Three DIY Photography Hacks to Help You Save Money

High-quality, customized images are one of the most important elements of any website. However, they’re also fairly expensive — and not everyone has the budget to keep a professional photographer on retainer.

Luckily, for those times when stock photography just won’t cut it, these DIY photography hacks can help you create professional-quality images on a budget.

1. Build a string monopod

Not only is a good tripod expensive, but it’s also a pain to lug around. A string monopod offers a cheaper and more portable solution.

To make one, cut a piece of string that’s the same length as the distance between your nose and toes. Attach a threaded eyelet bolt to one end and a washer to the other.

When you’re ready to take a photo, screw the bolt into your camera’s tripod hole, drop the string, step on the washer until the string is taut, and voila! Instant camera stabilization.

2. Make your own lightbox

If you’re preparing to launch an ecommerce business or start a product review blog, it’s important to capture clean product photos. A homemade lightbox can help.

Take a large cardboard box (18 x 18 x 24 inches is ideal), cut square windows (about 14 x 14 inches) into opposite sides, and cover them with pieces of thin, white fabric (like an old bed sheet). Open one side of the box and adhere a piece of white poster board to both the bottom and side opposite the opening. Arrange a small reading lamp on either side of the box so the light shines through the fabric-covered windows.

When you’re ready to shoot, simply place the item you’re photographing in front of the white poster board and snap away.

3. Create a lens flare effect

A lens flare can give your photos a dreamy, romantic quality — but it often requires near-perfect lighting conditions. Luckily, you can fake it.

You’ll need a DSLR camera and a CD. Before you take a shot, hold the CD at an angle to reflect light onto the lens. It may take a few tries to get the angle and flare placement just right.

Whether you’re planning on adding an image gallery to your site or just want your hero image to look good, including beautiful photographs is a must. Luckily, by using these DIY photography hacks, you can create high-quality visuals on your own.

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Carrie Dagenhard

Carrie is an old school, gumshoe journalist trapped in a modern content marketer's body. She specializes in writing for the marketing, technology and healthcare industries, and loves helping bloggers and small business owners grow their presence online. Carrie resides in the "Silicon Hills" of Austin, TX with her husband and two adorable cats.

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