DIY Photography – Essential Tools and Materials From Your Photography Shop

Photographing can be expensive, especially if you want to shoot professional-quality photos. Fortunately, there are several photography hacks you can use to save money on camera equipment.

For example, you can use a plastic bag to give your photos soft edges by wrapping it around the lens. You can also try a sheet of colored plastic to create a dreamy haze.

Backdrop materials

A backdrop is a large piece of fabric that covers the background of an image. It can be used to create a particular style or mood, and it is essential to any photography setup. It can be either neutral or colorful, depending on your needs. It is important to choose a backdrop that will reflect suitable light.

In addition to the backdrop, you’ll also need a stand that holds it in place. This can be a simple frame made from wood or an old clothing rack, or it can be a backdrop support system, like the ones available online. If you’re not handy enough to build one, you can purchase a backdrop stand from a camera shop or hardware store.

A basic backdrop can be made from a variety of materials, including canvas, muslin, and paper. A canvas backdrop can be used to create a realistic scene, while muslin is more versatile and can be manipulated to look more dramatic. It can be draped over a product or hung to create a seamless curve. Muslin can also be used as a flat backdrop.

Another option is a floor drop, which can add texture and dimension to your photos. Typically, they come in several patterns, such as wood, cobblestones, and sports fields. These can be used to complement your existing backdrops or as a standalone background.

When choosing backdrop materials, be sure to choose those that are easy to clean and won’t fade easily. You’ll also want to avoid backdrops that have any creases or wrinkles, which can cause unwanted shadows in your photo.

To eliminate these shadows, you can use high-key lighting. This technique is ideal for creating a fresh and clean look. It can also help you focus on your subject and eliminate the distraction of a busy backdrop.

If you want to create a more creative look, try using a patterned backdrop or props that complement your product. You can even try a simple DIY photo project such as a pinhole camera to capture images without the need for a lens. The best part is that you’ll probably have all the tools you need in your garage, basement, or attic!


Lighting is an essential element of any photo shoot. Without the right light, your images will look flat and unflattering. Fortunately, it is possible to make your own DIY photography lighting using items you already have in your home. This will save you money, and it will also give you the freedom to experiment with different lighting techniques. For example, you can use a cardboard box to create interesting shadows. This technique works well for black and white photos, but you can also add color by using colored cellophane or cardboard.

Another useful DIY photography lighting trick is to use a plastic bag as a light diffuser. This will soften the light and reduce glare. It will also reduce the amount of work you have to do in image post-processing. You can find these bags in the grocery store or dollar store.

You can also create a light modifier by using a shower curtain. This will help diffuse the flash from your camera, which will produce softer lighting for your subjects. However, it’s important to be careful not to get too close to the flash because it can be hot and could melt the plastic.

If you are a beginner photographer, you can use a simple flashlight to create interesting effects. By covering the flashlight with a sheet of paper or fabric, you can create different shadow patterns and textures. This DIY technique is especially useful for portraits and weddings.

For more advanced photographers, you can use a bounce wall to diffuse the flash for a more flattering light. You can make a cheap bounce wall using a piece of cardboard and aluminum foil. You can also use a wire hanger, which will allow you to adjust the angle of the light.

A light diffuser is also a great DIY photography tool for beauty shots. It can be made from a small piece of cardboard and tin foil. For a more cost-effective version, you can use a disposable tin turkey pan or even a cheap plastic muffin tray.

Another popular DIY photography prop is a beauty dish. This device is used to soften the light on a subject and is ideal for beauty and fashion shots. It is an inexpensive alternative to a professional beauty dish, which can cost hundreds of dollars. It is also much easier to use than a reflector.


Props are not essential for every photography shoot, but they can add a lot of character to your photos. They can also help you tell a story or create a mood in your photos. These props can be bought at photography shops, but they can also be easily made at home. You can use paper, cardboard, wood, and even old books. The main thing is to make sure that the props you use are long-lasting and affordable. For example, you can try making a teepee from a grapevine wreath. This prop will add a sense of mystery and magic to your photos.

In addition to these props, you will need a good lighting kit for your DIY photography projects. This includes a softbox, which will soften the light and remove any unwanted reflections from your subject. This is especially important if you are photographing products.

Depending on the type of photo you want to take, different props will work best. For example, for food shots, you can use wooden cutting boards or vintage utensils. You can also try using a marble slab or parchment paper to add texture. For travel-related shots, you can use maps or postcards.

Another great DIY photography prop is flowers. These can be used to decorate the setting or to make the model look more feminine. They can also be incorporated into creative concepts, such as fantasy shots. You can purchase fake flowers at any craft store or make them yourself. The key is to choose colors that match the backdrop and clothing.

Other props that you can make yourself include a step ladder and mirrors. You can also find a lot of ideas for creative photography props in the movies. For example, you can make a bow tie out of paper and paint or create a bespoke prop with a cut-out panel. If you don’t have a jigsaw, you can buy cheap timber board and use a brush to make it any colour you want.

Editing software

If you’re a photographer, it’s important to have a good photo editing software. The right tool can elevate your work and help you create images that will stand out in the marketplace. You can choose from various types of editing programs, but you should be sure to get one that’s easy to use and has lots of features. A good program can also save you time and effort by automating common tasks like background removal, checking for vulgar images, adding margins, and more. One such program is Spyne, which has a user-friendly interface and is available for both Mac and Windows users.

There are some cool DIY photography hacks that you can try, and most of them are relatively simple. For example, you can make a lightbox from a cardboard box and sheets of plain paper. This will allow you to take photos with a clear background, which is great for macro photos and small products. Another simple hack is to use fairy lights as a lighting source for your photography. This technique will give your images a more whimsical and romantic feel. It may take some trial and error to find the perfect combination of lights and camera settings, but it’s well worth the effort!

While it’s tempting to invest in expensive photography gear, it’s important to remember that you need to know how to use the equipment to get great shots. It doesn’t matter if you have a fancy DSLR or a point-and-shoot camera. A talented photographer can produce professional-looking product photos, even with a cheap point-and-shoot camera.

Creating a studio setup can be a huge investment, but it’s essential for anyone who wants to take professional-quality photos. It’s also a great way to avoid distractions and get the most out of your photos. In addition to a backdrop and props, you’ll need a tripod and flash. While it’s possible to shoot with a hand-held flash, it’s much easier to control the lighting and focus with a dedicated camera flash.

Choosing the right lighting and backdrop is key to taking a successful product photo. You can also improve your photos with a few simple tweaks in post-production, such as using a soft focus filter. If you’re unsure where to start, try using a pre-made preset in Photoshop Lightroom. However, Pumphrey warns that too many filters can look overdone and unrealistic.