it and using your home as a photo shoot opens up worlds within worlds you never dreamt would be possible. Creativity and inspiration comes when you experiment and try new things so don’t be afraid to try things you wouldn’t usually do. Happy Shooting!
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Wayne Turner studied with the New York Institute of Photography, has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on photography.