Hacks are usually used to make your life easier. But they can also make you a better photographer. Hacks can help you become better at taking photos, editing photos, and even business. In our photography field, which is saturated with photographers, you need to stand out.
Photography is a powerful way to express yourself. In the creative industry, having your images taken is almost as important as creating them. The quality of your photos can have a massive impact on how successful you are with clients.
But photography isn’t just about composition, exposure, and shutter speed. It’s also about building up a portfolio of awesome images showcasing your skills.
Photography is an art form, and like any other, it comes with its own set of challenges. Perhaps the most common problem photographers face is their inability to take a desirable photograph.
There are no guarantees that you’ll take beautiful pictures every time, but using these hacks will significantly increase your chances of capturing jaw-dropping shots.
This guide will find 17 different methods to improve your photography. Many of them are “tricks” that every professional photographer uses on set. If you’ve ever wondered what they do to get such beautiful photos, wonder no more. I’ll show you their secrets.
1. DIY Underwater photoshoot
Want to take underwater photos but don’t want to spend money on expensive underwater housing – or even worse, cheap underwater housing that leaks? Simply submerge your smartphone in water using a clear glass or plastic cup.
For larger cameras, a vase or fish tank can be used. Merely drop the lens below the water’s surface and photograph your subject in the pool or bathtub. Make sure you don’t drop the cup!
The process is simple: Place your phone inside a cup and fill it up with water until it reaches the top of the phone. You can either place your camera on a stand or hold it yourself. Then, turn on your camera app, point it at what you want to photograph, and click away!
You can also use a glass jar with a lid and a rubber band to seal the opening. This is great for taking photos of sharks and other fish that enjoy swimming near the water’s surface.
The effect may vary depending on how deep you go, but it’s always fun to experiment with different depths and lighting conditions to see what works best for your subject matter.
Suppose you’re using an iPhone 6s Plus (or any other smartphone) with two cameras. In that case, you’ll be able to capture some pretty cool photos with this technique since two lenses allow you to capture images from different angles.
With this innovative hack, you can now take photographs at any depth and in any environment, whether swimming with dolphins on vacation or taking pictures at a waterpark.
2. Utilize the Vaseline
When it comes to lighting, several tried and true techniques can be used to achieve a specific look. For example, if you want your subject to have a dreamy effect, you can use Vaseline on the lens filters.
This approach will give your subject a subtle glow without the need for excessive make-up. However, instead of rubbing Vaseline directly on the lens, rub it on a filter or a piece of clear plastic.
The first step is to get some Vaseline. The best kind is petroleum jelly because it won’t break down in the sun or melt off in hot weather. Next, rub it on your filter or piece of plastic (or whatever else you’re going to use).
You’ll want to rub it into every nook and cranny so that there aren’t any dry spots left behind when you’re done.
Once this is done, set up your lights as usual and place them at least two feet away. Then, turn them off except for the leading light (which should be placed behind the subject).
Now turn on your fill light(s) and adjust their power levels until they produce an even color balance across your subject’s face.
Ready-made filters like the Tiffen Star Effect Filter (a combination of diffusers and color filters) can be used to add a starburst effect to your subject’s eyes; they’re available at most camera stores.
A more unconventional method is to use an old 35mm slide projector with a cross-processed slide film (that gives you a blue cast). If you don’t have access to one, you can create this effect by taking low-life portraits with red/orange gels over your flash or using colored lights.
3. Make bokeh patterns
Bokeh is a photographic term used to describe the out-of-focus area of an image. The blur in the out-of-focus region of an image is referred to as “bokeh” in Japanese. Cut out intriguing pictures from the black poster board, like little circles or stars. Experiment with different focal lengths by covering the lens with a poster board.
Bokeh can be created using a wide aperture or shallow depth of field. Aperture refers to the size of the opening in your lens through which light passes before hitting the camera sensor (or film). A smaller aperture means less light enters your camera, so you’ll need a longer shutter speed and a more stable hand when shooting handheld.
A shallow depth of field means that only a tiny part of your image will be in focus while everything else will be blurry — this will create more dramatic effects with more bokeh than a deep depth of field where many things are in focus at once.
Bokeh is not always desirable. If you want to highlight something important in your photo, you may want to avoid bokeh altogether by using a longer focal length and keeping everything sharp.
Several factors affect how much bokeh there is in an image. The most obvious is the aperture setting on your lens; if it’s wide open (small f/stop number), there will be more blue than closed down (large f/stop number). You can also try adjusting shutter speed or ISO settings if you’d like less or more blur present in your image.
