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  • Ellie Mayner

Creative Photography from Home

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

Due to everything going on right now life is tough on us freelance photographers and even though you may not have much business at the moment there is still a way for you to stay creative and have fun during lockdown.

While finishing my university degree from home I was able to experiment with different styles of portrait photography that I hadn't previously tried. The photo above was taken for one of my final project pieces for my dissertation, at home, using my sister and face paint. I was inspired at the time by the rainbows people were displaying in their windows in support of the amazing NHS staff.

Trying Something New

I took a range of photographs during this shoot, some even self portraits like the photograph. I decided to use the colours of the rainbow to create bright and exciting images, which I shared later on social media. During such a dark time where there is so much suffering, I wished to offer some light and hope through my photographs.

These photographs are very different to other work I have done, as they are more stylistic and unique images. Trying something new is something I enjoy to do, and it doesn't always work out well, (I took some portraits involving glitter that will never see the light of day!) but it doesn't mean you don't try again next time. Look for inspiration online or around give it a go yourself.

Photoshop Skills

I have also used this time being stuck at home to develop my photoshop editing skills further. Often my photography just needs a touch up after a photoshoot, so I decided to try and create something that is more fantasy driven. This photograph was taken in a studio set up I created, believe it or not, just in my bedroom.

All you need to create this type of photo aesthetic is a small warm bulbed lamp to cast a warm light on your face ( I was using a real match but it did not provide enough light across my face for the photo). Then I simply used youtube tutorials to create the sparkles across the image, something we all have access to and is very easy to follow!

Experimenting with Lens'

Another creative way of changing up your normal photography style I found was to experiment using different lens', but not just using those lens' to capture what they are 'intended' to capture, but to use them to capture what you wouldn't expect a photographer to usually do. I carried out a photoshoot using my macro lens to photograph my dog, easy to do from home, we were just in the garden!

As you can see from the images above it created a very different perspective to what I would usually call a portrait photograph. You can try this out at home with any pets you may have, or even on people living in your household (an eye shot with a macro lens would be cool). The macro lens is really able to capture the fine detail of the dogs whiskers, eyes and nose, bringing out lots of personality in the photographs.

Getting Inspired!

During the pandemic and the UK lockdowns over the past 12 months I have really been searching for inspiration on the internet. Ways to keep my portfolio and website updated while there isn't much freelance work about, and stopping myself from becoming really bored. There are many different ways you can get inspired, some of them being obvious like Pinterest and Instagram, but I have been mostly inspired by TikTok! Yes I know how 'Gen Z' of me, but looking under photography hashtags you can find some amazing content.

I was inspired to take the photograph of the bubble by a video that I found on TikTok. It is an exampled of how you can be creative and take unique photographs while at home, using household items. All you need to create a image like this is: washing up liquid, a straw and a small flower such as a daisy or dandelion. What you have to do is mix the washing up liquid with some water and suck it up through the straw and pinch the end, (I ended up tasting it a couple of times!). Hold the straw over the top of the flower and then blow a bubble out of the end, it may take a couple of attempts but you should be able to create something like this!

Phone Photography

If you are reading this and you are not a photographer, or don't have professional equipment but you enjoy photography, you can still take photographs like this! Many iPhones now have portrait mode, this will allow you take photographs like the bubble image. You should explore more of what your phone is able to do, I would advise testing out the different f/stops, you can find this in the top right hand corner of your camera screen when in portrait mode, change the f/stop by scrolling the dial that appears from side to side, this will change the amount of focus you have on the background of your image.

You can get creative with your photography even when just using your phone, they are so advanced now they can take a really amazing photograph and are simple to use. The photo in black and white I took very recently in the snow, using portrait mode on my iPhone 11. All I did was add a black and white filter after the fact and that is it, I love the photo! I think I will often use photographs in upcoming blogs that I have taken on my phone, as I tend to document most things in my life through photography. You can really capture the moment you are in by whipping out your phone, (because lets be honest it is always to hand).

We Can Make A Difference

I hope I have inspired you whether you are a photographer or not, to become creative at home, look for inspiration online and sometimes its the more simple things or the things we care about the most that can make the most beautiful photograph. Use this time that you have together, with those in your household, to capture memories and also share fun a positive images with those you may not have seen for a long time. As we all know the images we are surrounded by at the moment and over the last year, in the news and on social media, are not very often positive ones. We can make.a difference!

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