Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

20 At Home Photoshoot Ideas to Capture What Matters

Man sitting in front of piano for at-home photoshoot

Home. A place of respite, a refuge from the outside world, a hearth we return to often. So often, it's only the special events and outings that call for the camera. But with more time spent indoors, we've come to understand the significance of these places we reside, day in and day out. Why not turn the lens inward, toward the people, pets, and little personalized nooks that make us whole? A home photoshoot is a creative way to pass the time, see your space in a new light, or capture moments with loved ones — especially now, when more time is spent within its walls than ever.

Here, we've gathered some simple but thoughtful at-home photoshoot ideas to help you document what matters within your own walls.


Use Your Hallways

Father with children in brightly lit hallway

Hallways of your home can be convenient for framing your subjects. The walls along each side create a depth of field effect by forming tunnel vision or leading lines, making a more interesting composition and inside look to your home. Lighting can sometimes be tricky in windowless walkways, so go for one with natural light flooding in, where possible.


Capture Perched Pets

Pug snoozing on the back of the couch
Cat perched on couch staring out the window

Every pet has their favorite spot or two in the home. For many, it just happens to be on the couch like their humans! Whether they're basking in the window light or positioning themselves to pounce, these poses are easy to capture and will remind you of their most characteristic moments.


Pose Against a Wall

Mother with children in front of wall overgrown with vines
Four children lined in front of wall for family photo

We know — when the weather's nice, it's near impossible to stay indoors. Take advantage of a little sunshine outside and find an exterior wall, gate, or fence to serve as the backdrop of your photo. When photographing people, we recommend using a more solid colored background to avoid a cluttered appearance. Feel free to incorporate some texture, however, like ivy, wood, or brick!


Get All Wrapped Up

Baby crawling on bed after bath time

Blankets, towels, bedsheets — get all wrapped up for a playful pose, especially when photographing littles. This one's great for a post-bath-time photo op, or first thing in the morning when early light fills the bedroom.

Pro tip: White linens often work best for a clean look that gives focus to the photo's subject.


Look From the Outside, In

Photo from outside of sheep dog inside staring out window

No matter if it's people or pets, we all gravitate toward the window — for light, for fresh air, and even entertainment. Head into your yard for a new perspective and snap a shot into the window with an outsider's point of view. They may be just as delighted to see you, too!


Make a Profile Portrait

Side profile of young woman in hat in front of wood fence

Portrait photography works best with basic backgrounds that allow your subject to shine. Look for a wall or partition around your home to serve as a setting, move in close, and position the person sideways to capture their profile. To incorporate light and shadow like this example, aim to take your shot when the sun is hanging lower in the sky. This way, the shadow it casts adds more dimension and further interest to the profile portrait (plus, the lighting is more favorable, too)!


Make the Bedding Your Setting

Family dogpile on the bed

Morning snuggles, afternoon lounging, rowdy dog piles — beds are home to some of our most raw, candid moments. So open the curtains to let light in and grab your camera when everyone's gathered (maybe kids, pets, or just lots of pillows). You're bound to capture an action shot or sweet moment with little to no posing necessary.


Take a Porch Portrait

Family photo on the front porch

Whether taken by a neighbor or using a tripod, front porch portraits give a snapshot into the daily life of those in your home. This home photoshoot idea may have grown in popularity during the pandemic era, but it doesn't need to be limited to that context! Have a seat on your entrance stairway, on a rocking chair, or standing in the yard for a photo most representative of the place you call home.


Show Off Your Green Thumb

Photo of monstera plants and other houseplants in background

Inanimate objects might not be the first subjects that come to mind for a photo to take at home. But houseplants' organic nature stands out indoors more than anywhere else. If you're a proud plant parent, gather your greenery in a nook or on shelving to later admire your collection.


Play With Window Light

Grandmother with granddaughters by the window

Nothing beats natural light as a tool in photography. However, some rooms within the home might be a little lacking, depending on the size and number of sources letting it in. When shooting indoors, windows are your best friend! Pull up a seat or have your subjects stand in its frame to illuminate facial features. The contrast of low lighting inside with the brightness from outside can create a dramatic effect, as shown here.


Go Overhead on a Resting Pet

Cute puppy lying on its back next to larger dog
Kitten staring up at the camera overhead

Few things are more lovable than pets lazily lounging. For a unique (and even sneaky) angle, come from above to take a photo of their unwitting pose. Whether they remain undisturbed or they peer up in surprise, you'll have a string of shots that represents their little moments of bliss.

Want more like this? Check out our guide dedicated to photographing pets.


Create Your Own Backdrop

Family photo in front of DIY backdrop of white sheets and citrus slices

If you don't believe there to be a particularly photogenic spot to stand around your house, try setting up your own! With a bed sheet, some draped lights or decor, and a little improvisation, you can make a homemade "photo booth" backdrop as creative as any of the other at home photoshoot ideas.


Capture a Rainy Day

Photo of the city through a rainy window

Stuck inside with gloomy weather? Not all at home photoshoot ideas need illuminating windows. Raindrops can make a moody faux filter for the subject behind it, or can even serve as the focus of the photo with the background blurred in a bokeh effect. Either way you look at it, a rainy day means more time to play with camera settings and composition.


Catch Them in Action

Woman cooking in kitchen with back turned to the camera

When you think "action shot," you might immediately imagine lively movement and blur. But at home, an action shot may simply be capturing someone in their everyday routine or doing what they love. Grandma cooking in the kitchen, dad at his woodworking bench, sister reading out on the porch swing — it's these mini moments that compile together to make a profile of the people that matter most.


Go Bottoms Up!

Family upside down doing handstands against wall

For a playful picture fit for roommates, families, or maybe amateur gymnasts, try flipping the typical pose on its head by going upside down. Find a wall for the assist, put your camera on a self-timer (the longer the better!), kick yourself into position, and hold the pose for the shutter to snap. Don't fret if it's not perfect — the outtakes are the best part of photographing your family!


Sit With an Instrument

Man sitting in front of piano for at-home photoshoot

If you're lucky enough to have a musician in the house — or to be one yourself — you know that impromptu performances can pop up throughout the day. Use those unrehearsed moments to set the stage for photographing their art in the making. Sometimes, it's in those passing minutes that make up their whole day's worth of joy.


Get on Their Level

Toddler and baby playing with building blocks

One of our favorite baby photoshoot ideas at home is also one of the simplest. While the little ones are entranced by toys, lower the lens to their level to photograph their interactions with the world around them. You might even capture entertaining expressions of concentration or delight while they're distracted by the task at hand.


Go for a Walk

French bulldog on leash waiting patiently to go on a walk

What good boy or girl doesn't enjoy going for their walk? This idea spans from the front door to the sidewalks beyond. Leash up, look down, and snap a photo of your (maybe-not-so) patiently waiting pup ready to head outside. But keep that camera out, because photo ops abound throughout your very own neighborhood!


Seek Out Silhouettes

Silhouette of pregnant mother-to-be in front of brightly lit window
Silhouette of woman staring out apartment window

We've mentioned the photoshoot potential that windows provide in a home, and this last idea will help top it off. Silhouettes form when your subject is backlit by a light source coming from behind them, therefore casting them as a darker shape and outline against it. This look can be achieved by putting people in front of a window during the day and keeping the lights inside dimmer or off to create contrast. To exaggerate this effect, try adding a black and white photography filter to your photos once they're taken!

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