Since pretty much everyone has been stuck inside the last couple of weeks there’s been a huge shift to creating content inside. As someone who spends the majority of time inside because I have two small children, I have definitely welcomed the change! It’s been nice to see content creators switch to at-home content and it’s taken away a lot of the FOMO for me…haha. Instead of bloggers taking gorgeous photos from their latest overseas vacation they are taking photos from their living room. I can relate to that!
But I’ve also seen some people struggle with how to create content within the confines of their small spaces. I can definitely relate to that as well. My apartment is relatively small and NOT instagram worthy. Especially with two kids and all the toys and baby products that fill the limited space. I’ve really had to get creative over the years to come up with ways to shoot content inside. So if you are having trouble coming up with ideas I’ve put together a few tips that have helped me created content during the quarantine!
How to Take Creative Photos Inside
Get Up Close and Personal
Like I mentioned above, my apartment is not “Instagram worthy”. We are just renting so I can’t make major changes and our spaces are overrun with baby and toddler toys. I wish I could take photos of me in a beautifully decorated kitchen or living room – but I can’t. So I’ve found the solution is to zoom in on little corners and spots in my apartment and focus on the details.
Example 1: Curated Tabletop
The apartment can literally be a mess but it’s easy to clear off a small section of a tabletop or dresser and curate a collection of items to take a photo. These photos are kind of like flat lay photos but offer a little more dimension and interest.
(What the shot actually looks like versus the final shot for Instagram)
Above, you can see what the actual photo location looks like. It’s always a mess in my room but if I can clear off a section of the dresser I can set up a shot! It’s also near the window so during the right time of day I can get interesting light from the blinds. If you are looking to photograph an outfit, you could probably sit on top of the dresser and take your photo as well!
Example 2: Self-Portraits
I’m not usually one to like to take close up photos of my face but I’ve tried to embrace it during quarantine. If you are someone that likes to play with makeup, taking “selfies” is a good way to show your skills off. Or you could focus on a piece of jewelry that you love.
(Self portraits taken against a white sheet)
If you have an outfit that you need to take a photo of but don’t have a great place to take a full body shot in your home, consider taking close up shots of the different parts of your look (ex. shot of your earrings, shoes, top, pants) and then create a collage. I haven’t done that type of photo yet but it would be similar to this but featuring different parts of the body.
Incorporate Texture and Light into Photos
Part of the struggle with taking photos inside is making them different and unique with the limited space you are working with. Sure, you could just take a bunch of flat lay photos with items on a white board but if you are looking to make things a little more interesting bring in some texture! I love to use my curtains (which I think are a linen blend and sheer) as a backdrop in my photos or as a base for my photos.
(Product shot photos taken on my window ledge with a sheer curtain)
I also use the sheets on my bed – the more wrinkled the better! Repurposing tissue paper from packaging is also an option. Really, the possibilities are endless! Just take stock of the different surfaces and fabrics on couches, pillows, beds, etc. that you have around your place and play around!
Playing with light in photos is also a lot of fun! I’m sure we all have spots in our homes where the light hits just right and creates interesting patterns on the wall or just an amazing glow. I love to incorporate glasses with liquid into my photos when I get beautiful lighting because the reflections are just so pretty! The photo below was to show off the ring I’m wearing.
(Photos taken on my bed with sheets and tissue paper)
Photos Against a White Sheet Backdrop
If you really can’t find any corners or spots in your home that are photo worthy start with a blank slate and put up a white sheet. This is something I’ve recently been experimenting with because of quarantine. You don’t need any fancy equipment for this. Just a sheet (it really could be any color) and something to pin it or prop it up with. I used a clothing rack I had and just laid it over the rack. It’s not high enough that I can stand up and take photos against but it works for sitting or product shots. But you could also tack the sheet up on a wall or a curtain rod (a tension rod in a doorway would be perfect).
Once the sheet is up you can stage all kinds of photos! From close up product shots, flat lays, self portraits, etc. Again, I like to bring in a little texture to the sheet and bunch it up instead of making it nice and smooth.
When you have a solid background it’s easy to edit it with apps or photoshop to make it more interesting! I did all these edits in the PicsArt app!
The obvious photo with a mirror would be a mirror outfit shot. I’ve definitely been doing more of these instead of going outside to shoot my outfits. It’s easy and fast!
But I also love to use small mirrors to make product shots more interesting. Using a small mirror is also great when your surrounding aren’t so pretty. I also love to think of creative ways to capture reflections in the mirror. There’s a #MirrorChallenge going on on Instagram right now where people are taking a bunch of creative photos with mirrors! You can always look there for inspiration.
The shot below utilizes a lot of my “tips” by using a small, random space (my window ledge), adding texture (the curtain), light, and a mirror!
More Tips + Final Thoughts
I think the biggest tip would be to try different angles and think outside the box. I shot might look horrible at one angle but great at a different angle. Remember, the most random spots can actually work out great with a little tweaking. Who woulda thought I’d get so many photos from shooting on my window ledge with the curtain? Also, lighting is your friend. Find those spots with amazing light (often by the windows) and set up shop there. If you need a little lighting boost you can get a light bounce from amazon. I have a white poster board from the craft store that actually works well too. The white board/bounce helps diffuse and “bounce” more light onto a subject which can help in difficult lighting situations inside. I will also add that having a DSLR camera does help a lot. I feel like the product shot photos look a lot better because you can focus on certain spots and create bokeh in the background to help blur unsightly surroundings.
Editing can save a lot of photos. A photo might now look great straight out of the camera but by making adjustments with lighting, color, and adding filters you can change the whole vibe. If you have some skills with photoshop or photo editing apps you can even change the background of a photo completely. I’ve found PicsArt to be pretty user friendly and you can do a lot of edits that you’d normally do with Photoshop. I also have the Lightroom App on my phone for easy edits.
If you really don’t have a great space for fully body outfit photos it might be best to focus on detail shots, selfies, and flat lays/product shots. I like to try to add a “human element” to my product shots by including a part of my body. That’s why you’ll see my hand (sometimes in focus, sometimes out of focus) in a lot of my product shots.
Follow me on Instagram @jeansandateacup to see more of my indoor photos! I’ll be posting a lot more in the coming weeks as long as this quarantine continues!