The COVID-19 stay home order was just the recharge my creative energy never knew it needed. There is absolute truth that doing and consuming more is not inherently better. The unexpected change of pace forced me to think differently about how and what I was creating since I was limited to the confines of my space. As someone who typically shoots outside, the thriving homebody in me inhaled a breath of fresh air when that simply was no longer an option. I have loved embracing all the nooks and crannies of my space, and the best part of it all is you do not need much more than your phone camera (I still have an iPhone 8 Plus, so I’m not even rocking with the latest and greatest) AND a dreamer’s state of mind.
Find the light. We all know great natural light is where it’s at. It is the main reason most of us bask in shooting outside – aside from the varying backdrops the great outdoors offer up. But you can just as easily achieve the same clean, crisp shot indoors as well. Of course the area of your place that gets the most natural light, which is most likely one of the biggest rooms with the most windows – I.e., the living room – is going to be a jackpot spot. I personally love to explore with shadow play, so I also made a point to identify spots and time of day the sun reaches its peak in my space. For instance, I get clean, bright natural light first thing in the morning, whereas the sun hits its peak in late afternoon and creates a more dramatic golden hour affect.
Angles are everything. This is where sky’s the limit. Believe me when I tell you every angle is your best angle. Don’t be tricked into thinking otherwise. Explore capturing your image from high above (hello step ladder), from down below and from behind you. The alternating angles offer depth and interest from the standard straight on shot. This also helps give the allusion of variation in your backdrop despite being stuck to capturing from the same few spots in your space.
Strike a pose. The same angle rules essentially apply with posing. Don’t limit yourself. Play around with sitting, laying down, kneeling – chances are the more awkward it feels the more beautifully it translates on the other side of the camera. From there, you can also incorporate different angles in which you capture from as well. For instance, if you’re sitting on your knees, capture from down below shooting up at you versus just a straight on shot to create more depth in your subject perspective.
The Tea – This is one of my favorite corners in our bedroom to capture moody, shadow rich images from. On the right, I wanted emphasis on the drama of the maxi dress so sitting and spreading it out and capturing a fairly tight head on shot does just that, whereas on the right I wanted the capture to be less about what I was wearing and more about a mood, so up on a step ladder my guy went to get extra height in capturing from high above.
The Tea Cont’d. – The first and third image of this set are essentially captured in the same spot of our living room. As you can see in the first, I propped myself up on our couch and the ledge of the window and my guy is sitting on the ground next to the couch to capture from down below, whereas for the other he is angled up directly in line with the window to get a straight on capture that still offers depth with a glimpse of the window ledge in the foreground. The middle image I am kneeling on our bed and my guy is laying down, capturing it from underneath me. Pro tip – Think about how re-arranging and moving stuff in your space may help you get the shot you’re dreaming up.
I realize I’m fortunate to live with someone that can be at my disposal to help capture images. If you are living single and need to rely solely on yourself, then your phone self timer and/or a remote clicker and a tripod with great height adjustment will be well worth adding to your arsenal. Sound off with any questions – or tricks of your own – in the comments and let’s keep the creating plentiful.
Love and light, xo
All photos captured on my iPhone by AA.Abdullah.