Today I had a session with a one-year-old and a yellow lab. It was so much fun! I received tons of wet kisses and a giant hug from Maya, the yellow lab. During the session I started thinking about what to do when you photograph indoors because it was pretty nasty outside (rainy and really humid), and I was photographing at the client’s home. So, if you’re inside trying to get a great photograph without the harsh effects of a flash what should you do? My advice is to find a window that has great natural light beaming in. This isn’t always easy if the windows aren’t very big. A window facing north is usually best (in my opinion!).
Now that you have found an appropriate window what should you do? If you are photographing on manual mode, I would suggest opening your aperture as much as you can (say at 2.8 to 4.0). This really gets some nice light, but it does cause a lot of fall off in the image where only a small portion is sharp. I actually love this effect because it makes what you are focusing on really pop. Just make sure you have your focus in the right place! If you are photographing kids or pets it’s also a good idea to have your autofocus on because by the time you have focused on your subject they’ve moved!
Here’s a photo of Agador taken from window light and a wide open aperture so you can get a feel for what it looks like. Try it out and let me know how it works. I’d love to see some images of your pets with this technique!