The Fundamentals of Shooting Stunning Indoor Portraits

The Fundamentals of Shooting Stunning Indoor Portraits

Indoor portraits have become an essential part of photographic skills as self-representation has an important role today. Most people think it is really easy to shoot indoor portraits until they try for the first time. With this guide, you will be able to learn the very basics to a good indoor portrait. Many factors are effective in making the best:


The most essential part of an indoor portrait is the model. If the model is comfortable, then you can catch their most natural posture. This factor is the main focus of the indoor portrait; so it has the power to either make or break the photograph. Make sure you apply the rule of thirds to create a harmonic scene in the photograph.


Although people pay less attention to the background, it is quite important to remember that a background’s tone or color can have the power to send a good message in the indoor portrait. To spice it up a bit, you can use a scenic backdrops. It will save your portrait from being regular.

Below is an example of how to use a backdrop:


As light is a diffusing matter, it’s best to create a good amount of distance between the light and your model. This will help you capture certain features of the model without revealing too much detail in the face. The best lighting angle is when there is a small smooth triangle around the other cheek. This is called feathered lighting, and if you don’t have the tools to build your own lighting system, then you can easily use the light coming in from a window to create one. As you can see, since there are certain places where light comes in indoors, it is slightly easier than struggling to shoot an outdoor portrait.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Camera Settings

Before you begin shooting portraits, you have to understand first the basic elements of photography. The most important thing to be careful about in camera settings is that you set the ISO no further than 200. If you increase ISO, then your image will have noise, which is never wanted by a photographer. Since you are indoors, you might have lack of lighting. If you can’t solve it with adding a few photography lamps to your set, you should try building your set according to the light coming out of the window. This way, you will avoid having to increase the ISO. Another thing to be careful about is depth. If you don’t have depth, then your photograph will be basic. For example, if you’re shooting an indoor portrait with a scenic backdrop, having less depth will make it look even more fake. So, what you can do is increase the number next to the focus/aperture setting.

Natural Lightning

Natural Lightning


Post-processing takes more time than shooting an indoor portrait. During photoshopping, you should pay close attention to making the portrait as natural as possible. So, what you can do is playing with contrast, exposure, and saturation as less as possible. Don’t overdo it; otherwise, the portrait will lose its natural effect. Also, while removing certain face feature like scars, acne, etc., be careful not to remove everything so the face looks like it’s been played on.

At the end, with these easy instructions, you will see that indoor portraits are super easy to work on, and they can become stunning instantly with small changes. To be a great portrait photographer, you have the catch the eyes of your model in order to capture his or her soul in the portrait photograph. Consequently, doing that lies in following these essential factors.

Based in Idaho, Ralf is a studio photographer and blogger at You can follow him on Flickr and Twitter


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