Natural Indoor Recipe

Children's Photography Session Poppy

Ever just wish someone would just give the step by step on what settings you need for a portrait.. Do you want. to skip the know how and get straight to the nitty gritty of the settings and get started.

Well, here you go.  

Note: This is for subjects that are still, and constant light. (I will cover the moving subject later next week)

Equipment you'll need:

  • A lens that will flatter your subject
  • Shoot in manual mode

Natural Light Indoor Recipe

When taking an indoor portrait, the first thing I look for is soft light. 


Finding the right light can be hard. If you have a big window put your subject by the window facing it. 

Use a reflector, Seriously, It’s one of my most significant pieces of kit and probably my cheapest. It’s great if you need more light. 


Choosing the right lens can be difficult and it depends on where and what you are shooting. There are two schools of thought when it comes to a good portrait lens for indoor I use either my 50mm prime lens or my  24-70mm. The image above was 50mm f2.8 iso 800 and shutter speed 1/250. 


Set your focus to a Single point or one shot. This always you to focus on the eyes, as this should be the sharpest and lightest point on your photo. Try if possible to see catch light in the eyes. 


Portraits of a single person, are best set between f2 and f4. If you’re current lens doesn’t go that low, then I’d recommend the 50mm f1.8 lens. It will certainly get you started and is very reasonably priced. 

Shutter Speed

If I’m using a tripod I can afford to drop my shutter speed down a notch. 1/125. However if I’m handheld I use 1/250 up to 320. This is the setting I move up and down to correct the exposure. 


I like to keep this as low as possible. 100, how move it up when you need more light. 

White Balance

I tend to leave my in auto and correct this as part of my post processing, If I think it’s a particularly difficult situation I put a grey card in my first couple of shots. However, If you’d prefer to do this in camera, simply set to the lighting. If its sunny set it too daylight, if its overcast set it to cloudy. 

Bonus Tip: Get down to their level. Camera should be at eye level.

Natural Light Indoor Settings

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