4. With welding glass, you may make your ND filter
Make your neutral density (ND) filter with welding glass from any hardware shop instead of purchasing a pricey ND filter from your camera store. Create long-exposure black-and-white photos with this technique.
A neutral density (ND) filter is a piece of glass with varying degrees of darkness that helps you create longer exposures in bright light conditions. The higher the number on the filter, the darker it will be, so you can use them to control how much light enters your lens.
The ND filter is one of the essential accessories for photographers. It allows you to shoot long exposures in daylight, a huge advantage, especially in landscape and architecture photography.
However, the problem with these filters is that they’re costly. You can spend $100 on a single ND filter or even more if you want to go up to 10 stops of light reduction (usually called “10-stop” ND).
If you’re looking for something cheap and easy but don’t know where to start, we’ve got just the trick: make your own ND filter using welding glass from any hardware store!
Welding glass has a very dark tint, making it perfect for creating long exposure images in bright light conditions such as outdoors during the day or inside during the evening hours when there’s plenty of natural light coming through windows or open doors.
5. Use a stocking or pantyhose filter
Do you want to add some color or diffusion to your photos? Pull a nylon stocking over the lens and secure it. With a rubber band, you can create your DIY lens filter. Use white socks for a neutral look, or go for something brighter.
You may not have heard of this technique before, but it’s well-known among photographers who use it in their work. Why? Because it produces beautiful effects that are impossible to achieve with traditional filters.
What Is Diffusion?
Diffusion is a way of softening harsh lines in an image by scattering light around the lens and creating a more even distribution of light across the frame.
You can achieve this effect using traditional filters, commonly referred to as neutral density (ND) filters, because they reduce the amount of light entering the camera without affecting its color temperature or hue.
The drawback is that traditional ND filters tend to be expensive and can degrade image quality if not used correctly.
Here’s how to create your DIY lens filter:
It’s easy to create your DIY lens filter. You can also save some money by making your filters instead of buying them.
If you want to save money on on-camera accessories, you should consider making your DIY lens filter. It’s not difficult, and it will save you a lot of cash in the long run.
First off, what is a DIY lens filter? A DIY lens filter is a piece of glass or film attached to the front of your camera lens that blocks out certain things like UV rays or other light sources so that what you end up seeing through the viewfinder isn’t affected. They’re often called “circular polarizers” or “circular neutral density filters.”
If you’re using an SLR or DSLR camera, there will be an attachment point on the front where you can screw in a filter. However, on mirrorless cameras like Sony’s A7 series, there are no attachment points, so you have to be creative by using tape or something similar to hold it in place.
6. Make your lightbox
A lightbox is necessary for any product photography that demands well-lit shots of miniature products. A cardboard box and plain white fabric can be used to build your lightbox. Save $100 by putting it together yourself with tape and scissors.
Lightboxes are great for photographing small items because they create a shadowless background and eliminate glare from shiny surfaces. This allows you to take well-lit photos showing the item in the best possible way.
The lightbox is constructed out of cardboard and white fabric, making it inexpensive and easy to build. You’ll also need some tape and scissors to complete the project.
Lightboxes can be used for many types of photography, but they’re beneficial for small objects like jewelry or electronics. They provide a great way to remove shadows from an object and create a uniform appearance across photos taken from the same angle.
If you don’t have time or money to invest in professional equipment, this simple DIY solution can help lighten your product photography without breaking the bank!
If you’re selling products online or just want to take better photos of your stuff, here’s how to build your DIY lightbox from scratch.
1. Cut out two pieces of foam board to the size you want your lightbox to be. The larger, the better, but make sure it will fit where you want it.
2. Take one piece of foam board and place it on another sticky side down. Tape the edges together so that they do not move when you’re taking photos or moving them around later in life (like when you have to move apartments).
3. Cut out pieces of white paperboard or poster board to cover the entire box, leaving some extra space at the top for folding over later on in life when moving apartments again (see above).
4. Attach your paperboard coverings by taping them down once more, so they don’t move when taking pictures or moving apartments (again).
7. Make use of a sandwich bag
Do you want to create a misty, ethereal effect? To make it happen, all you need is a plastic quart bag. Cover your lens with a plastic sandwich bag for a DIY haze effect.
