Guest Post – How to Photograph Indoors

Today I have a special guest post for you, Kristin from Kristin Holt Photography and Modjeska Designs (check out her button on my sidebar).  We were talking a couple weeks ago about how I struggle to take pictures in doors during our long wet winters up here and I finally asked her if she would do a tutorial. She is a fantastic photographer!  She is also the one who put my new blog header up and she designed my awesome new watermark and taught me how to use it! You really need to check her out!


You have an item you want to take pictures of for your blog but, you’re having a problem with lighting. Maybe you’re limited to only taking photos indoors because of the weather. Maybe you have a piece of fabric that you’re trying to take pictures of but, the pictures make the fabric look like your wadded it up and threw it on the table? Are you getting a lot of harsh shadows in your photos? Maybe the colors are true to what you’re seeing? Sound familiar? Then, this tutorial is for you!

What you’ll need:

  • Window with sunlight (preferably north or south facing window)
  • Portable surface to place your item
  • Step stool or small ladder
  • Reflector*
  • Camera

*A note on the reflector: A reflector can be purchased from a general photo supply store. However, if you do not want to spend the time or money, there are quite a few inexpensive ways to create a reflector. One way is to use white foam core. This can be purchased at most big box or office supply stores. You can get the science project tri-fold foam core boards. You can also use a plain piece of cardboard and cover it with aluminum foil. I have also been known to use a white cutting board for a reflector. If you have a car window sunshade with a silver or gold reflective surface, that will work, too! Use what you have!

This is a pullback of my setup. This is a south facing window. These photos were taken in the afternoon. I am right up against the window.


This is a pullback of my setup with my trusty tri-fold foam core. In this photo, I do not have the foam core close enough to the objects I will be shooting. I will adjust the distance between my reflector and my focal point to get the effect I am looking for.


This is a photo of my subject without the reflector. Let’s face it, I love flat linens but, it’s not always easy to find time to iron. LOL

The cloth napkin is wrinkled. There are harsh shadows from the cup and the cinnamon stick. The colors aren’t really true. I’m seeing something lighter than what this photo represents.


Then, I add the reflector into the mix. I push that reflector right up to the subject I’m shooting. I want the light from the window to reflect off of the foam core and fill in the shadows and brighten my scene. Check out those wrinkles! Hee hee hee. Magic. They’re almost gone and I didn’t have to break out the iron. LOL

The shadow of the cup has lightened considerably. The dishes seem closer in color to what I’m seeing.


You will have to adjust the reflector to your object. Here are two similar photos. One has the reflector far and the other close. Can you see the difference a simple reflector can make?

CoffeeTut1 CoffeeTut

That’s it. Simple.

You can do this!! Give it a try! I’d love to hear how it went for you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Thank you,

Kristin 🙂

Kristin Holt Photography


I fully plan on applying these tips to my quilts and quilting tutorials from now on! My fabric always looks wrinkled and…I’m always ironing it, this might be the solution to my problem!

About Melissa Dunworth

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12 Responses to Guest Post – How to Photograph Indoors

  1. Debbe says:

    What wonderful tips, thank you for sharing.

  2. Adrianne says:

    I love seeing the setup that creates the photo!! AWESOME tips!!

  3. Lisa L. says:

    Great tips! Going to give them a try! 🙂

  4. Eeep. . this is a great post. Thank you both! Now for cute dishes like these too!

    • Kristin says:

      @Shanna – IKEA!!! You can buy them separately and I have to say I’m madly in love with that set and the matte sets of dishes! <3

  5. Jacque (aka Snoodles) says:

    Many thanks for the tips….these will help immensely on those rainy days when I can’t shoot outside!

  6. Sewfrench says:

    You are up against a window? Or is it a door? And where were you standing when you photographed this? Outside? You opened the door to photograph from above? I’m confused.
    Your colors look great however you did it!

    • Kristin says:

      @Sewfrench – Those are French doors. I am inside and standing on the bench shooting down, or across as I stand, depending on the photo. You don’t want to stand in the way of the light. If the sun is coming from the south window, you want to stand in any p

  7. CeLynn says:

    Thanks for such an informative tutorial! Will be trying out some of these tips soon.

  8. Great ideas…thanks for sharing them! I will try it out!

  9. Kristy says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  10. Sewfrench says:

    Perfect! Thank you Kirsten!! And Melissa! I am going to give this a try. We have sucky weather but a couple of great windows, but with bad backgrounds. I think with the reflector I can make it work (and not look like every photo is taken from the exact same side table)!

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