121 Camera and Photography Tricks to Wow Your Friends in 2023

Need ideas?? These genius camera & photography tricks are simple and cheap to do using everyday objects. Take your creativity to the next level!

What do duct tape, pantyhose, beer helmets and alphabet noodles have in common? They can all be used to hack your photography for some awesome creative effects!

If you’re the kind the photographer who likes to leave others scratching their heads and wondering how your super-inventive shot was created, this list is packed full of tricks and ideas.

Other camera hacks are more geared towards solving common photography problems, expanding your camera’s capabilities, or simply taking your photography to the next level.

Want to know the best part? Almost all of these camera tricks can be done with cheap, easy-to-find objects and materials around your home.

Check it out for some photoshoot ideas and inspiration for your next creative photography project.

Don’t forget to share this post with any photographer friends who might benefit from some cool new ideas as well.

You should also learn how to make props for photography using household items.

121 Photography & Camera Tricks Wow your Friends

1. Use a Tea Strainer For Dramatic Lighting or Bokeh

2. Use Pantyhose to Create a Soft Focus Filter 

diy photography hacks

Credit: Giga Android

3. Use Reflective Paper For Product Photography

picture hack with light source - no need for light box

Credit: DIY Projects

4. Create Your Own Lightbox

diy light hacks

Credit: Maeling Designs

5. Use a Laptop Or Computer Monitor to Create Stunning Backdrops

Credit: Photography Juice

High-definition laptop screens are great for making awesome backgrounds cheaply. This makes it one of the essential photo hacks especially for beginners.

6. Create a Bokeh Effect With Tin Foil

Credit: COOPH

7. Use A Glass Coffee Table To Create A Interesting Frame

8. Use Tinsel or Metallic Streamers to Frame a Headshot

Credit: Chris Hernandez

9. Use a Shop Window And a Couple Of Friends To Create Unique Look

Credit: Chris Hernandez

10. Fill An Umbrella With Autumn Leaves

Credit: Chris Hernandez

11. Drop Pages Of Text Or Sheet Music In The Foreground

Credit: Chris Hernandez

12. Use Convenience Store Refrigerators For Dramatic Lighting

Credit: Chris Hernandez

13. Find A Garden To Use As A Natural Backdrop

Credit: Chris Hernandez

14. Create Dynamic Backdrops With Household Items

Credit: Chris Hernandez

15. Use A Treadmill, Model Car & Spray Bottle For This Awesome Effect

genius camera hacks

Credit: @theautofocus

With a bit of creativity and composition, one can make pretty compelling photo tricks.

16. Create Your Own Simple Lightbox With a Window and Sheet of Paper

Credit: Techradar

17. Cut A Hole In A Cardboard Box And Fill It With Fruit

Credit: Chris Hernandez

18. Use A Backyard Pool To Simulate A Country Pond

Credit: Chris Hernandez

19. Turn A Beer Helmut Into A Reflector Rig

Credit: @nishihiro0312

20. Hold Long Strands Of Hair Up Behind The Camera

Credit: Jordi Koalitic

21. If The Weather Won’t Cooperate, Create Your Own

Credit: Jordi Koalitic

22. Shoot Through A Dirty Garden Pot For A Fun Look

Credit: Jordi Koalitic

23. Plant A Mirror On The Beach For A Reflection Portrait

Credit: Jordi Koalitic

24. Shoot Through A Burning Newspaper

Credit: Jordi Koalitic

25. Create A Dramatic Image With A Broken Window And A Rock

Credit: Jordi Koalitic

Making objects appear floating is by far one of the oldest trick photography ideas known to man.

