10 Creative photoshoot ideas to do at home

If you’re stuck indoors, there are plenty of ways you can practice photography at home and get creative with just your camera.

From natural light portrait photography to simple food photography at home or one light product shoots, I’ve put together a list of 10 creative photoshoot ideas you can try at home. You don’t have to get out to exciting locations, collaborate with large teams or photograph top-end products straight out the box to get great photos — some of these shoots are so simple that all you’ll need is your camera and a subject.

1. FREE Photography Course

To help get us through these challenging times, I've created a completely free Introduction to Photography Course made up of 10 classes, a 90-page downloadable illustrated guide and a 25 question quiz to help you keep on track.

These free photography classes also provide you with some examples and foundation knowledge to get more from these creative home photoshoots ideas.

Once we're all out of lockdown, you’ll be able to apply your new skills to consistently shoot stunning photos that get noticed.

2. Natural light portrait photography

Indoor portrait photography using natural light
Indoor portrait photography example

Technically, natural light portrait photography could be done indoors or outdoors, but either way, it’s a great excuse to get shooting. One of the best things about natural light portrait photography is that you really don’t need much equipment. To get started, all you need is your camera, a subject and some space.

If you’re shooting indoors, start by looking for a suitable light source, like a large window, and think about how you can make the most of your scene. In this indoor photography class I kept things really clean and simplistic, using just a large window as the light source, my camera and some diffusion material.

3. Photograph the kids

Kids photography portrait at home.

Whether it’s the weekend or holidays, take the opportunity to grab the kids for some quick photos at home. Again, these kinds of shoots can be done indoors or outdoors and require very little equipment.

If you can’t get outside, think of ways to get creative indoors. You could get them to dress up in their favourite outfit, pose with the family pet or use their toys as props (as you’ll see in this portrait photography class).

4. Natural light food photography

Example of food photography at home. Simple pasta dish.
Cheese Board food photography using natural light.

If photographing people isn’t your thing, why not try natural light food photography? As you’ll see in our newest food photography classes, you don’t need to have amazing culinary skills to photograph food at home. As you’ll see in two of our natural light food shoots, where Anna photographed a bowl of spaghetti and a charcuterie board, all you need are some basic ingredients, a space to shoot in, your camera and a tripod (a few reflectors may also come in handy).

5. Simple food photography at home

Berries food photography using basic kit and flashlite.
Raspberry dessert food photography in the kitchen.

If you have a couple of studio lights, you can take this one step further. Take a look at this food photography class, where I use just two studio lights to create the feeling of natural light for a simple breakfast scene.

With just a few studio lights, you can get really truly creative. Why not see what you can come up with for your afternoon cup of tea, a jar of feta or even dessert?

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6. Still life photography

Example of still life photography. Moody still life photo of an egg
Creative still life photography of an egg. Captured in a small space using minimal camera kit.

Still life photography is a great way to really test your creativity and you really don’t need much to get started. Our recent live show - The Egg Challenge - is the perfect example. Shooting just an ordinary egg, I show you exactly how creative you can be using just your lighting and background.

Take a look around the house to see what you can find, whether it be books or pieces of fruit, and challenge yourself to see how many different shots you can come up with. It’s a great way to pass the time, test your skills and push your creativity.

7. One light product photography

Product photography of lipstick still life using one light setup

Product photography can seem quite intimidating to many photographers, especially if they think they need multiple lights to get good results. If you know how to use and control light, the reality is that you can get some professional product photos using minimal equipment, as I showed in my recent ‘One Light Challenge Product Shoot’ photography workshop.

The key things to have, in addition to your one light, are a selection of reflectors, mirrors and flags as these can be used to further control your light. If you want to get even more creative, you can also make use of long exposures, as I demonstrated in the one light product shoot show.

8. Simulating sunlight portrait lighting

Beautiful model portrait photo lighting setup using only one light

Stuck indoors, looking for new creative portrait photography ideas? Why not try this simple one light portrait photography setup to recreate your own feeling of sunlight. This lighting setup is ideal for those who only have a small space to work in and only requires one light.

You can also build on this setup by introducing a flag to create the feeling of sun and shadow, as you’ll see in this portrait photography class.

9. Dramatic two light portrait lighting

Dramatic portrait photography lighting setup example that uses 2 lights

If you’re looking for something slightly more dramatic, why not take a look at this ‘Dramatic Portraits’ photography class. Suitable for those working in a small space, all you’ll need for this shoot is your camera and subject, a tripod, two studio lights and a reflector (if you don’t have a reflector, you could also use a white board).

Don’t forget to take a look at some of our other portrait photography classes, where you’ll find a range of portrait lighting setups using one, two, three and four lights.

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10. Bottle photography

Wine bottle photography - Baron Des Tours, 2014 MEDOC
Rim lighting wine bottle photography of glass and Baron Des Tours, 2013, Medoc wine

Chances are you already have at least one bottle of wine, or some sort of spirit, laying around the house. Bottles are fairly easy products to photograph, they don’t require much equipment and, again, you can make it as simple or creative as you like.

BONUS 11. Splash photography

Easy liquid splash photography lighting setup example

If you’re feeling a little bit more daring, and you don’t mind a little mess, why not try out splash photography? In its simplest form, all you need for splash photography is one light, some diffusion material and a liquid of your choice.

You could try shooting water splashes, wine plashes or even paint splashes for simple but effective splash shots. Or, if you want to try something more, why not introduce some glasses or products?

Other productive ways to further your photography

1. Practice your post production

If you’re stuck inside, can’t get out to photograph or don’t have any shoots planned, take the opportunity to work on your post production skills instead.

Never quite mastered the Pen tool? Feel your burning and dodging skills could be refined? Take a look at our post production section, where you’ll find a variety of Photoshop classes that will help you learn the most important essential to advanced skills. You’ll also find a selection of downloadable work-along files that you can use to practice with.

Keep in mind that post production is an important part of the photographic process, and knowing how to use Photoshop and retouch photos is a valuable skill for any photographer to have.

2. Update important business documents

When last did you review your terms and conditions or update your website? Often these seemingly small but important tasks fall by the wayside when we’re busy shooting, but it’s important to revisit these things from time to time.

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3. Make your own photography backgrounds

Growing tired of using the same backgrounds for your photography? Why not take the opportunity to create your own DIY photography backgrounds. From wooden boards to canvas backdrops, you can get fairly creative in just a few simple steps.

4. Learn first-hand from pro photographers

No, you don’t have to leave the house to learn first-hand from the pros… If you’re looking for ways to pass the time while still developing your knowledge, take a look at our past guest interviews, where I sit down with some of the industry’s leading photographers to find out what advice and tips they have to share.

As you can see, there’s plenty of photography ideas for you to try at home. You don’t necessarily have to get out or go to the studio to shoot, and you certainly don’t need a lot of equipment on hand. Let us know what some of your favourite home photoshoots are in the comments below.

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If you're looking for more creative photography ideas, you'll find a wide range of  informative videos throughout our site. From portrait photography classes to product photography classes, there is variety of tutorials for all skill levels.

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