Good morning and happy Monday SCT friends!  We hope you had a wonderful and creative weekend!  We are excited to welcome photographer and new SCT columnist Elisha Snow to the blog this morning.  This is Elisha's first "Capture It Monday" and we're sure you'll give her a great welcome.  Having seen her upcoming column in the spring issue, we are also sure you're going to love her photo tips as much as we do!  Welcome Elisha!




Stuck indoors? Try these tricks for getting the best photos possible during those long winter months!

Winter can be a beautiful time of year for taking photos, especially when there’s a blanket of freshly fallen snow outside. But taking your little ones out for photos in the cold isn’t always a possibility. Instead, set aside some time for an indoor photo shoot with your kids!

There are several advantages to just staying at home for photos. I’ve discovered that the biggest of these advantages is that my kids feel much more at ease in a familiar environment, and are more likely to give me genuine smiles. Another advantage is that you can utilize objects around your home for photos, whether it’s a favorite toy, a cozy blanket, or even a bribe from the pantry. And finally, you don’t need to worry about cold weather, finding (and taking time to travel to) the perfect location, frantically searching for a bathroom when you need it, and all the while making sure clothes and hair stay perfectly polished.

 Here are five tips for getting the best possible photos in the comfort of your own home:


  1. Find the light!


Light is the biggest factor when it comes to getting stellar photos. The more light you have to work with, the better your camera will perform, especially if you have active kids and need to freeze their movement. Move towards the largest window you can find with indirect light (meaning the sun isn’t shining directly in through the window). Natural light is always best (especially when it comes to the color of the light), but if you’re shooting at nighttime then just turn on as many lights as you can. 


2.     Use the right flash


If you’re still struggling to get enough light into your photos, then consider investing in an external flash. The pop-up flash that’s built into your camera should never be used. Never. The look created from a pop-up flash is extremely harsh and unnatural. The advantage to using an external flash is that you can control the amount of light coming from it, you can easily diffuse the light, and you can control the direction of the light. All those factors will enable you (with some practice) to get a beautifully lit photo.


3.     Choose the right lens


For all you SLR camera users, a lens that allows you to open up your aperture wide will be your best friend in low-light situations. The wider you can make your aperture (indicated by an f-stop, such as f/2.8) the more light is let into your camera, allowing you to adequately shoot in low light. My very favorite lens for taking pictures indoors is a 50mm f/1.4 lens. Besides letting in light, another advantage to a wider aperture is a blurrier background.


4.     Play around with perspective


Instead of just standing in front of you kids, snapping photo after photo, try a variety of perspectives. To do so, you’ll need to get down on the ground, stand up high on a chair (be careful!), get close to your child’s face, and look at things from behind. You’ll soon discover that your photos will be much more dynamic, full of life, and engaging. Try seeing the world the way your child sees it, whether it’s from the perspective of a tiny infant, to a rambunctious toddler. Not only will your photos be better, but you’ll have more fun!


5.     Capture life 


There’s a time and place for getting those perfectly posed portrait shots of your kids, but if you’re going to take photos in your home, why not photograph your kids just enjoying life? Take pictures of them getting ready for school, doing homework, coloring and drawing pictures, playing with toys, reading a book, eating lunch, and wrestling on the floor? I promise that those little snippets of life you’re recording will mean so much more to you and your kids as the years go by.


Being able to capture these candid lifestyle moments is my very favorite part of being a photographer! ~  Elisha Snow