thrifty

Anything Can Be a Light Modifier for Portraits with a Little Creativity

Light shaping tools are very expensive. What if you could take any object and turn it into a modifier? That would save you a lot of money as well as give some unique results. In this article, I will share some everyday objects that you can turn into light modifiers to get different looks.

How to Make a DIY Softbox for Free

Almost anything can be used as a light modifier. As long as it interacts with light in one way or another, it can be considered a light modifier. In this article, I will show you how to build a do-it-yourself (DIY) softbox with things you likely already have around at home.

Dollar Tree to Stop Selling Things for $1

If you're a photographer who often turns to Dollar Tree for cheap photo props or do-it-yourself materials, get ready to pay (a bit) more. After 35 years of selling most products for exactly $1, the retail chain announced today that it is hiking its price to $1.25.

A DIY Way to Fix Loose Rubber Rings on Camera Lenses

After purchasing Takumar 55mm f/1.8 lens years ago, I started building my collection of vintage lenses, and because I don’t like spending a lot of money on them, I became a frequent visitor of thrift stores, flea markets, and online auction sites.

How I Shoot High-End Portraits with Low-End Budgets

Over my past 7 years as a professional photographer, I have received many questions from startups and amateurs who are worried about the considerable investment they thought they had to make on cutting-edge equipment. Luckily, I am able to suggest more affordable alternatives while keeping quality as high as possible.

A Shoestring Photography Hardware and Software Setup

Camera and lenses aren't the only photographic essentials that cost money. A decent machine with plenty of RAM and fast storage (preferably SSD) and rather expensive serious photography software are must-haves, too.

This Browser Extension Shows if Books on Amazon Are at Your Local Library

Want to learn photography from some good ol' physical books? Before clicking the Checkout button on Amazon or other online bookstores, you might want to check out the handy browser extension called Library Extension. It adds a box to Amazon book listings to show you if that book is available for free at your local library.

How to Build a Low Budget Photography Set

For my latest project, "we are the dead," I decided to build a room in which to shoot my pictures. I had absolutely no idea how to do this, but there were some facts I needed to consider.

A $60 DIY Photo Ceiling Rail Lighting System

What started off as a quick lighting test in my garage has turned into a full investigation and installation of my own DIY photography ceiling rail system. My shooting space measures 7x10 feet (2x3m) -- not a great space for shooting portraits.

5 Basic Tips for Starting a Fashion Portfolio

When you’re just starting out, building a fashion photography portfolio can be quite a daunting task. Having to organize and prepare shoots can be difficult, especially if you have no budget. These are my tips for shooting on a shoestring when you’re just starting:

How to Make a DIY Wood Photography Backdrop

Want a tabletop wooden backdrop you can use for photographing everything from products to babies? Here's a 10.5-minute video by Erik Tande of DIY done wrong showing how you can make your own for basically zero cost.

How to Take Macro Photos on a Budget

Want to get started in macro photography but don't have much to spend? There are ways to jump into the niche using mostly the gear you already have (assuming you don't have a dedicated macro lens). Here's an 8-minute video by NatureTTL that'll point you in the right direction.

How to Light a ‘Big Budget’ Photo with $5 Lights

I have a client who builds amazing luxury apartment complexes all over California, and I’m their pool guy. I know it sounds funny, but they call me whenever they need exterior images and pool images (they call another photog to do the interiors of the model apartments).

How to Make a DIY Mottled Backdrop for Just $30

For those of us born in the 1970s and 80s, this new phenomenon of mottled, cloudy backdrops appearing in modern portraits is an odd one. You see, back when we were kids, we had horrendously cheesy family and school portraits taken in front of these bizarrely arranged patterns, so to us, it’s pretty weird to see these painted, cloudy backdrops now grace the covers of Vogue and Tatler.