26. Turn A Tasty Treat Into A Fun Prop

Credit: Jordi Koalitic

27. Drop Garden Leaves To Add Interest To Your Image

Credit: Jordi Koalitic

28. Turn Milk, Cookies And A Sheet Of Glass Into A Dramatic Photo

Credit: Jordi Koalitic

29. Bury Picture Frames In The Sand To Frame A Beach Portrait

Credit: Jordi Koalitic

30. Make Your Own Simple Flash Diffuser

diy light flash

Credit: Photodojo

31. Turn Ordinary Candy Into A Work Of Art

Credit: Photodojo

32. Create This DIY Camera Raincoat

Credit: Henriëtte Hoffs

33. Use A Light Boom Or Long Pole To Get A Great Top-Down Shot

Credit: Gilmar Silva

34. Shoot A Gorgeous Sunset Portrait In The Tall Grass

Credit: Gilmar Silva

35. Hold Up A Fake Rope Swing And Use Photoshop To Make It Real

Credit: Gilmar Silva

36. Dangle Over A Ledge To Capture A Dramatic Angle

Credit: Gilmar Silva

37. Shoot A Gorgeous Wedding Portrait Under The Bride’s Veil

Credit: Gilmar Silva

38. Capture A Stunning Image Of Your Child In The Backyard

Credit: Gilmar Silva

39. Get Down Low For A Stunning Pregnancy Shot

Credit: Gilmar Silva

40. Get Some Friends To Throw Leaves Onto A Garden Path

Credit: Gilmar Silva

41. Climb A Tree To Replicate That Iconic ‘American Beauty’ Moment

Credit: Gilmar Silva

42. Hide A Light Behind Your Subjects To Illuminate Water Droplets

light diy effect

Credit: Gilmar Silva

43. Use Photoshop To Create A Fun Wedding Image

diy flying cork

Credit: Gilmar Silva

44. Shoot A Portrait In The Reflection Of A Car Mirror

diy wow pictures

Credit: Gilmar Silva

45. Call On That One Friend Who’ll Always Be Your Ladder

diy overhead photo

Credit: Gilmar Silva

46. Turn A Roadside Ditch Into A Dream Family Portrait Location

Credit: Gilmar Silva

47. Capture Gorgeous Pregnancy Photos In The Roadside Weeds

Credit: Gilmar Silva

48. Capture A Stunning Portrait With A Dirt Path And Some Fairy Lights

Credit: Gilmar Silva

49. Use Photoshop To Add Drama To A Couples Shoot

diy light motorbike shot

Credit: Gilmar Silva

50. Place Your Subject In A Shallow Pond For Amazing Results

diy overhead lens

Credit: Gilmar Silva

51. Use Photoshop To Create A Stunning Baby Photo

diy light box effect with dog

Credit: Gilmar Silva

52. Create Your Own Filters By Shooting Through Flower Petals

make diy light lens effect

Credit: Gilmar Silva

53. Turn A Puddle Into A Lakeside Photo Shoot

make macro lens effect using light

Credit: Gilmar Silva

54. Add Some Bubbles To A Roadside Baby Shoot

diy camera & photo tips

Credit: Gilmar Silva

55. Use A Blanket As A Sling For Your Next Baby Shoot

Credit: Gilmar Silva

56. Hold A Curved Leaf To Build An Incredible Portrait Composition

Credit: Gilmar Silva

57. Use A Water Bottle And A Chair To Create Dramatic Images

diy camera & photo tips

Credit: Jordi Puig

58. Turn A Bamboo Basket Into A Strong Photo Element

camera & lens tips & tutorials using tube

diy light box effect

Credit: Jordi Puig

59. Tie Shoelaces Behind The Camera For Dramatic Leading Lines

Credit: Jordi Puig

60. Create A Cool Look With A Spinning Wet Tennis Ball

diy lens hacks for photography ball

Credit: Jordi Puig

61. Carefully Set A Newspaper On Fire For Intense Images

diy hacks for photography

Credit: Jordi Puig

62. Use A Chain To Create Dramatic Lines In Your Moody Images

diy pic hacks for amazing photos

Credit: Jordi Puig

63. Use A Plastic Toy Slinky To Turn A Simple Portrait Into A Masterpiece

hack photo tips for lens effects

Credit: Jordi Puig

64. Turn A Book And Some Alphabet Pasta Into A Story Of Its Own

make photo hacks tips & tricks

Credit: Jordi Puig

65. Add Drama To A Moody Image With Vape Smoke

make diy photography hacks in daylight

Credit: Jordi Puig

66. Call On Friends To Hold Props And Lighting

Credit: Chris Hernandez

67. Shoot Through A Cuttlery Drainer For Amazing Outcomes

Credit: Jordi Puig

68. Cut The Ends Off A Plastic Bottle To Amplify A Sunset Shot

diy photography hacks with plastic bag or bottle

Credit: Jordi Puig

69. Roll Up The Page Out Of A Book For A Cool Frame

Credit: Jordi Puig

70. Head To Your Local Craft Store For Simple Filter Solutions

Credit: craftedincarhartt

71. Take A Mirror Off The Wall And Use It In Your Next Portrait Shot

Credit: COOPH

72. Create An Old-School Pinhole Camera Kit

diy vignette light

Credit: COOPH

73. Use Vaseline To Achieve Fun Vignette Effects

diy vignette for beautiful effects at any aperture

Credit: COOPH

74. Add Flare Effects To Brighten Your Images With A Torch

make diy professional light flare

Credit: Peter McKinnon

75. Turn Your Smartphone Into A Pinhole Camera In Seconds

Credit: COOPH

76. Create Dramatic Flare Effects With A Single Match

make diy flame light

Credit: Sheldon Evans

77. Raid Your Stationary Drawer To Make Your Own Lens Filters

diy filters

Credit: my23skidoo

78. Create Dynamic Lighting Backgrounds With A Tablet

diy bokeh background

Credit: COOPH

