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Photography \ DEC 11th 2015

Indoor Photography Tips for a Cozy Winter

Fellow photographers, winter is upon us. While snowflakes and icicles may tempt you and your camera outside, the gloomy, overcast skies and poor lighting may give you second thoughts. Don’t let that limit your photo shoots to the warmer, sunnier months –  you can still create a stunning online portfolio that includes interesting indoor shots from this winter.

Never shot indoors before? Here are some tips to help improve your photography so you don’t have to venture outside.

Indoor Photography Tips for a Cozy Winter

Guard Against Clutter

Before and during indoor shoots, be on guard for any clutter that might sneak its way into your photo background. Yes, you may be able to crop the unwanted object out of your picture later, but why not just keep your surroundings clear of unintentional set props? After all, your goal is to spend more time shooting pictures, not digitally editing them in post-production. Plus, the more you hone your eye for set styling, the more refined it will become for your actual photography.  

Indoor Photography Tips for a Cozy Winter

Pay Attention To White Balance

White balance is a process of getting objects in your photograph to appear in their true-to-life colors. Unlike our eyes, cameras need a bit of help to adjust to different kinds of light and color hues to reproduce accurate colors. The next time you see that there’s too much or too little light in your shot, try adjusting your white balance setting. This lets the camera work for you by compensating for color or light.

While shooting indoors, the automatic white balance on your DSLR will most likely work just fine to produce a photo with natural-looking colors. However, sometimes you may have to manually change your white balance setting according to the type of indoor lighting you have available. Otherwise, your photos may end up looking a touch too yellow, blue or orange. It’s a good idea to adjust your camera’s white balance before you start shooting – and keep an eye on it throughout each session if the amount of light changes.

Let The Light In

Why not borrow some natural light from outside? By setting up your subject near a window or open door, you’ll be able to capture a natural light source that’ll enhance the quality of your photos. You may have to move things around, but the the extra light on your subject will do wonders to illuminate him or her. Simply place the object you’re photographing on a window sill, or have your gorgeous subjects gaze through the window into the winter wonderland outdoors. You can add other ambient (available) light, such as a lamp, to make up for any lack of natural light.  In some cases, though, your indoor space may still be too dark to get the result you want. This is when a flash may come in handy.

Indoor Photography Tips for a Cozy Winter

Know When To Use Your Flash

Your camera’s flash makes it possible to take pictures in dimly lit environments – but while a flash can improve a shot, it can also ruin it. Photographers generally prefer to avoid using flash indoors since it alters colors and light and creates unwanted shadows on your subjects. But it can also be used to enhance all of these stylistic aspects of a photo when used correctly. For instance, with indoor portraits, you can use a flash to purposefully create shadows that dramatically contrast your subject’s skin tones.

To decide whether to use a flash, ask yourself what kind of picture you want to take and whether you want the image to evoke a natural or dramatic feeling. Here are some dos and don’ts regarding flash photography:


  • Use an external flash in dimly lit rooms or at night when natural light is nowhere to be found.  
  • Direct it toward the ceiling or wall behind your subjects, when using an external flash indoors. This bounces the flash off of a surface, which will soften the light before it hits your subjects (who will thank you for it). Pointing the flash straight at your subjects will produce a hard, unflattering light and create shadows on them.


  • Use the pop-up flash when shooting indoors unless you have no other choice. It tends to wash out your photos and leave your subjects with dreaded red eye.
  • Use a flash in rooms that contain glass objects (think glass bookcases, windows or picture frames) and plastic material. The flash will reflect off of these surfaces and ruin your shots.

Indoor Photography Tips for a Cozy Winter

Keep Light Sources Separate

Your photographs are your brand and are the first impression that site visitors will have of your business. Therefore, you want them to share the same aesthetic look and feel, which will set your online portfolio apart from all the others. This is where lighting plays a role.  

When mixing natural and artificial light together, your photos can turn out blurry or yellowish. That’s a no-no when it comes to showing off your professionalism online. You can avoid this rookie mistake is easily by simply sticking to one light source. Feel free to play around by adding either more natural or artificial types of light to show off your unique style and then lock it in before you start shooting.

Ready to show off some of your own photography? Create a free website with Wix!

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