What are two constraints to making the most of your photo shoot? Sometimes your budget does not permit you to buy that special piece of equipment that you need for a shot. Other times, you rush out the door and forgot to bring that one perfect item with you. Here are a few weird tricks that can help.
Insulator Reflector Board
For about $5, you can purchase an insulation board with reflective silver backing. Cover the back side of it with white duct tape. You can use one side to reflect silver and the other side to reflect white. An added benefit is that the board is lightweight.
For an inexpensive, fun bokeh effect, use a piece of black paper. Cut the paper to the size of the front element of your lens. Use a knife or razor to cut out a shape (triangle, oval, heart, square) in the middle of the paper. The cut-out shape should be about the size of a nickel. Note that the effect will only work with a large aperture. Here's a sample of one using a cross shape.
If you want to take an indoor group photo and don’t have your tripod, what can you do? Remove the shade from a lamp. Screw your camera onto the lampshade-holder. The thread size of the bolt on a lamp shade is the same size as the filter thread on tripods.
Sometimes, it’s a challenge to get children to smile at the camera. If you put a PEZ dispenser on the hotshoe of your camera, it may get you some smiles. You can also promise to give them a little candy if they cooperate during the photo shot. Note that you will need to trim the base of the dispenser so it fits.
Whether it’s lack of money or forgetting to bring a piece of equipment with you, weird tricks can be your best ally. If anyone dares to criticize you, politely inform them that you are not weird. You are simply creative.