I will admit, summer is my absolute favorite time to shoot, hands down.
I love the ease, the freedom, the light, the everything of summer.
Since we live in Maine, however, summers are pretty short, and winters seem (and actually are) very long. I have had to make peace with the fact that I am shooting mostly in the winter, and many days are too cold to go outside.
Below are some of the techniques I use to keep shooting inside when the temps outside are frigid.
1. Bring the outside in
One of the things I like to do is to bring an element inside that is normally seen outside. It adds a bit of fun and whimsy, and that fun definitely can be felt in the image. And, who doesn’t like defying superstitions and opening up umbrellas indoors?
2. Don’t reinvent the wheel
Typically my preference is to shoot backlit when outdoors. I find that this holds true shooting indoors as well. If something is working for you outside, don’t reinvent the wheel, parlay that same preference when shooting inside.
3. Embrace low light
I know, I know, I just told you not to reinvent the wheel and now I am telling you to embrace low light. But since the days are so much shorter, I find that I simply don’t shoot enough unless I am shooting in the dark. Sometimes you just have to crank up the ISO and have at it.
4. Think inside the box
For me, shooting inside means that I am shooting the same things in the same light over and over, and it can get tiring. I am constantly thinking, “what angle haven’t I taken, what way haven’t I captured this?”
In the image below, I had been capturing my baby outside of the tub when I thought, “how can I make this different?” The difference was stripping off my clothes and hopping in with her. So sometimes thinking outside the box can actually mean hopping into new places and getting into new nooks and crannies to capture new angles.
5. Be more aware
When you are shooting in the same space everyday, you can start seeing things the same way. Similar to the idea above where you are putting your body into new places to capture new angles, put on a fresh set of eyes and see what elements in your home you can incorporate for interesting compositions. Things that work well for me are mirrors, crib rails, stairs, etc.
6. Start a new project
Stuck in a rut and depressed with the the cold gray days a few winters ago, I decided to start shooting food. It ended up being so beneficial; it helped me to continue to learn and be inspired even when it was too cold to go outside. Bonus – working with a non-moving subject definitely was a course in composition and design.
Let me know in the comments how you stay shooting inside in the winter!