20 Creative and Easy Photography Hacks to Try Today

20 Creative and Easy Photography Hacks to Try Today

Photography is expensive and if you want to do it professionally, be ready to spend a lot on the gear. However, you can considerably save your budget by following these photography hacks.

Top 20 Photography Hacks to Repeat

Those who are ready to spend some time and have enough patience, can study these DIY tricks and get no less efficient results without using high-priced photography equipment. These tricks require simple items that can be found at home or bought at an affordable price.

1. Modify Light with Strainer

photography hacks with strainer

If you are engaged in shadow photography, you can position a strainer with holes over the flash of your camera or take a picture opposite to the source of natural light. It is possible to use any kitchen utensils with interesting shapes and holes.

Play with light to create an extraordinary effect to spice up your portrait photography portfolio. You can even go further and create a stripe pattern with window blinds.

photography hacks with strainer example
Photo You Can Get with a Strainer

2. Use a Fish Tank as an Underwater Camera Housing

photography hacks with a fish tank

Would you like to take stunning photos underwater but don’t have expensive waterproof camera gear? One of the most effective underwater photography tips is using a common fish tank to take jaw-dropping underwater shots on a budget.

Just check out whether your fish tank is leak-proof and safe and make sure you have a solid grip before you put your fish tank into the water. Aside from taking breathtaking underwater pictures, you can use this prop to take splits and demonstrate what is happening over and under the water.

photography hacks with a fish tank example
Photo You Can Get with a Fish Tank

3. Use a CD to Achieve a Rainbow Effect

photography hacks with a cd

Try this CD photography trick to emulate a rainbow effect that is so popular among famous photographers, for example, Brandon Woelfel. All you need is a regular CD. Its metal side reflects light thus creating rainbow colors and interesting patterns.

Activate the flashlight on your phone and direct it to the CD which you will need to hold in front of your camera. It is necessary to attach your camera on a tripod or ask an assistant to hold it. Then try to play with light and find the perfect angle to achieve the desired effect.

photography hacks rainbow effect
Photo You Can Get with a CD

4. Imitate Rain with a Spray Bottle

photography hacks spray bottle

If you don’t want to risk shooting in rain but need that peculiar feel in your images, you can try one of the simplest photography hacks to achieve a rainy atmosphere. Use a spray bottle and a photo frame. Spray the glass surface with water to create raindrops.

The result you will get really deserves attention as it is really difficult to find out that these raindrops across the frame were created artificially.

photography hacks rain imitation
Photo You Can Get with a Spray Bottle

5. Create a Reflection Effect with Your Phone

reflection photography hacks with a phone

This is one of the easiest to implement reflection photography hacks that require using your smartphone. Position your phone screen at the base of the DSRL to create a reflective surface. This is a popular trick that allows you to get a fantastic look and feel in your shots.

reflection photography hacks with a phone
Photo You Can Get with a Phone

6. Achieve a Hazy Look with a Plastic Bag

photography hacks hazy look

Use your sandwich bag in a completely new way to take fantastic pictures. Make a hole at the closed side of the plastic bag. Don’t do it with scissors as the hole should be raggedly uneven at the edges.

You can use the bag as a hood for your lens. Make sure the hole end goes a bit further than the end of the camera lens. The rough edges of the hole should obstruct the view of the lens.

Be open to experiments and color the bag with bright markers. This trick allows you to produce a hazy, vintage, light leak effect without breaking a bank.

photography hacks hazy look example
Photo You Can Get with a Plastic Bag

7. Wind Effect with a Hair Dryer

photography hacks wind effect

Ask a model or your assistant to hold a hair dryer to simulate a wind and blown-out hair look. As a result, you will get eye-catching and dynamic shots that will leave everyone in awe. This is one of the DIY photography hacks that will come in handy for those who are doing self portrait photography.

photography hacks wind effect example
Photo You Can Get with a Hair Dryer

8. Achieve the Soft Focus Effect with Tights

photography hacks soft focus with tights

Rubber band and a pair of tights are effective photography props that will help you create an amazing soft-focus effect. You can use black or nude tights and cover the camera lens with them. Then use a rubber band to attach the tights to your lens.

photography hacks soft focus with tights example
Photo You Can Get with Tights

9. Create Custom Bokeh Shapes

photography hacks custom bokeh

Among numerous photography hacks and tricks, this one is great for those who work with bokeh photography.

With a little creativity and imagination, you can transform ordinary light orbs into elements of particular forms. You can cut out hearts, stars or other shapes using black poster board. Attach the poster board to the camera lens and play around with different focal lengths.

photography hacks custom bokeh example
Photo You Can Get with Custom Bokeh Shapes

10. Replace Filters with Your Sunglasses

photography hacks with sunglasses

There is no need to use any additional apps if you want to add a filter to your picture. Rather than purchasing filters for landscape photography, you can put your sunglasses in front of your lens thus tinting the color of your shot.

Apart from sunglasses, photographers usually use sheer fabric or colored shrink wrap to change the tones of their images.

photography hacks with sunglasses example
Photo You Can Get with Sunglasses

11. Create Seamless Backdrop with Paper

photography hacks seamless backdrop

One of the most important styling components of product or food photography is a background. Nowadays it is popular to use a negative space technique that removes any distractive elements. You can create a background with a piece of cloth or paper.

It is recommended to arrange your backdrop in such a way that it can seamlessly transit from the vertical to the horizontal surface rather than just place it behind the subject. This is one of photography backdrop hacks that produces a visual illusion of an ‘infinity curve’ creating ethereal space around the subject.

12. Use Your TV to Create Backdrops

photography hacks tv backdrop

Your TV is a perfect prop to create an extraordinary background if you don’t have an opportunity to shoot in a studio or can’t find a perfect location. Just pick the desired image, play in on TV and press a shutter button.