79. Hold Up A Glass Prism To Achieve Incredible Images

diy lens artefacts

Glass prism photography | Credit: Mathieu Stern

80. Turn A Glass Jar Into A Simple Filter For Creamy Effects

Credit: Wolfeye

81. Soften Your Images With A Few Items From Your Granny’s Knitting Basket

get diy lens effects


82. Use A Piece Of Paper Or Material To Enhance The Lighting In Your Portraits

diy phone lens improvement

Credit: 5-Minute Crafts

83. Attach Some Frayed Fabric To Your Lens For A Unique Look

get free diy shots

Credit: freepeople

84. Create A DIY Windblown Look With A Hairdryer On Your Next Model Shoot

Credit: Clicknetwork

85. Raid Your Kid’s Toy Box For Some Fun DIY Photo Props

Credit: Satyajit Sardar

86. Elevate Your Portrait Game With A Simple Piece Of Card or Board

Credit: Jwalt Photography

87. Shoot Thorugh A Glass Window For Amazing Portraits

Credit: Jessica Kobeissi

88. Add Interest To Your Images With Two Simple Stationary Items

Credit: Olivier Schmitt

89. Grab A Black Tile From The Hardware Store To Make A Perfect Prop

Credit: COOPH

90. Build a DIY Lighting Softbox Out Of Household Objects

Credit: COOPH

91. Turn Discarded Clothes Into An Anti-Shake Camera Support

Credit: tech adar

92. Raid The Pantry To Produce Stunning DIY Droplet Photos

Credit: COOPH

93. Grab A Take-Away Coffee And Make An Instant Lens Hood

Credit: Peter McKinnon – more creative coffee photography

94. Use A CD Bulk Storage Case To Create A Rain Guard

Credit: techradar

95. Add Some Drama To Your Next Selfie With A Cut Of Lace

Credit: Maddie Lullaby

96. Use An Everyday Sandwich Bag For A Quick And Easy DIY Filter Effect

Credit: Jesse David McGrady

97. Recycle Your Coloured Plastic Bags Into Coloured Filters

photography hack with plastic bag

Credit: COOPH

98. Turn Birthday Sparklers Into A Seriously Powerful Look

99. Heat Up Your Food Photography With The Help Of A Steam Iron

Credit: nicolesyblog

100. Boost Your Bokeh Game With Hand-Cut Templates

Credit: howaboutorange

101. Hold Up A CD For Instant Lens Flares In Your Photos

Credit: Sheldon Evans

102. Elevate Your Portraits With Cardboard Shadow Filters

Credit: Learn photo editing

103. Use Clear Plastic And Vaseline For Incredible Images

diy photography hacks with macro lens

Credit: freepeople

104. Use A Laptop Or Desktop Monitor As An Endless Source Of Cool Backdrops

make diy light photography hacks

Credit: Sheldon Evans

105. Enhance Your Smartphone Photography With Sunglasses For A Filtered Effect

smartphone lens photography hacks

Credit: COOPH

106. Learn How to Transfer a Photo to Wood

Credit: Ana Mireles

107. Create Whimsical Images With A Cutout Bokeh Filter

Credit: globetrotterdiaries

108. Use Photoshop To Remove Unwanted Tourists From Your Best Images

DIY photography hacks

Credit: windsywinds,toomanyadapters

109. Achieve Fun Top-Down Shots By Taping Your Phone To The Ceiling

Credit: happygreylucky

110. Create Fun Visual Effects With Forced Perspective

Credit: COOPH

111. Boost Your Night Portraits With a String of Fairy Lights

photography hack with light in photo

Credit: Brandon Woelfel

112. Slide Your Camera With A Towel For Steady Shots And Video

Credit: Sheldon Evans

113, Re-use Your Shopping Bags To Make A Simple Diffuser

Credit: Sheldon Evans

114. Enhance Your Food Photography With A Cloth Placemat

Credit: Taylor Mathis

115. Submerge Your Camera In A Fishtank For Incredible Water Shots

Credit: COOPH

116. Make a DIY Projector to Enhance your Portraits

cardboard box with cutterimage projected

117. Use a Crystal Ball to Flip your World Upside-Down


118. Light and Spin some Steel Wool for some Incredible Slow Shutter Shots


119. Make a Kirilian Photography Machine for some Ethereal Effects

kirilian photography

120. Don’t Discard Your Toiler Paper Rolls – Use Them For Amazing Macro Shots

macro photography hacks with diy macro lens

Credit: COOPH

121. Use Photoshop to create dream-like landscape images

Orton Effect in Photoshop

Credit: Teryani Riggs

The Orton Effect in Photoshop is a popular and simple way to give landscape images that dreamy ‘Lord of the Rings’ look. It can also give portrait images a painterly effect.

Final Words

Ready to go forth and create some awesome images using everyday objects and a little bit of inventiveness?

Whether you let people in on the secret of how you got your effects or not, the shots you take will surely light up your social media with positive reactions.

Got any other genius photography hacks to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

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Shotkit Editor, Writer & Facebook Group Manager

Tania Braukamper is an Australian-born writer who also loves to take pictures on her banged-up (yet surprisingly resilient) Canon 5D Mark III. She currently lives in Portugal.



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