How to Take Photos At Home

Over my years of blogging, I’ve taken my fair share of photos at home. Whether it’s a recipe post I’m creating for a client or an update to our home renovation, the process of shooting within the confines of my own space is nothing new. However, the love of those particular photographs is not always as deep as what I feel when we’re shooting on mountaintops or in secret gardens.

But over the last 7 weeks, I’ve had a bit of a heart change. When you start to look at home as a place of safety and rest instead of a places that stunts creativity, it changes ever so slightly. A lot of my inspiration to push myself for better “at-home” photos has come from following the creative journeys of Jamie Beck and Krystal Bick on Instagram. Every day they set up shots, poses, scenes and capture them with a tripod and remote shutter.

The results are stunning and just like it was when I first started blogging, I thought “why can’t I do that?” *in my own way of course.

I wanted to share my process for being creative at home with you – the tools I use, the inspiration I comb through – in order to help inspire you to find joy in being creative within confines.

You might not drill a sheet into your tree for a backdrop or have an expensive camera, but that’s all part of the process too! I hope this post helps inspire you to push yourself just a little bit more. Just for an hour, one day per week, one shoot, one dress, one baked good at a time.

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The Tools I Use

About half of the time I’m able to shoot with my husband behind the camera, but I’ve been getting bolder with my ideas and have been making self-portraits about half the time as well. This Instagram photo is a great example of that. But with or without a photographer, I couldn’t make any photographs without these key pieces of tech.

Camera + Lenses

I know a lot of bloggers only use their iPhone camera to capture shots and that’s amazing! If that’s your only resource, great. But we made the decision a long time ago to invest in tech that would take our content further.

We shoot 90% of our photos with the SonyA7riii. We’ve had it for 2 years now and it’s an amazing piece of equipment.

Our 50mm prime lens is what we shoot most of my photos with but also have an 85mm and a 28mm for detail and landscape shots respectively.

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Tripod & Remote Shutter

So much content would not be possible without a tripod. You don’t honestly need a super fancy one, just something to protect your camera and keep it stable while you get the shot you need.

Amazon carries some great tripods and f you’re looking to up your photography game, a tripod is a worthy investment.

Get one for $25

A remote shutter will let you control the timing of the shutter and will help you get past the 10 second timer flurry.

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Where to Find Inspiration

While I believe technology is a huge part of a smooth self-portrait session or even at-home shoot, inspiration perhaps reigns king here. Because we’re living in the same spaces that we need to photograph, it’s hard to find creativity amongst dirty dishes and dust bunnies.

I’m always on the lookout for inspiration and some of my favorite places include Pinterest, magazines, other blogs and social media.

Pinterest

A massive resource of images, a day does not go by for me without diving into the resource. I created a board called Editorial Shoot Inspiration where I pin old Vogue images, photos of textures and locations. Even posing ideas and backgrounds come from research on Pinterest.

Follow me over there for some inpso of your own

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Magazines and Blogs

Subscriptions to magazines are so inexpensive now it might be worth picking a few that are in your niche for an extra boost of creative juice. Vogue is the ultimate fashion guide but even lifestyle magazines like Bella Grace, Southern Living, and Rucksack provide a bounty of inspiration.

Two blogs in particular for me help get my mind “shoot ready”. Margo and Me for her upscale, editorial looks and editing and This Is Glamorous for their carefree and beautiful curation of life abroad.

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What To Do With Your Inspiration and Tech

If you’ve been able to check the above items off your to-do list and have a solid arsenal of equipment and inspiration, it’s time to get shooting. A few tips that have helped me over the past few weeks:

  • there will be no “perfect time” to shoot – of course if you’re waiting for a specific light you might need to adjust your timing, but otherwise run with your creativity and pick a time to go for it
  • just do it – Thank you Nike. It’s true though. Sometimes you just have to step away from the desk and start.
  • don’t be afraid to fail – you might not be Annie Lebowitz on your first try. I’ve tried many a photo that just doesn’t work. It’s ok. It’s part of the process.
  • take it slow – I mean, where else do you have to go? We all have the luxury of taking creativity slow right now. Luxuriate in that.
  • aim for one photo out of the process – I’ve found that I focus on taking one photo or leaving a shoot with just one picture I love it’s so relieving. Don’t think you have to capture 12 amazing photographs in one sitting.

You can find me on Instagram at
Emily Lewandowski @emilyjlewandowski