Among numerous cool props for photography, the TV may serve as an excellent backdrop for portrait photos. If you are doing product photography, you can choose something smaller like your computer monitor.

photography hacks tv backdrop example
Photo You Can Get with a TV

13. Create a Bokeh Backdrop with Foil

photography hacks bokeh backdrop with foil

Go to your kitchen and take a piece of foil to make an engaging background. It is possible to use either silver kitchen foil or wrapping paper to create an unusual texture while crumpling it. You can place it as a background around 7 feet away from your subject.

Use a light source of a different color and direct it to the backdrop in order to change the color of the bokeh. You can go even more creative by positioning a mirror under the subject to produce a reflection effect.

photography hacks bokeh backdrop with foil
Photo You Can Get with Foil

14. Create a Softbox with a Plastic Bag

photography hacks plastic bag softbox

If you are using an internal flash, take full advantage of it. Look around for a plastic bag, slightly inflate it and wrap around the flash to create a DIY softbox.

Make sure the plastic bag doesn’t touch the flash in order to prevent its melting. It is also possible to use a white balloon instead of a bag.

photography hacks plastic bag softbox
Photo You Can Get with a Plastic Bag

15. Make a Reflector with Foil

photography hacks reflector out of foil

A reflector board is one of the most useful photography props to create a directional light source, control shadows, and produce amazing effects. You can make a reflector board yourself with cardboard and a piece of silver foil. Use spray glue or double-sided tape to stick a piece of foil.

Make sure you are going to use a shiny side of the foil. Carefully smooth it out and use white paint to brush the other side. Thus, you will achieve a robust reflector that will serve you for two purposes. The silver side will reflect more light and the white side will help you get a soft look in your photos.

photography hacks reflector out foil
Photo You Can Get with a Reflector

16. Create a Light Box with Window and Paper

photography hacks lightbox

One of the most effective photography hacks is to create a DIY Light Box with a piece of paper and tape. Stick a paper to a window with tape and position your subject in front of it.

Choose the Av mode on your camera with such settings as f/8 aperture and 100 ISO. Use the Exposure Compensation and select +1 or +2. Make sure the subject is in focus and press the shutter button.

17. Create a Flash Grid with Cardboard

photography hacks flash grid out of cardboard

Another effective DIY photography lighting trick is to create a flash grid attachment to achieve a spotlight effect.

All you need is a sheet of honeycomb cardboard and an elastic band. You certainly have some boxes around, so this is a perfect chance to open new photographic opportunities without spending a dollar.

photography hacks flash grid out of cardboard
Photo You Can Get with a Flash Grid

18. Use Magnifying Glass to Imitate Macro Lens

photography hacks macro photography

This is one of the most money-saving macro photography hacks that allows you to replace a lens or camera for macro photography.

Take your photography skills to creative heights with a variety of macro photography ideas such as using a magnifying glass to take close-ups. To add a special touch to your photo, you can incorporate the magnifying glass into the frame.

photography hacks macro photography
Photo You Can Get with a Magnifying Glass

19. Create an Overhead Camera Holder with Cardboard

photography hacks overhead camera holder

Want to know how popular Instagram photographers take top-down pictures of themselves? If you want to take a photo of yourself lying on the couch or doing any activity, you should use a long strip of folded cardboard.

This is one of those DIY mobile camera hacks that require using a ladder to get to the ceiling and attaching there cardboard to create a mount for your mobile device. Before you get in the desired pose, it is necessary to activate a timer. If you use this trick, your mobile photography results will never be the same.

photography hacks overhead camera holder
Photo You Can Get with Cardboard

20. Create a Snoot with a Pringles Can

photography hacks pringles snoot

You will certainly like this trick as it will help you produce more focused lighting in your photos and eat a whole tube of Pringles at one go. Cut out the opening at the bottom of the can in order it neatly fit a flash head.

To avoid flash scratching, it is recommended to attach it with duct tape. You can improve your DIY lighting accessory by adding some straws to the front end of the can. This will allow you to focus the light better. Black straws will modify the light output with utmost efficacy, gray straws will deliver average focusing and clear straws produce a minimal effect.

photography hacks pringles snoot
Photo You Can Get with a Pringles Can

Freebies for Improving Your Photography Hacks

Ever wondered how to supercharge your photo editing game? Aside from the above-mentioned photography hacks and tricks, you can enhance your pictures with these 5 freebies designed for Lightroom and Photoshop. They will help you perform professional photo color correction just in several clicks.

Bright Sky

photoshop sky freebie for photographers photoshop sky freebie for photographers

This overlay for Photoshop is perfect for dull photos in dire need of some clouds and light. It considerably enhances the sky with white clouds floating across it.


lightroom wedding freebie for photographers lightroom wedding freebie for photographers

If your photos lack contrast, this Lr preset is a perfect tool to fix this issue. Apart from boosting the details in the pictures, this plug-in will make them crisper and more vivid.


lightroom portrait vintage freebie for photographers lightroom portrait vintage freebie for photographers

This Lr preset allows you to make your pictures sharper and more vibrant. It corrects colors and white balance while enhancing the overall look of the image. Apply it if you want to achieve classic vintage coloring.

Warm Haze

photoshop sun ray freebie for photographers photoshop sun ray freebie for photographers

If you want to complement your images with sunlight, feel free to use this Ps overlay. It will make your shots warmer and more vivid while adding a slight bokeh effect. Use it for photos of children or love stories.


photoshop matte freebie for photographers photoshop matte freebie for photographers

This Photoshop action will add a nostalgic feel and matte look to your pictures. The faded colors and warm tones will improve any photo.