Making the Most of Bad Weather: Indoor Photography for a Rainy Day

Date Posted:15 May 2017 

When the weather is miserable outside it doesn’t mean you need to put down the camera. With a bit of creativity and imagination you’ll discover the household offers up inspiration and opportunity for still life, portraiture and more. Here’s some of the top ideas for shooting indoors.

Exposure to flame

The fireplace, candles, tealights, all these common household sources of fire can produce excellent opportunities for experimenting with chiaroscuro and different lengths of exposure. Here a few handy tips for photographing fire around the home:

  • Try longer shutter times, does it make the image lighter or darker?
  • Experiment with balancing long shutter times without overexposing the composition.
  • What effect does reflection have when photographing fire?
  • What can you achieve using a mirror along with your flame?

Photographing fire is a great home based exercise, just remember to exercise a bit of caution when working around open flames.

Symmetry and cutlery

Spoons, forks and all things sterling silver can be a surprisingly versatile set of subjects for your creative impulse. If you have a macro lens and tripod, all the better. Work with symmetry and balance. You can maximise your depth of field by setting your aperture to f/16 or smaller to improve depth of field and make the objects in your composition really stand out. 

Lunch and your lens

Taking great photos of food is an art worth the learning, particularly if you aspire to work in commercial photography or build your own online following. The right snaps of food take into account plating, lighting, balance and contrast. If you’re unsure of the approach to take, think about what the food itself communicates:

  • More rustic faire is laid back, comforting and generous.
  • Desserts are elegant, seductive and appealing.
  • Fruits and salads are fresh and wholesome.

On those rainy afternoons food photography also allows you to cook up a feast and practice your hobby. When your done with post processing, it’s time to eat!

Here’s some delicious inspiration from Lindsay Ostrom from @pinchofyum.


A post shared by Lindsay Ostrom (@pinchofyum) on


On a rainy day the water beads on the window and gives you an opportunity experiment with focus and perspective. Silhouette portraiture is a natural fit to this sort of photography, and with indoor environments giving you more control over lighting, it becomes easier to achieve the desired effect. Most importantly, the silhouettes are great for learning how light affects your camera. Start with different metering modes and how they change your image and work from there.

Pet photography

It might be raining cats and dogs outside, but inside pet photography is the perfect project for photographers who love animals, motion and being creative. You’re limited only by what furry friends you have sharing your space. If you don’t have any, why not invite a friend over who does. 

Pet photography can be candid or stylised, and you can try blending it with other techniques in this list, like silhouettes. It’s just a matter of getting your subject to ‘stay’.

Time lapse

You might be stuck indoors but the world is still turning. Time lapse photography works brilliantly when it’s capturing the slow movements of life that we might otherwise miss out on a particularly rainy day.

The best equipment for indoor photography

Making the most of your indoor shoots means having the right photography. Here’s everything you need to turn your home into a home studio.


Essential for every photographer, a tripod lets you fine tune your composition and achieve longer exposure times while keeping the camera still and in position. Paxtons have a great range of tripods which can be found here.


When it comes to shooting still life and indoors, remote release gives you two important benefits:

  • No shake: Long exposure shots can be effected by the ‘shake’ introduced by pressing the button on the camera.
  • Less leg work: If you’re getting intricate with your food styling remote release allows your to fine tune your adjustments without having to return to the camera every time to take another shot.

Light sources

WIth rain and cloud cover affecting light from outside, you’ll need more control over the light sources in your home.


Ideal for small spaces, flashguns are light sources that can be used to bounce light off walls or pass through a makeshift diffuser like a bedsheet or pillow case. Some can even be controlled wirelessly or set to slave flash on a trigger.

Domestic lighting

Lamps, floor lights, torches and ceiling lighting are all at your fingertips around the home. Get creative with your light sources and experiment with everyday household lighting that can be used to illuminate your composition.


Reflectors are a handy and inexpensive tool for an photographer interested in still life and portraiture. Beyond being affordable, they are lightweight and easy to transport and store. They typically come in white, silver or gold and can be used to bounce existing light around the composition for better and more creative illumination.

Be inspired by the home

Seeing the world through the lens of a camera can change your perspective, and the home is no different. Try these handy hints and you’ll be amazed at how familiar rooms, objects and moods change through your photography.

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