The “haze” technique is one of the most popular ways to create moody photographs. It can be used in many genres of photography — from portraits to landscapes. The only thing you need is a plastic bag! The best part? You don’t have to spend any money on expensive filters and other gadgets.
The technique is simple: Just cut off the top of the bag and tape it over your lens. The sealed plastic will trap moisture in front of your lens and create the hazy effect you want. It’s also great for creating foggy backgrounds or giving a moody look to an outdoor scene.
Here are some more tips for using this cheap trick for better shots:
1) Use a high-quality sandwich bag. Cheap ones may break or rip easily.
2) Cover up only half of your lens — unless you want everything in your photo to be blurry! Cutting off one side of the top creates just enough coverage without causing any unwanted effects on your image quality (like vignetting).
3) Seal up all openings in the bag with tape so that no air can go through and ruin the effect. You can use electrical or masking tape for this purpose; just make sure no gaps are left behind when you remove them later!
The next time you’re out shooting with friends or family, grab a sandwich bag from the kitchen and head outside. Once you’re in position, just slip the bag over your lens and shoot away! The light will diffuse through the plastic and create a perfect look for portraits or landscapes.
8. Make use of fishing wire
There are many ways to get a lens flare. You can use a piece of cellophane or a prism to break up light into a rainbow. You can also use a cheap fish-eye lens, which will produce lens flare all over the image.
Lens flare can be a desirable effect in outdoor landscape images. To get this appearance, place a tiny piece of fishing wire across the lens. Only the light bouncing off the wire will appear in the final image.
While you can’t see the wire itself in your final image, it will cause reflections and distortions that give your photo an impressionistic feel.
To achieve this effect, you’ll need to prepare before you head out. Start by getting an old pair of sunglasses or reading glasses sitting in a drawer for years — these are perfect because they’re small and lightweight enough to hold onto your camera without being visible in your shot.
Next, cut one end of a piece of fishing wire and bend it into shape, so it lays flat on your camera’s viewfinder when you look through it. Place this piece over your lens and tape it down with gaffer’s tape, so it stays firmly attached during shooting.
Now all that’s left is to shoot! If possible, try taking this photo at dusk or dawn when there is still some natural light available but not too much glare from artificial sources like street lamps or signs.
When you are ready to use your lens flare, simply hold the string in front of your lens and frame your shot so that some part of the string appears in each photo you take attached. This will create multiple light spots along with the subject you are photographing.
9. Shoot through wool
The holiday season is here, and you may be wondering how to photograph your favorite sweater.
This can be a challenge if you take photos of your friends, family members, and pets. You want your images to show them in their best light — but sometimes they just look a little tired or grumpy. While you can’t control how your subjects feel, you can use a few tricks to make sure that they look their best in front of the camera.
The key to creating an excellent sweater photo is to use gentle lighting, which will help create a soft frame around your subject.
Here are some tips for photographing sweaters:
Use a large aperture. The higher the f-stop number on your lens, the shallower depth of field you’ll have — which means more of your photo will be in focus. This is a perfect option if you’re using natural light because it will help soften wrinkles and other flaws in the fabric.
Choose a shallow depth of field (with a large aperture). A shallow depth of field blurs out everything but the subject in focus. In this case, it’s best to blur out any background elements that might distract from the sweater itself.
Use natural light or indirect lighting. Natural light is ideal because it produces softer shadows than artificial lights do — just make sure not to overexpose the image by using too much fill flash or reflectors.
10. Make use of a tilt-shift app
Tilt-shift lenses are popular tools for photographers who want to create the look of a miniature model. While you may purchase tilt-shift lenses on your own, they can be pretty costly.
Tilt-shift options are available in many smartphone apps these days, including Instagram. Simply apply this effect to your images to create that weird, miniature-model feel.
Once you’ve taken your photo and opened it up on Instagram, tap on the “T” icon at the top of your screen to access the “Tilt-Shift” option. This will bring up a slider that allows you to alter how much of your image is affected by this effect.
You can also change the intensity using this slider across multiple photos, so they all match up nicely.
Once you’ve applied these effects and saved them as a collection, share them with friends via Instagram or save them to your camera roll so that you can use them elsewhere as well!
You can create the same effect with a smartphone app. The most popular option is Instagram, but there are other apps available.
The first step is to select an image that you’d like to use. The image must have some kind of depth to it, whether that be a building or a landscape scene.
Open your chosen app and choose the tilt-shift option. This will help you adjust the angle of your photo and move things around to look miniature or larger than life.
