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If you have been hesitant to buy the gear or accessories that you want because of the cost, you might be able to save some money by going the DIY route. As photographers, there’s always plenty of gear on our wishlists. It’s simply not practical or possible to buy it all.
While photography gear can be quite expensive there are some inexpensive hacks that can give you similar results in some cases. Fortunately, there are plenty of creative photographers who have shared their own DIY hacks and creations with the rest of us through blog posts and tutorials.
In this post, you’ll find tutorials and guides for more than 40 different DIY projects and hacks that can not only save you some money, but also get the great results that you’re after. These hacks cover everything from lighting, to lenses, to softboxes, to tripods, and much more. Some of them are more involved and complex than others, but I’m sure you will find at least a few that interest you.
For more DIY ideas please see these posts:
This homemade rig can help to stabilize your camera while allowing it to turn for easier panoramic photos. Landscape photographers will love this one.
Make your camera strap more usable and practical with this simple and inexpensive hack.
Lamp Sets for Object Photography
Lighting is a key component of product and still life photography. If you want to save some money on lighting while still getting great photos, try creating these lamps.
This simple hack involves a cracked magnifying glass that can be used as a filter to give your photos very unique and interesting results. Simple and effective!
Here is another idea for a very simply DIY filter that can be used to decorate your photos.
Make a Lightbox Using a Window and Paper
Don’t have a lightbox? No worries. With this easy hack, you can get photos that look like they were taken in a lightbox.
Tilt shift lenses can be a lot of fun for experimenting and you can come away with some amazing photos. But the downside is, they’re expensive! Use this approach to create your own and get the same look.
Here is a video that shows how you can get tilt shift effects by modifying a standard lens.
Make your own inexpensive ring flash to improve your lighting setup without breaking the budget.
Here is a different approach to creating ring light that can be perfect for your portraits.
Create your own softbox by following along with this helpful video tutorial.
Use a simple business card to reflect the flash for more flattering light.
Talk about inexpensive solutions. This tutorial shows how you can use a simple turkey pan to create a beauty dish on the cheap.
A turkey dish isn’t the only option. With this approach, you can create your beauty dish for about a dollar or less with the help of a disposable bowl.
Create the perfect lighting setup for your product photography with the help of this guide.
Diffusers are simple tools that can have noticeable results, but you don’t even need a real diffuser. You can cut out part of a milk jug to create your own diffuser at no cost.
This is a fun idea that can be used to add some interest to your photos. Get creative and think about potential ways to uses the shaped bokeh.
Rain gear is a must-have if you do a lot of outdoor photography. This tutorial shows how you can make your own rain gear to protect your camera with a simple CD case.
Create your own small lightbox that can be easily taken apart when you’re not using it. This is great if you have a limited amount of space.
Create your own inexpensive reflector to get better lighting. This is especially useful for portrait photographers.
How to Make a Pinhole Camera from Your DSLR
Pinhole cameras can be fun to play with, and thanks to this guide, you don’t even have to spend the money for one.
Underwater photography is a lot of fun and can lead to some really interesting photos. While underwater housing to protect your camera can be expensive, this article shows how to create your own at a fraction of the cost.
Make a Powerful Macro Lens with an Empty Toilet Paper Tube
Here’s an idea you probably never would have thought of on your own (I know I wouldn’t have). Use an empty toilet paper roll to create a macro lens for closeup shots.
Here’s an easy way you can create a diffuser to soften the flash for your macro photos.
Convert Your Kit Lens Into a Macro Lens
This video tutorial shows how you can make your own macro lens by using a standard kit lens. This saves a lot of money!
Create a simple diffusion filter that can be used to increase the intrigue of your photos.
Use this simple clap idea to get your flash in place, wherever you want it.
This basic hack allows you to use your flash horizontally rather than vertically.
Light tables can be really useful for taking beautiful product photos, and with the help of this tutorial, you can easily create your own from a basic cardboard box.
You might be surprised by how simple and effective this trick can be. It’s extremely cheap by making use of discarded cardboard.
Vintage-Style Photos with Vaseline
Here is a fun trick that you’ll love to experiment with. Put Vaseline on your lens to create soft edges and a subtle vintage look.
This homemade camera mount can be extremely helpful for food photography, product photography, and other still life photos.
Make your own inexpensive (and sturdy) tripod by following the instructions in this video.
Using some weight on your tripod will help to add extra stability. This is especially useful when you’re photographing in the wind.
Here is a creative and simple way to stabilize a smartphone for sharp photos. It’s easy, inexpensive, and effective.
Create your own selfie stick with the instructions from this video.
Carrying your tripod can be a challenge when you have a lot of other gear with you. This DIY strap allows you to wrap it around your should for easier carrying. This is great for photographers who do a lot of hiking.
Add a simple pistol grip for your camera with the help of an inexpensive jump rope handle.
Fluorescent Tube Light Beauty Light Thingy
Here’s a great idea for DIy lighting that is ideal for beauty photos and other portraits.
Stabilize your camera for low-angle shots with this simple groundpod. The idea is perfect for landscape and nature photographers but could be used for other types of photos as well.
Build Your Own Infrared Camera
Learn how to create your own infrared camera and save a lot of money by not needing expensive gear to get the photos you want.
Hazy and Ethereal Photos with a Sandwich Bag and Colored Markers
This is another very simple and fun trick that you’ll love to play around with. You’ll give you photos soft edges with the help of a cheap sandwich bag.
Create your own reflector by following along with this simple tutorial.
Regardless of what type of photography you’re, I’m sure you’ve found at least a few ideas here that you’d like to try. Take some time to following along with the guides and you’ll have some great DIY gear that saves a lot of money and helps you to get amazing photos.