5 Lens Tricks for Creative Portraits

Adding creative elements to your portraits is an effective way of making them appear more interesting. And you don’ need to spend too much of your hard earned cash to do so. Photographers Lin and Jirsa share five cheap lens hacks to help you take your portraits to the next level:

1. Plastic Wrap

Crush some plastic wrap and hold it around your lens so that it fills the negative space of your frame. Use a wide aperture to blow out the plastic wrap so that it isn’t a distraction but creates a dreamy effect.

portrait photography hack using plastic wrap

2. Crystal Bookmarks

You can add flare using a crystal bookmark from your local craft store. Hold it in front of the lens with the subject being backlit. This is important because it won’t work if the crystal bookmark is not being struck with light.

portrait photography hack using crystal bookmark

3. Mobile Phone Reflection

You can add reflections to your portraits using a phone or a prism. Hold it close to the lens and notice how the reflections appear in the image. Pay attention that the reflections don’t interfere with the subject unnecessarily.

portrait photography hack using reflection

4. LED Video Light

Hold a small LED lights close to the lens for flare and light leak effects. You can get these cheap LED lights easily online. You can even use gels on these lights to change the color based on your creative need.

portrait photography hack using LED light

5. Environmental Elements

Keep an eye out for things you can use while shooting. For instance, Pye uses part of a shrub to take the following image.

portrait photography hack using environmental elements

“The important thing about choosing an object to add to your scene is to make sure that it matches the same color scheme that you’re going for. Adding these elements into the frame just give us a little bit more depth in the shot.”

Which is your favorite hack? Be sure to give these cheap photography hacks a try during your next portrait session.

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