Tips for Using Fishing Line for Photography Tricks

Most serious studio photographers are known to keep an eclectic mix of props and tools close at hand. They like to be prepared for any situation that may come their way. And there’s one thing in particularthat no creative photographer should go without. To the outsider, it may seem strange, but few things come in handy quite as often as a roll of sturdy fishing line.

So where should you start when putting together a photographer’s tackle box of your own? Jay P. Morgan takes us through everything you can find in his kit:

First and foremost, you’ll need the fishing line itself. Don’t just stick to a loom of the thin, clear type. Morgan reveals that he actually uses brown line much more frequently than clear. This is because clear line can quickly be transformed into a distracting, reflective light when a strobe comes into a scene. In different situations, different types of line are going to be easiest to camouflage.

You’ll also want to carry a reliable pair of scissors with you. For detaching the line from the loom and making any sort of adjustments, they’re essential.

In photography, fishing line is primarily used to “suspend” objects in midair. Therefore, it’s crucial to have the materials you need on hand to ensure that your objects won’t be going anywhere. It’s good practice to keep a variety of options on hand for attaching line to objects and surfaces. It’s worth trying out a variety of different types of putties, tapes, and clothes pins to see what works best in certain situations.

floating objects on set

One way to secure¬†your line to whatever it is you’d like to photograph is with glue. You’ll want to opt in for the heavy duty kind and use an accelerator to harden it as quickly as possible. Hot glue paired with canned air works well on set, too.

Alternatively, attaching your line to a safety pin works well for securing cloth or things you may not necessarily want to apply glue to. This can be especially helpful when suspending parts of a skirt or scarf to convey the illusion of movement.

Last but not least, you’ll want a number of Sharpies of different sizes and colors. Photography is all about detail, and making even the smallest adjustments can often result in significant change. If a line happens to be showing slightly or catching the light, go in and use the sharpie to paint directly on the line and further camouflage it.

And there you have it! These essentials can even be stored in a small handled box for easy access and storage. It’s likely that the majority of these materials are already lying around your home; repurpose them by creating a portable kit of your own today!

creating motion in still image

“In the beginning of my career, we suspended everything. There was no Photoshop. There was no retouching, so every single object we had in the shot was suspended.”

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