How To Master Indoor Photography With Natural Light

If someone confronts you and asks you what the heck you’re doing you can explain that you’re a photographer, show them the photograph, and then ask them if they’d like you to delete it.  Any reasonable person would say yes or no and go about their day.  Here is what happened to me just the other day…

“Hey, did you just take my picture?”

“Yes, (showing them the image) see?  Would you like me to delete it?”


“Alright, (letting them watch as I delete the image) have a good day”


This exchange took less than 20 seconds and everyone was happy.  If you want to be really sly about it you can shoot in burst mode and always take a couple of photos.  If someone confronts you hurry and pull up the first shot of the burst mode so you can show them you deleted it and the preview will go to a previous shot that was not them while you still have the other shot of them still on your camera.


Places a tripod is acceptable with prior permission from owners or management:

  • The Zoo
  • The Museum
  • The Aviary
  • A Concert
  • The Conservatory

Places you should not take a tripod:

  • Pretty much everywhere else…

If you’re asking yourself whether you can take your tripod with you on your next indoor adventure then your asking the wrong question.  It’s not can you take it, it’s should you take it.  Consider where you are going, whether their will be crowds of people, and if you’d appreciate having to maneuver around some jack wagon with a tripod if you were in their shoes.  Besides, as soon as you set up your tripod you attract the attention of every single person in the room…  Kiss those candid shots goodbye.


Not if you intend on staying inconspicuous.  Though I’m not a fan of using flash I do realize that some photographers create masterful images with it.  If that’s you and you don’t mind temporarily blinding your subjects then go for it.  For the beginners out there I’d recommend learning to shoot with natural light first.

Situational Awareness

This last tip should be followed all of the time, not just when you’re practicing indoor photography.  Mind your surroundings and be courteous to others by not stepping in front of them or stopping suddenly to take a photo while someone is right behind you.  This will keep you from upsetting someone unintentionally as well as ensure that someone doesn’t sneakily steal things from your camera bag while you concentrate on a shot.

Shooting indoors can be extremely rewarding when done properly.  You can use the same composition builders you’d use outdoors like leading lines, reflections, and the rule of thirds to create dynamic images that will catch and hold viewers attention.  Be sure to check out the PhotolisticLife Flickr page and upload some of your great images for a chance to be featured here on the site.  Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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