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Cheap photography hacks to be resourceful without resources

No art is a science, and that includes photography. But photography requires a delicate combination of innovation and diligence, and thus, for many of us reeling financially or otherwise, cheap hacks to level up are essential.


Like all forms of art, photography can be extremely expensive, and if you’re just starting out, you’ll need to fill up your photography tool kit with some cheap hacks. Here are a few to help get you started.

A light tent/box is the simplest cheap hack in photography

A light tent is a box or tent meant to diffuse lighting from all angles, left open on one end so you can point your lens in and capture the subject. It works great for product photography as a cheap hack.

You can make your own with sections cut out of a cardboard box with tissues or tracing paper secured to each side.

Creative backgrounds allow you to unlock new, inspiring photographs

When it comes to backdrops, the more creative, the better.

You can use a clothing rail and a shower curtain, metallic streamers, or make your own sweep backdrop for your product photography.

Add a reflector to your photography tool kit

If you’ve turned on every available lamp, plus your homies have pulled out their cellphone cameras and that still isn’t cutting it, it might be time to add some reflectors to your photography tool kit.

Mirrors will work well enough, but tin foil or metallic wrapping paper wrapped around a piece of cardboard and propped up with two chip clips can help soften and reinforce light in the right direction.

Make your life a lot easier with a flash diffuser

A monumental cheap photography hack, a flash diffuser can be your best friend. Try something light and opaque that easily fits over the flip-top flash of your camera. It will work well to soften the flash.

Try using an x-acto knife or box cutter to cut the side length of a film container or plastic bathroom cup to slip over your flash when it’s too harsh, so it won’t reflect weirdly on your portrait subjects’ faces, making them look oily or greasy.

Filters allow your photography game to reach the next level

Cheap photography hacks for making your own filters will help you avoid spending money on expensive editing software.

Try stretching pantyhose or other translucent fabrics over or around your lens, like lace or a wool scarf. You could also surround the edges of your lens with a plastic bag to create soft lens flares.

Photographers need cheap hacks to up their creativity. Don’t ever be discouraged by trying something new.

These cheap photography hacks are sure to get you started. Try experimenting and see if you can find some of your own favorites!