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6 Creative Portrait Photography Hacks in 2 Minutes


Ready for some rapid-fire DIY tips? A team of French photographers who goes by the moniker “Shootr” has put together a simple photo hacks video that offers a few creative ideas for your next portrait shoot.

Let’s take these one at a time.

1. Tin Foil Background

Don’t have (or want to use) a standard portrait background? Try crumpling up and hanging some tin foil instead, and then add a colored gel to your flash. The pop of color will show up in the reflection in the tinfoil, and it makes for a unique, sparkly background.

2. Tin Foil Foreground Bokeh

Once you’re done with your tinfoil background, fold it up and cut it into tin foil confetti. Then have someone sprinkle it in front of your model while you shoot with a relatively open aperture. The out of focus foil bits will catch the light from your flash and add some foreground pop to your shots.

This, by the way, is our favorite tip of the bunch.

3. LED Lights Foreground Bokeh

If you don’t have an assistant or you don’t want to clean up bits of tinfoil, using some of those tiny, copper-wire LED lights that are so popular these days is another great foreground bokeh option.

Hand a strand or two (or six) from a C-stand, or hold some up in front of your lens yourself. The results are quite dreamy.

4. DIY Cinematic Snoot

A popular tip (for good reason), use some foam board to make a DIY snoot with barn doors for your off-camera flash. This way, you can shape your speedlight output and create neat effects like the one above. You can also take it a bit further by…

5. Add a Window Pattern to Your Snoot

…cutting out some sort of window pattern from an extra bit of foam board and placing it on the end of your snoot. This is just like yesterday’s biscuit box tip, except Shootr went with a “Windows 95” theme for theirs.

6. Water Spray Foreground

Finally, the last tip is to load up a small spray bottle with water and use that to add some foreground interest. If you want an extra pop of color (and a real mess to clean up) add some food coloring to that water and play around until your flash catches the mist just right.

And that’s it! Check out all 6 tips up top to see them in action, and then head over to Shootr’s YouTube channel for more photography tips, gear reviews, and other interesting videos.

Image credits: All photographs provided by Shootr and used with permission.