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How to get home photoshoot lighting with natural and artificial lights?

Any photographer understands that home photoshoots may be challenging. Without the ample natural light available outside, it needs a thorough grasp of home photoshoot lighting. Whether you're an experienced photographer or just starting out, knowing the interplay of natural and artificial light will help you improve your final outcomes. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to use natural and artificial light to get high quality lighting.

COLBOR CL60 has a light base for mounting on the tripod to offer home photoshoot lighting for desk shooting.

3 tips for using natural light for at home photoshoot lighting

If you've determined that utilizing natural indoor lighting is ideal for your photoshoot project, here are three crucial tips to enhance your outcomes:

Find the best room with ample natural light and avoid mixed lighting

Locate the main source of natural light in your space, often found where sunlight filters through window panes. Position your subject close to windows or doors to optimize light quality.

Ensure that the photoshoot lighting at home from various sources, like multiple windows, is harmonious and shadow-free. Consider the characteristics of different window orientations: north-facing windows offer consistent, soft light, while south-facing ones may yield more direct sunlight.

To prevent color imbalances and undesired shadows, refrain from mixing natural and artificial light sources. If supplementing natural light with artificial sources, opt for those that emulate natural light to ensure your photographs exhibit a uniform and authentic appearance.

Position the subject strategically to get home photoshoot lighting of various angles

Once you've selected the rooms for your shoot, it's essential to grasp how to utilize the available light effectively. There are 3 common ways, direct, side, and back lighting.

Direct light

When employing direct light, position your subject facing the window. And you, the photographer, stand opposite them without obstructing the incoming light. This method provides a straightforward approach and is ideal for beginners shooting indoors. However, it may lack depth in your photos as it primarily accentuates highlights on the subject without creating significant shadows.

Side light

Side lighting is a popular choice for in-home photography sessions. When using this technique, position yourself and your subject near a window. Instead of having your subject face the window directly, encourage them to angle their body slightly so that the shoulder or side faces the window. Begin with a 90-degree angle relative to the window. As you adjust the angle by moving closer to or farther away from the window, you’ll notice changes in highlights and shadows. Side lighting adds depth and dimension to your photos, making them appear more dynamic and lifelike due to the interplay of light and shadow.


Backlight should only be used inside homes with enough natural light. Otherwise, the shadows on the face of the subject may be too harsh to fix in post-production.

If you're in a home with plenty of natural light and decide to backlight, be sure the light doesn't hit your lens directly! If you do, it will cause flare and haze, which can ruin the entire photograph. Instead, ensure that your subject or another object, such as the window frame, is obstructing direct light from entering your lens. If you're shooting in a home with poor lighting, you may use a reflector to bounce the light back onto the front of your subject.

Have home photoshoots at the perfect time to achieve precise white balance

The time of day can impact the home photoshoot lighting, especially when it comes to achieving the correct white balance. The color temperature - which indicates how cool or warm it is - varies throughout the day. This affects the overall tone of your photos. Be sure to adjust your settings to reflect these changes.

For instance, the golden hour—just after sunrise or just before sunset - offers a warm and soft quality of light. Midday sunlight, in contrast, tends to have cooler tones. These require adjustments to maintain balanced colors.

The time of day can also determine the harshness of natural light. Midday sunlight can be intense and create deep shadows. Therefore, you might need to use diffusers or shoot in shaded spots to soften the light. Sometimes, favorable weather conditions like light cloud cover act as a natural light diffuser, providing ideal conditions for indoor photoshooting.

COLBOR CL60 is used with the supplied reflector to offer brighter photoshoot lighting at home.

4 at home photoshoot tips on lighting if using artificial lights

When the natural lighting in your home studio isn't optimal or when you require more creative control, artificial lighting becomes essential. Here are four tips to maximize the use of artificial lighting:

Select proper equipment to offer home photoshoot lighting and position it properly

Choosing the right lighting equipment for your indoor setup is essential. Various types of lights, including strobes, continuous lights, overhead lights, or speedlights, offer distinct advantages for your photos.

Continuous lights like COLBOR CL60 are favored by both beginners and professionals as they provide a consistent light source. Strobe lighting, on the other hand, offers superior brightness and quality but demands more expertise and sometimes an additional lighting assistant. For indoor settings, comprehensive lighting kits with light stands are often a practical choice.

Once you've decided on your lighting type, you can explore different accessories such as softboxes, umbrellas, or mirrors to achieve the desired effect. Position your lights thoughtfully to manage shadows and highlights effectively. Take into account the angle and distance of your light sources to add depth and prevent your photos from appearing flat. Finally, ensure that your lighting setup doesn't produce unwanted shadows.

Use a light meter to avoid under or overexposure

A light meter is crucial for indoor photography, enabling precise measurement of light intensity in your scene. It guarantees correct exposure, preventing under or overexposure. Consistent illumination enhances the uniformity of your subjects, while a light meter is indispensable for balancing multiple light sources and achieving a well-exposed scene. Ensure to take readings at different points in your setup to detect any disparities and make appropriate corrections.

Fine-tune your camera settings for optimal outcomes

It's crucial to understand your camera's settings for successful indoor photography. Key factors to adjust include:

  • ISO: This determines how sensitive your camera sensor is to home photoshoot lighting. A higher ISO number indoors indicates greater sensitivity to light.
  • Aperture: This refers to the size of the lens opening, indicated by f-stops. A smaller f-stop number means a wider opening, allowing more light to enter. Aperture also impacts the depth of field and the degree of background blur.
  • Shutter speed: This is the duration the shutter stays open when taking a photo. Faster shutter speeds produce sharp images, while slower ones can cause motion blur.

Achieving a good balance among these settings is key to obtaining well-exposed, clear photos. Using a tripod can help stabilize your camera, enabling longer exposure times without the risk of camera shake.

Experiment with diverse lighting setups for home photoshoot

There are endless possibilities of how to set up lighting for a photoshoot at home. Explore diverse setups, angles, and intensities to discover your desired outcomes. Embrace unconventional lighting methods, like direct flash, colored lighting, or reflective props, to infuse your indoor photos with excitement and personality. Experimenting with editing techniques afterward can further enhance your images' impact.

Perfecting your skills takes practice, so continue experimenting to determine what suits your studio, gear, and artistic vision best.