Interior photography need not be anymore difficult than making pictures outdoors. However, for this to happen, the photographer needs to be aware of the presence of both natural and artificial light and know when and how to use the different light sources. As in all photography, compositional design and center of interest are also key.
Utilize Natural Light
If you use natural light as your source, you can use daylight film or set your digital camera to daylight and shoot the picture without using a flash. When you study the interior location for your picture, you might be surprised at how much light actually filters in through the windows and skylights. In most cases, you can make the picture without using a tripod. However, sometimes a tripod may be helpful, if you want to shoot at a slower shutter speed and create a greater depth of field.
Artificial Lighting Without a Flash
Sometimes when making an interior picture, you might be facing a scene that is entirely illuminated with artificial light. If the lights are bright and numerous, chances are good that you can make the picture without a flash or a tripod. Museums and indoor sports arenas are likely candidates for making a picture in this manner. All you need to do is to adjust the film setting on your digital camera to "Tungsten" (aka "Indoor") or insert "Tungsten" film in your film camera and then shoot the picture. Always make sure the flash is turned off before you make the picture. You can use a tripod, but it should not be necessary.
Choosing Film Speed
When shooting indoors, choose a film that has a high ASA rating, which means the film has extra sensitivity to light. Sometimes the quality of the film grain is sacrificed, but in today's market, the "faster" films are generally of a high quality. Black and white films often lend themselves to excellent indoor pictures, because these light-sensitive films are still able to produce a sharp image at a high range. Digital photographers will have to open the camera menu and reset the ISO number to a higher value. This has the same effect as using a higher-rated film speed.
Bounce Your Flash
If you do use a flash, never aim the flash directly at the subject, especially if your subject is a person. Instead, aim your flash at the overhead ceiling or a light-colored wall that is near the subject. This will diffuse and spread the light out over the entire area of the picture, creating an image without sharp shadows.