7 DIY Photography Hacks with Household Objects

Instead of moaning and groaning about the exorbitant costs of professional lighting and special effects equipment, why not find ways to create the same types of images using common household items? In this brief tutorial, photographer Markus Berger demonstrates how to hack seven refined photo techniques using cheap, everyday items:

7 Creative Photography Ideas Using Household Items

1. Re-purpose your drink sleeve as a lens case. Although a dedicated lens case is always the best option for protecting your lenses, use a drink coozie if you’re desperate!

2. Use a black tile and tablet to enrich your product photography. The black tile will create an awesome reflection of the product and tablets are great for light painting.

DIY household items hacks light painting flamethrower product

In a long exposure shot, move a tablet around behind the product get this light painting effect.

3. Shoot through a glass ball for unique portraits. You can even flip the final image to really make things interesting.

4. Lighter + aerosol spray = flamethrower. Don’t even pretend like you don’t want to try it…

flamethrower do-it-yourself do it yourself easy hack fire flame flames hot portrait

DISCLAIMER: Try this technique at your own risk.

5. Create interesting image blur by shooting through tights. Cut up some lightly-colored pantyhose or tights, stretch the material over the front of your lens, and attach it there with a rubber band. Say hello to interesting image blur!

6. Reflect light with a mirror. Just try not to blind your subject.

7. Cheap fluorescent tube light bulbs make for lovely portraits. Have the subject hold the bulb themselves or come up with some other creative way to frame the subject in the circle.

tube light bulb natural portrait window ice

The circular shape of the bulb allows for the soft light to fall evenly across the subject’s face.

We want to hear from you! Have you ever used any of these hacks? Which hacks worked for you and which didn’t? Do you know of any other useful hacks that can be accomplished with common household items?

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9 responses to “7 DIY Photography Hacks with Household Objects”

  1. Anthony Wood says:

    I so wish that side of my brain worked, so that I could come up with creative ideas like this.

  2. Nate Hart says:

    Thanks for the tips, some really easy ideas and tricks to try.

  3. Rod Taylor says:

    Love these ideas. I dry up creatively so easily.

  4. Ed says:

    Great. What powers the fluorescent bulb? Is she holding a transformer in her hand?

  5. Bill Munder says:

    Great ideas. Best is the fluorescent bulb. How are you working the bulb.

  6. What is the name of the company that makes that circular light tube, is it cordless battery operated.

  7. fran says:

    great hints & tips …. same question as previous comments ..light source details ?

  8. Kurt says:

    Well regarding the drink coozies: the current variety of 1/8″ thick coozies also work to hold my Canon G9, G10 and G11 cameras. May not provide the greatest protection, but gives me a bit of peace of mind for my everyday carry cameras. And the taller ones with a draw string top for bottled water bottles are also quite handy (and a heckuva lot cheaper than lens cases).

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