So, you want to take pictures in your dorm room, but you aren’t sure where to start. That’s understandable; some of the buildings on campus (Liedman, Fulton, the Frat Complex, etc.) have less than ideal photographic lighting. If you have a room in one of these buildings, maybe you’ve considered buying a lamp or ten to fill the space with some form of warm light. The best lamps for casual photoshoots are mood lamps, like the ones for seasonal depression—big, wide lamps that cast light across the whole room and decorative lamps for the background of your photos. I have a moon-shaped lamp, courtesy of my parents, that I love and use all the time when I’m studying or just need a cheerful little moon on my wall. I also love using my salt lamp for photos when I have the chance, but this usually requires me to have a tripod and my camera for the photos because the lighting with only a salt lamp is minimal.
In my building, Grier, I have a dimmer switch for my lights, which comes in handy when I’m not quite ready for bed but I’m ready to not have a bright light in my face, but for photoshoots, even the overhead light tends to be dark in photos. The best solutions for this are lamps behind your camera, like a lamp, lights behind your subject, like fairy lights, and lights illuminating the subject from some angle. My favorite method to take photos in dim lighting is to use fairy lights behind the subject, use a color light underneath the subject to highlight the structure of their face, use a lamp or two behind the camera to add a base level of lighting, and use something eye-catching on the subject’s face like highlighter or glitter to make them more reflective. Even if you don’t have a camera, you can still achieve aesthetically pleasing photos by using an app like Huji to get a cool filter over the shot, or by adjusting the brightness level manually so that you can control the lighting in the picture. Additionally, if your friends own a Fujifilm Instax camera, you can take lots of cool pictures and then hang them on your wall for a super interesting backdrop for the rest of your photos. Lastly, using decorations in your room is always a good idea. My favorite decorations for photos are posters, pictures, tapestries, and photos strung up along the wall. Tell us about your photo ideas on Twitter!
Caroline King – Staff Writer