How to take professional looking photos at home using simple light setup?

How to take professional looking photos at home using simple light setup?

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Portrait photography

Portrait photography involves capturing expression and moods of a person or a group of people. In this photography, the primary focus of the photographer is to capture the face of the person, although other body parts can also be effectively captured.

 

Portraits photography in home lighting

Today, I will be showing how you can take great photos at home using basic equipments.

Requirements :

  1. Camera/Mobile Camera : you need to have a camera/mobile camera to capture the subject.

  2. CFL Tube/Bulb : you will also need to have a source of light, in this case a CFL tube or bulb.

  3. Bulb holder : the electrical socket where the bulb will fit in, and

  4. A long insulated wire : One end of this wire will be plugged-in the electrical socket while the other end will have the bulb.

 

Optional accessories :

  1. Wide aperture lens : to ensure that maximum light enters into the camera. One can also get more soft photos of the subject at large aperture (say f/1.8 or f/1.4).

  2. Diffuser : to diffuse the intensity of the light falling on the subject.

  3. Reflector : to reflect the light from the available source(s) and reduce the shadows on the face of the subject.

  4. White/Colored bedsheet : or a piece of cloth to provide a uniform background to the subject.

  5. Tripod : to provide stable platform to the camera for ease in use.

  6. Remote shutter release : to capture the subject after a specific time interval and/or to take the self-portrait, and

  7. Light Stand : to provide a platform or to fix the position of the CFL tube/bulb.

  8. Colored gel filters : These are thin, colored plastic sheets which you can use to add vibrant colors to the environment/home/studio for creative expressions.

 

Light Setup for home portrait photography

In this article, I will be using only one CFL tube (primary source) to take the photos of my subject (a cute little girl). You can use more CFL tubes/bulbs and use them either as secondary light source or along with colored gel filters to capture your subject in a more artistic way. For example : you can use the primary source (here, CFL tube, white light) to focus on the face of your subject while secondary source(s) of light, covered with different gel filters (say green and red color filters), can be used to add colorful (green and red) background. As a result, you will see that your subject is illuminated with white light and the background is all colored (just like in Disco lights).

 

light setup subject and camera How to take professional looking photos at home using simple light setup?
A simple setup showing the position of camera, light and the subject.

 

Sample photos of portrait photography in home/studio lighting

Please Note : all these photos have been taken using a DSLR camera (Nikon D7000) with a wide-aperture lens (Nikon 50mm f/1.8), one CFL tube, bulb holder and an insulated wire. The light source (CFL tube) was positioned in a way which I feel I was in order to capture my subject (cute little girl) beautifully.

I would be happy to have your comments/feedback on the same.

Conclusion

In this article I described a simple technique which you can use to capture your subject beautifully using the basic light equipments at home or even in a studio. I have also mentioned how you can use colored gel filters to capture your subject with more creative expressions.

What equipments do you use for taking those elusive shots at home or in studio? Did I forget to mention any other simple but equally effective technique which you can use? I would love to have your views on the same.

Please feel free ask me your questions related to camera, lenses or photography. You can learn more about me here and contact me here.

 

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