No studio? No problem! Start with these photoshoot ideas at home to grow your skills and business!
One of the biggest misconceptions about photography is that you have to seek picturesque and perfect locations to take beautiful photographs. But one essential skill of photographers is seeing the beauty and potential in the ordinary. You don’t need mountain vistas or even a portrait studio to shoot stunning photos. In fact, sometimes you don’t even have to leave the comforts of home. Use what is close at hand with these 10 Photoshoot Ideas at Home.
Taking stock of your “studio”
Before you tackle any of these photoshoot ideas at home, it helps to learn what you have to work with. Take a walk through your home at different times of day and see where and when the best light occurs. Take notes on blank walls or interesting artwork that you can use as simple backgrounds. Look for framing. And don’t forget to look for large, spacious areas where you could set up a simple backdrop and a few off-camera flashes for creative and dramatic portraits.
Outside can also provide inspiration for photoshoot ideas at home. Consider what you have to work within your yard, on your front porch or areas near your house. A garage can be a great location to shoot portraits!
One of the easiest and most obvious photoshoot ideas at home are lifestyle photos. I think of lifestyle photography as the acoustic version of portraits…stripped down, simple photos that represent everyday life. That might mean a tickle fight on the bed, making cookies in the kitchen or coloring books and crayons in the living room.
And remember you are trying to capture what could happen in real life. Lifestyle photos can be completely unscripted, but you can also create opportunities for great interactions by setting up a photo shoot. For example – find where and when in your home you have that beautiful, soft window light. Set a small table and chair out with some Legos or other construction material and invite your son to come play while you shoot some photos.
When my daughter brought home her school portraits last year, I knew I could do better, and for cheaper! I bought a background off Amazon, set up a single speedlight in a softbox and voila, I had school portrait with a more authentic smile!
Child portraits are the perfect, pint-sized opportunity for an in-home photoshoot. You can set up a simple background and some lights for traditional portraits or head outside for a more casual look. Incorporate your kids favorite toys, clothes, pets or activities into the photoshoot and make it a more personalized experience. Find a simple, clean background where you have some room to maneuver and start clicking!
Pets are another photoshoot you can accomplish at home. Dogs and cats are the obvious go-to, but think outside the kennel. Just like people, pets come in all shapes and sizes. Rabbits, hamsters, lizards, frogs, toads, even snakes (yes, I said it) Seamless paper makes a great backdrop or pets because if they damage it with toenails or muddy footprints, you can tear it off and throw it away.
Pet portraits also look great when shot outside. Speed up your shutter to catch pets on the go for candid, playful shots. Or use off-camera flash and a wide angle to up the drama. Choose a setup that matches your normal editing style and expand your portfolio offerings.
If you love babies and have patience in spades, newborn portraits can be accomplished in your home or a client’s home. Newborn shoots feature tight, close shots of the baby. A full setup with a backdrop and posing cushion or pillow can set up in a nursery, living room or kitchen. You can purchase props and wraps, or get creative with what’s around you and tell a story with items already in the home. Lifestyle newborn sessions are another option, focusing less on poses and wraps and more on family interactions.
Cake smash or birthday sessions
Did you miss the newborn window by a few too many months? Cake smashes are a great way to celebrate a birthday for a one-year old, as are milk baths, fruit baths and donut smashes! Not into sweets? Be inventive! Tacos and pasta could make fun, albeit messy, alternatives. All of these ideas can be done inside with a small footprint or outside in nice weather.
And don’t feel like you have to do a food-themed birthday session. A cute banner and some favorite toys can hold the kiddo’s interest and create a story-telling opportunity.
From antipasta to zesty dips, the options for food photoshoot ideas at home are as close as your kitchen. Food photography can make a great accompaniment to a food blog, but it can also be a great source of income if you want to sell images on stock photography sites or work on behalf of a restaurant, personal chef or catering company.
Photographing food requires even less space than pets or kids and food doesn’t move! Props can be as simple as colorful napkins, dollar store plates and saucers and thrift store flatware. Experiment with different angles and different depths-of-field to create new and mouthwatering images.
Still Life Photography
Most food photography is still life photography but not all still life photography is food photography. Why wasn’t there a question like that on my high school SAT test?
Still life photography is used to describe taking photos of inanimate objects. Fruit is probably the most common example, but still life can also include any kind of food, flowers, toys, clothes, tools, crayons, books, home decor or even money.
Still life photography is small enough to be accomplished in a home studio and is a great way to master composition and lighting. You are in control of every single aspect of the photo, from the choice of objects to their placement and how you light them. Because there is no client in the photo, you can take your time and experiment to get exactly the look you want.
Still life photography can be used to master flash concepts. Those same images can also make a great accompaniment to blog posts, social media feeds or as contributions to stock photography sites.
Macro Photography Photoshoot Ideas At Home
Macro Photography is shooting extreme close ups of images in which the size of the subject in the photo is magnified to greater than life size. Insects, small animals or flowers are common subjects. But other macro photoshoot ideas include jewelry (think those beautiful wedding ring shots), feathers, snowflakes, water droplets, leaves, rocks or small foodstuffs.
Precisely defining abstract photography can be a bit nebulous and well, abstract. It’s basically creating an image that lacks an easily identifiable subject or object. Start by exploring everyday objects or items in nature. Fill your frame with a small part of a larger object. Can you make it interesting or visually appealing? Make use of distortion by shooting through something transparent like a glass vase or colored cellophane. Make use of reflections from puddles, mirrors or water droplets. Use light, either natural or artificial, to create depth or texture. An in-home abstract photography shoot is limited only by your own creativity and vision.
Our final suggestion on photoshoot ideas at home is commercial photography shoots – taking photographs for use in advertisements or marketing. Commercial photoshoots can involve taking photos of products like food, earrings, artwork or other handmade goods. It can also involve creating content that helps sell services. Cleaning services, mechanics, hair stylists, even attorneys all have a need for images that can accompany text about their businesses from time to time. You can arrange a commercial shoot for a specific client, or shoot content to sell later to local customers or stock photography sites.
Whether you have an official in-home studio or just a table in a corner, there are endless options for photshoot ideas at home. You can use any of these ideas to grow your photography skills, build your portfolio or add an additional income stream to your business. The best part about it is there’s no rent to pay and many of the subjects work for free!