Today I’m so excited to be sharing with you 5 photography hacks that I’ve learned over the years that have helped me save money!
If you don’t have time to stay and read all of the hacks you can snag a PDF Printable HERE to read for later…or stay here and enjoy!
I love finding D.I.Y. projects that I can use instead of buying an already made piece of equipment. It’s always cheaper, and it’s a lot more fun to experiment yourself with these items! For example I’ll be showing you a photography lighting hack using a coffee filter…brilliant, right?
All of these photography hacks are really easy to achieve and each are under $15 to create!
1. DIY Camera Filters: When I first learned about camera filters, I was extremely excited! What a fun idea that you can create artistic effects with a filter you can clip onto your lens! Most filters I found on the market though were quite boring, so I decided to find some D.I.Y. filters perfect for those projects. Some of my favorite filters are created with items you can find around you own house, and they take minutes to put together! Two of my go-to D.I.Y. filters are using a plain ziplock bag rubber banded to your lens and the second is using a sheet of clear transparency with sharpie colored on top for a fun, colorful filter. Both of these add beautiful texture to your photos that are even more beautiful than what you can do in Photoshop!
MORE on the Sandwich Bag over your camera click –> HERE
2. Creating your Own Shapes for Bokeh: This is one of my favorite techniques to use at night, especially during the holidays. Making shapes in your bokeh is really easy to achieve and it creates the most beautiful effects! All you need for this is a black sheet of construction paper, a pair of scissors, an X-ACTO knife and a rubber band. First, trace your lens onto a piece of black construction paper.
Next, carefully cut out the shape you’d like to achieve into the middle of the circle. Once the shape is cut into the circle, cut out triangles around the circle to make it easier to rubber band onto your lens (your circle should look more like a sun now). Next, set your lens to the lowest aperture and manually focus until you see the shapes appear where the lights are in your picture. A great way to practice this technique is by focusing on a string of Christmas lights just so you can see a lot of fun shapes! This is such a creative photography hack that most wouldn’t even think of trying…have you tried any different shapes other than a heart?
More info on aperture: Master and Understand Aperture and F/Stop
3. D.I.Y Product Backdrops: I love using backdrops for shooting products that I review or for shooting Youtube videos because it creates a nice, even background that eliminates distractions. When I started looking into purchasing vinyl backdrops though, I realized that they can be quite pricey! I decided to look into the more D.I.Y. route for my backdrops and I was excited to find some great options. Some of my favorite items to use as backdrops are clean bed sheets, pieces of wrapping paper, and sometimes a plain white wall works great! A couple months ago, I did a lifestyle shoot with my sister-in-law and her brand new baby girl. Since it was over 100 degrees outside, we decided to use a backdrop indoors. I attached a large, white sheet to two large tripods and viola, an instant, clean background!
4. Create your own reflectors: Using reflectors is one of the easiest ways to have even light on your subject and great stunning portraits. If you are in the market for a few reflectors, but aren’t ready to fork out the money to buy some yet, there are easy ways to create the same effects with much cheaper items.
The easiest items to use are colored poster board for a reflector. In my photography kit, I always have a white foam poster board that I can use to bounce off clean light onto my subjects. You can also use a black poster board for the opposite effect.
Another item that I love to use as a reflector is aluminum foil. Just grab a couple sheets of foil and tape them to any piece of cardboard you have. Now you can reflect any light back onto your subjects with ease!
5. Make your own light boxes and light diffusers: Light boxes and light diffusers are powerful tools to have as a photographer. These special lights are for creating even, beautiful studio lighting perfect for any portraits or product photography. If you don’t have somewhere to store these lights though, your house gets cluttered up really fast! A simple way to save money and space is to create your own light boxes and light diffusers using simple materials from around your house. My favorite way to diffuse artificial light is by using semi-transparent paper (like a coffee filter) and taping it around my built-in flash. This paper diffuses the light which helps soften shadows and provide a more natural color to the skin.
Need more than just your camera flash? That’s easy…just apply the same concepts to some lamps in your house. Place semi-transparent materials over your lamps and place those lamps where you need the light. You’ve instantly creating beautiful lighting indoors!
I hope you all have enjoyed these simple photography hacks today! What photography hacks do you have in your arsenal? Leave your ideas and hacks in the comments!
Hi, I’m Lauren and I’m the blogger behind DressingDallas.com, a lifestyle website that explores all of the things that make life a little sweeter. Dressing Dallas is about loving yourself, being creative and finding inspiration from the world around you. Here you’ll find daily articles on fashion, beauty, photography, home decor projects and yummy recipes as I share fun tidbits from my life here in Dallas Texas. On top of being a blogger, I am also a successful medical laboratory scientist, mother and amateur photographer.