Once you’ve selected the appropriate setting for your photo, apply it by clicking on “apply.”
11. Shoot through a tea strainer
To create shadows on your model’s face, place a tea strainer in front of the lens. To alter the patterns, adjust the distance.
If you’ve ever wanted to take pictures in a forest or on a beach but can’t afford to rent a helicopter or a plane, this trick is for you. The sunlight that streams through leaves or sand is like magic — it adds texture and dimension to your image, making it seem more alive than a still photo.
To start with, choose an exciting subject and place your camera on a tripod. Then, get down low and shoot upward or shoot at an angle to capture something unique.
Next, open up all of your settings to manually adjust everything from ISO to shutter speed (if your camera has one). Then, start playing around with different settings until you find the right combination that works best for your photo.
For example, if you’re shooting outdoors during midday when there’s plenty of light coming through the trees or dunes — try using f/8 and ISO 100. If it’s darker outside (or inside), use f/2.8 and ISO 1600 instead!
To create shadows on your model’s face, place a tea strainer in front of the lens. To alter the patterns, adjust the distance.
1 Pick up a tea strainer from your kitchen cabinet. You can also use any other object with holes, such as a colander or even an old stocking.
2 Place the item in front of your camera lens and take a picture about 4 feet away from your subject.
3 Change the distance between you and your subject to create different effects. For example, move closer to get more detail or back up to get softer edges in your photo.
12. Connect your smartphone to a macro lens
Remove the tiny macro lens from an outdated laser pointer or DVD player by disassembling it. Super-glue it to your phone case or use a rubber band and a popsicle stick to connect it to your phone. More fun methods to use texture in your picture can be found in this guide.
Use a rubber band to attach your macro lens to your phone’s camera.
Glue the tiny lens on top of your phone’s camera to take pictures with more excellent zoom and focus on smaller objects. If you have done that already, then this is where the fun starts! You can use several techniques to enhance the quality of the image by adding texture:
Use textured backgrounds: Use backgrounds with patterns and textures like leaves, rocks, or even food! You can also add some textured stickers or paint them yourself if you want more control over how they look.
They don’t distract too much from what you want to photograph! If you want something more abstract, try using browns and blacks instead of plain colors like blue or green which are often used in nature photography.
Use a magnifying glass as a lens: If you don’t want to spend any money on lenses but still want some camera fun, try using a magnifying glass as a lens instead. Use your smartphone camera app’s settings to adjust the focus manually, so it looks crisp and clear against the background when you take the picture.
Replace your smartphone camera with an external one
If you’re serious about getting great pictures and videos with your smartphone, consider replacing its built-in camera with an external one that offers better quality images and videos, such as LG’s 360 CAM (about $200).
The 360 CAM captures 360-degree photos and videos in 4K resolution, so you can share them on social media sites like Facebook and YouTube or view them on Google Street View.
13. Use reading glasses
If you have some old reading glasses sitting around, you can use them to create a magnifying effect by taping them in front of your smartphone’s camera. It can get a similar look to lens ball photography without the expense.
The easiest way is to tape a pair of reading glasses (or two) right over your phone’s camera. The more magnifying power they have, the more extreme the effect.
The downside to this method is that it’s hard to get everything lined up perfectly, so you’ll probably need to adjust things several times before you get it right.
First, remove the glass from the frame and wrap it in tape or gaffer tape so that it is completely covered. Then cut a small hole in the middle of the tape using scissors or an x-acto knife.
You want to make sure that there is enough room for your phone’s camera to fit through it without being obstructed by any tape on either side of the glass.
Next, attach your phone to a tripod and set up your scene like normal. Place your taped reading glasses over the camera lens and then take pictures as you usually would with Auto mode enabled (or whatever method works best for you). The magnification effect will be created by placing an object larger than life-size between your subject and the camera lens.
14. Make your beauty dish
In-studio photography, a beauty dish casts soft, diffused light on a subject. Use a plastic soup dish and aluminum foil to make your own. Here are some additional suggestions for the best beauty photography.
Choose the Right Lens
The focal length of your lens will help determine how you compose your photo. If you’re shooting with a telephoto lens, consider how far away from your subject it should be to achieve the best composition. A wide-angle lens can be used for close-up shots, while a 50mm or 100mm lens will give you more options when shooting at different distances from your subject.
Don’t Forget About Lighting.
