How To Do Lifestyle Photography in a Low Lit Home?

Does the in-home lifestyle session send you into a cold sweat? You may start panicking with each booking by thinking will the house have good enough lights and windows? If not, how you will manage to capture their real life in the confines of limited natural lights and your unfamiliar environment.

And when it comes to the photography enthusiast beginners, they think the room, flooded with external lights, doors, and windows, where lights come from all angles will help them capture HD quality bright pictures and full freedom with the camera. It is not the case. In reality, we often get less desirable results due to such non-directional light sources.

Photographing indoors can be frustrating for them, at least when they first start out. Because we can’t control the light and the background. The disturbing backdrop area, congested with unwanted furniture and decors is another concern of the area. Not only photo, taking videos in low-lit is also a frustrating job, but luckily low light camcorders are there for shooting quality lifestyle videos.

So what? Don’t you even think about giving up! Forget about the concerning factors. There are far more reasons to love indoor lifestyle photography than these concerning aspects.

The most lovable fact is the comfort; the love, and the memories you get inside the walls; they can’t be found anywhere else. You can capture those beautiful moments into your creative frame with a little preparation.

Let’s have a look at what technical tricks you can apply or what preparation you need to do to get beautifully exposed lifestyle shots indoors.

Master Your Camera

Without shooting in manual mode, simply, you can’t deal with the challenging low-light situations. That’s why you have to achieve the skills of low lighting photography. So, spend as much time with the camera as possible.

As a general rule, the lifestyle photographers follow such manual camera settings –

  • Aperture and ISO 

When it comes to indoor photography, it would be a wise decision to embrace a higher ISO of around 1000 for the majority of the shot with f/2 to f/2.8 aperture. When you go up to the 2000 ISO for the dark bedroom, it will definitely add grain. You’ve to cleverly make it work for you during editing.

  • Shutter Speed 

The shutter speed above 1/250 of a second works well with kids, though you could increase it to at least 1/500th while they’re running and 1/800th of shutter speed range when they jump on the bed.

Find the best light

Photography is all about light. It doesn’t even matter how dark the interior is. Look around you and find out the doorways, windows, and best-lit areas in the home. If the windows aren’t offering the best natural light, you can prop everyone in the hall by opening up the front door.

Don’t forget to consider its’ direction, quality, and intensity, while looking for light sources. What will be the best light for your shots; depends on your vision.

Flourish The Most of the Light You Have

Besides looking for the best natural light, think about the best possible mood; that given light is creating. Sometimes you’ll be forced into a few situations where you’ll not get lots of light sources. As it’s lifestyle photography, usage of external lights could add an artificial hardness to the frame, try to avoid it. That means you have to work with the light you have.


Here, you could play with the light and shadow. Embrace shadows instead of completely eliminating them from the frame. The shadows will play a friendly role in your frame and add depth, form, and intensity to the pictures.


Modify the light

Think about your perspective. Are you going to capture a soft flattering portrait? Do you want an individual or many in your frame? Are you trying to make something different, moody or dramatic? After having a clear vision in mind, you could modify the available light accordingly. How?

Suppose, you want to capture an adorable moment in sifting light or some evenly-lit group portraits. But, the sunlight; pouring through a large window adds extra hardness to your frame.

Hence, you could soften the harsh sunlight by covering the window with a sheer curtain or a thin white sheet. Such diffused light creates an interesting light and shadow pattern, which genuinely comes in handy while trying to diminish wrinkles and blemishes of the subject.

Such soft light enables smooth transitions between light and shadow. But make sure the hard or soft light or defined shadows match the mood of the images.

Deal with the clutter

After getting a consignment, most lifestyle photographers start thinking will there be too many distractions of furniture and décor? If the surroundings aren’t looking ideal in the scene, you could prop your subjects against the wall or on the sofa by rearranging the room, but not too far from the door.

You should remove the irrelevant things; that don’t need to be there and crop out the things from the frame until they can’t be moved. Keep in mind; that clutter doesn’t always mean mess. We’re asking to remove the things that are working to distract us instead of adding anything to the shot.

Suppose, you are all set to capture a frame; where your subject will be doing the daily household tasks. Here, the messy table or even the laundry bag is a part of the story. On the other hand, you have to remove the same from the frame while framing a happy adorable moment or portraits, or group photos.

Get Variations through Perspective & Angles

The locations and even the light are limited for indoor lifestyle photography. Framing the subjects from different angles and perspectives could spice up the photographs. Here are some ideas –

  • Take photos from behind, straight on, side on, and in multiple positions.
  • Capture the best moments; that could make one teary eye, smile, happy, and say ‘awe’.
  • Take close-ups and wide shots.


The primary key challenges of lifestyle photography inside the home are finding out the best lit areas in the room and making the lit areas visually pleasing; next, it comes to creativity.

We give some ideas to deal with the first two concerning issues. Now it’s your turn to practice more to enhance your photography skill and acquire creative ideas.


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