Being stuck at home doesn’t put your creativity on hold. Summon your inner artist and keep yourself entertained with these tips for taking well-lit photos from home using whatever objects or materials you have available.

#1: Use natural light from windows

Photographers consider natural light to be the best because it doesn’t modify the colors or skin tones of your subject and may have a softer effect. If you’re looking for dramatic lighting with high contrast shadows and bright warm light, take pictures near your windows during the golden hours (the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset).

#2: Flashlights = Spotlights

Top 5 Tips for Expert Photo Lighting at Home

Try either hanging a flashlight or setting it on a table. For the best results, keep the room dark, so the full effect of your DIY spotlight is visible. Move it closer or further from your subject to increase or decrease the concentration and spread of the light.

#3: Repurpose your holiday lights

Top 5 Tips for Expert Photo Lighting at Home

Try wrapping your subject in holiday lights and see what images you can capture. Or place the lights around or behind the subject instead. They’re easy to manipulate and bright enough, so you shouldn’t need any extra light for your scene.

#4: White sheets as reflectors

Don’t have dedicated studio reflectors? White sheets or poster boards can work in a pinch. Hang the sheet (or boards) near your subject so light strikes it and reflects back. This isn’t an exact science, so experiment with your DIY reflector to fill in unwanted shadows and improve the overall image. BONUS TIP: Using the sheet along with natural light from a window (See tip #1 above) can make for stunning portraits!

#5: Lamps, lamps, lamps

Top 5 Tips for Expert Photo Lighting at Home

Gather as many household lamps or other portable light sources and position them in a semi-circle facing your subject. This simulates surround lighting that’s often used for product photography and provides even lighting, few shadows, and great detail. Not enough fixtures for smooth lighting? Then go dramatic and accentuate the shadows for effect!

Remember, photography is a fun medium for experimentation and manipulation. You don’t need fancy equipment to create amazing images. If you use any of our tips, make sure you share your pictures with us on Instagram by tagging our page and add the hashtag #photographyfromhome.

Top 5 Tips for Expert Photo Lighting at Home

Studio 300’s Nikki wrote this article and shared her at-home images.