Beauty photography requires good lighting to capture natural-looking skin tones and facial features. Avoid harsh shadows that can create unflattering images by using soft light sources such as reflectors or diffusers combined with natural light. You can also use flash units combined with umbrellas or softboxes to soften the light even further.
There are a lot of different ways to take beautiful photos.
1. Use a white background. The best backgrounds for beauty photography are white or gray because they help to contrast with your subject’s skin tone.
If you don’t have access to a studio with this kind of backdrop, you can create one by hanging up sheets or fabric behind your subject and lighting it from behind with an overhead light source (like an octabox).
2. Try diffusing light from above with a hair light (also known as a rim light). This will give your model’s face more dimension than just using one big light source in front of them (which creates flat-looking images).
Hair lights are often made out of paper lanterns or other materials that diffuse the light without spilling too much on the background or floor where you’re shooting (which can cause ugly shadows).
15. Connect your camera to your computer through USB
If you’re shooting in a cramped place, you might not be able to glance through the viewfinder before pressing the shutter. Instead, connect your camera to your computer through Bluetooth or WiFi to view the photographs in real-time. This can save you time and studio money, depending on where you’re shooting.
If you’re shooting outdoors, bring a portable battery pack with you so that your camera won’t die mid-shoot. You could also get an extra battery for your phone to use as an emergency charger if necessary.
Another way to use this feature is when working with models who are inexperienced with posing. Instead of having them stand around while you take shots and adjust lighting, show them their image and let them pose themselves while you snap away.
This will help you get more natural-looking photos without wasting time setting up lights or adjusting settings on your camera.
Bring a sturdy tripod if you plan on shooting indoors or in low light with long exposure times (such as waterfalls).
If you don’t have one, try using something solid like a tree branch or rock instead of placing your camera on the ground because they’ll help stabilize it while giving you more flexibility than a wall or table.
When shooting indoors or using flash photography, ensure there are no reflective surfaces behind or around your subject so that they don’t create harsh shadows on their faces or bodies (this includes mirrors).
You can also use paper as temporary backdrops when shooting indoors without having to worry about ruining walls or windows with tape (just make sure there’s enough light hitting)
You might also consider investing in a radar speed detector if you have any concerns about speeding drivers. It’s not a legal requirement for photographers, but it is a safety precaution for yourself and your clients.
With these tips, you’ll be able to capture all of these priceless moments on camera without wasting any time or money!
16. Rent from a friend
Equipment rental fees should not be paid—rent available gear from a fellow photographer in your area via a peer-to-peer rental service.
The most important thing is to ensure that your camera works properly before the shoot. Test it out by taking some test shots or videos at home or somewhere else safe (and private!).
You’ll also want to check that your lenses are clean. Shoot with a lens that’s been cleaned recently so that it doesn’t get dirty during the shoot!
If your shoot requires specialty equipment like lighting or background stands, consider renting through BorrowLenses or LensProToGo. These sites allow you to borrow professional equipment for a reasonable price (usually around $20+ per day).
The only downside is that they won’t ship directly to your location so if you want to rent something from one of these sites, make sure it’s within driving distance from where you’ll be shooting!
Renting equipment has always been difficult. Even if you live in a big city with many rental stores, it’s hard to know if they have what you’re looking for or how much it will cost.
And if they don’t have what you need, they might not be able to get it quickly enough (or at all). That’s why peer-to-peer photo equipment rental services are so important.
17. Book a studio for the day
Is there not enough natural light in your home? Have you ever had to cancel a shoot due to bad weather? Don’t worry because you may book a studio.
Not only will you be able to take beautiful pictures, but it is also a great way to save money. You’ll be able to avoid the hassle of having your clients travel to your home and back again and save on wardrobe costs and other expenses.
The cost of renting a studio varies depending on location and the type of shoot you’re planning. For example, if you’re shooting wedding photos, most studios charge around $1,000 per day (or more) for their services.
However, if you’re just shooting headshots or family portraits, there’s usually no charge as long as they don’t need any equipment or lighting changed during the session.
If you are a photographer or just like taking photos, you have to know about iShinora. It is a mobile app that helps you create professional and eye-catching images in seconds.
The great thing about this app is that it is easy to use and has some really cool features. The best part is that it is free, so there is no reason not to try it out! If you want to learn more about this app and how it can help you take better photos, then keep reading.
What Is iShinora?
iShinora is an iOS app available on the App Store that allows users to create professional-looking images and share them with friends or family through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. It also allows users to edit their existing photos in order to make them stand out more.