Tips to Creating Classic Portraits at Home

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…and right from inside your garage! I know, sounds crazy right? I’m telling you though, it is one of my go-to spots to shooting and today I am sharing my tips to creating classic portraits at home and right from in your garage. 

There are a few simple tips to getting the job done.

1. Create a blank canvas

Perhaps you have a wall in your garage that isn’t taken up with shelving. Or one that would require you to move just a few things. Find that space and clear it. When shooting in my garage, I also back the car out for ample space. For these shots I simply brought out our dining bench for the kids to sit on and be comfortable. 

2. Use natural light only

You will want to make sure that your garage door is open and that you have turned off any overhead lights. You also want to make sure and shoot at a time of day that your garage will not have any harsh and direct lighting. I lucked out with an overcast day for these where the light diffused beautifully, but another great time would be to shoot in the middle of the day when the sun would be above you.

3. Choose simple wardrobes

Because I knew these were ultimately going to be black and white portraits of the kiddos, I wanted to make sure their clothing was simple for contrast. Solid t-shirts worked great. Remember to watch your exposure carefully with anyone in white.

4. Embrace the lighting you have to work with

Lately, I have really grown to love the use of shadows. As you scroll through the photographs below, you will notice that when the kids faced my camera only their left side is catching the available light coming from the open garage. I actually love how natural it looks. However, to adjust that, you can have your subject face outward toward the available light which you will also see below. You can also adjust your position to shoot from an angle that would capture their entire face.

5. Have fun

Never let it not be fun. You don’t have to have a reason to take photos of your kids. I simply mentioned that we hadn’t in a while so we headed to the garage and we spent about 15 minutes laughing, having fun, and getting in front of the camera. Even if some of us just weren’t sure about being in front of the camera solo – wink!

I hope my tips to creating classic portraits at home are helpful. Remember to take the time to document your kids. Don’t just wait for the big moments. Because it’s always in the little moments that you really get to see who they are and the individuals they are becoming.

So grateful for these cubs…


For more tips and documenting inspiration, click here for more posts

And if you want to take it a step further, join me for the Documenting the Everyday series.

September 14, 2020


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