Indoor portrait photography can be a bit challenging, especially in regards to lighting choices. When it comes right down to it, lighting in photography is a science. One little tweak in the position or type of lighting can change the entire tone of a photograph, for better or for worse. Below is a list of some of the best online tutorials I was able to locate, based on indoor portrait photography. Each one has something unique to offer, but what I was really focusing on was finding articles that complimented one another and collectively became one large and useful tutorial. You will likely find something for yourself here, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned photographer.
Creating Beautiful Indoor Portraits without Flash – This article by photographer Ed Verosky is featured on the website Digital Photography School. What I liked most about this article was the very thorough descriptions and detail, with the main focus being on different types of lighting available to avoid flash use. Ed talks about using available household lighting, natural light from windows (with curtains as filters in some cases), and how to manipulate each to suite your needs. He also addresses post processing issues such as white balance or noise. All in all a very thorough article, with all camera settings disclosed and no dumbing down of the jargon required to keep the article beginner friendly.
Simple Digital Portrait Photography for Beginners – This article focuses on simplicity, as much as is possible with this type of thing, and is aimed towards beginners. What I liked most about this particular page is that it also gives a list of must-have equipment and accessories for those just starting out. We all begin somewhere, and it really helps to have this information available to avoid common start-up mistakes.
Most tutorials you find online totally skip the fundamentals – what is a softbox? Where do I find one? Do I need one?, etc, I could go on forever. This article is still very detailed and thorough, definitely worth a read for beginners, but even if you’re not just starting out you may find something useful here. I am a big advocate of the use of natural light combined with flash. It creates warmth that is absent otherwise. I hate using flash on its own, and the author of this article agrees with me, so I am naturally very pleased with this entire post.
Inspirational Portrait Photography Tips – In need of a little inspiration? Breaking the rules is so much fun. I just loved the photos shown here, and the tips accompanying them are interesting. If you are looking to spice up your portraits, do not forget that rules are only guidelines and sometimes stepping outside of the box is the best decision you could make. Let’s face it, portrait photography can be a little redundant at times.
Natural Lighting and Diffuser Tips (Video) – I was not sure about this video at first, but after watching, I realized that the tips are pretty basic but very important. The sample photographs shown are really helpful as well because listed is the camera settings, direction of light, and reflector position.
Composition and Posing for Indoor Portraiture (Video) – This video is awesome! A lot of times we forget how important composition is, and the same can be said for posing. What do you do when a client is asking you to take 10 pounds off of them in their portraits? If a client is self conscious about their skin, their weight, or any other specific trait, there are ways to help insure that you create photographs for them that they will be happy with. The last thing that you want to do is accentuate the very things your client is concerned about. This video tutorial offers a ton of tips on these very delicate concerns that many clients may have.
Light Modifiers (Video) – This video is very thorough and focuses on modifiers, it is one of my personal favorite lighting videos that I have ever found. They go into great detail about each method, the options available, and the pros and cons (and things to avoid) for each setup. Covered are umbrellas, softbox, barn door, and reflector panels. They show each in action, the video is long enough to cover everything thoroughly without being too long. Enjoy!
101 Portrait Photography Tips – What more could you want, 101 tips is a lot. Everything imaginable is covered here. While this particular article does not focus on indoor portrait photography specifically, almost every one of the 101 tips can be applied indoors.
There are so many options on the internet for photography tutorials, and weeding through the good and the bad can be tiresome and overwhelming. Getting information from just one source is not enough, there is probably not a single tutorial or article available that covers everything, so it is important to get the information you seek from various sources. There is not always a right or wrong way, especially when it comes to lighting. The biggest things to remember are to avoid shadows unless you are planning to capitalize on them for artistic effect, and always know where your lighting is going and the effects it will have on your subject and your final photograph. That said, do not forget the basics, remember to pay attention to background and composition, and always strive for the highest quality photograph possible. Good luck and happy shooting!