Shooting indoors can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re new to photography. Don’t reserve your camera for outdoor use only! Indoor photos are every bit as beautiful, as long as you know what to look for and what to avoid. Here are a few tips for taking better photos of your children indoors:

1. Use only one light source

Make sure all the artificial lights in your home are turned off. Mixed lighting (artificial lights in your home mixed with natural light coming in through any windows) really messes with colors on your subject and is very difficult to correct in post processing. Use one or the other EXCLUSIVELY – either use your home’s artificial lights and block out any natural light OR turn off all of your indoor artificial lights and use only natural light. I recommend going the natural light approach. Most homes’ artificial lights are not nearly as flattering as natural light.

2. Observe the light Coming In Through Your Windows

Throughout the day, observe the light coming in through your windows in each room and take note of when it looks the best. For example, I know that in the morning, the light comes streaming into my master bedroom, living room and kitchen as they have east-facing windows. Late afternoon/evening light shines directly into my foyer and my middle child’s room as they have west-facing windows. To avoid pushing that ISO extremely high, you’ll want to photograph in the rooms that have the best natural light, so pay attention to the best times of day to shoot in each room.

3. Position your children close to a window

To make sure your children are well-lit, have them sit or play near a window. This is easiest to shoot during midday or on a cloudy day, when the light coming in through your windows is not extremely bright. I love photos of my children looking out the window, as I can capture their sweet little profiles and sometimes capture their reflection as well. Having them near a window can also provide a more dramatic or moody image, as the highlights and shadows are more defined.

4. Experiment with alternative sources of light

Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new! When your children are playing with an iPad, computer or phone, notice how the light from the screen illuminates their faces. The same holds true when they open the refrigerator or freezer door – the light from inside illuminates them. You can also use flash if you don’t have enough natural light and don’t want to miss a moment (off-camera flash – if you have one – can be used to mimic natural light).

5. Remove clutter and distractions

Notice what is in your frame and remove distractions where you can. This isn’t always possible if you’re capturing a quick moment, but if you have the time, clear away any unnecessary items. You want the focus of the photograph to be your children, not a bunch of clutter. For example, my kids often play in my bedroom, so I make sure to clear away any books, television remotes, phone chargers, or other items from my nightstands. This will make your images look cleaner and more professional.

I hope you found these tips for photographing your children indoors to be helpful. Photographing indoors is a great way to enhance your photography skills and enables you to not miss any moments – especially when it’s too cold to go outdoors!