6 Clever Photography Tips and Tricks You Wish You Already Knew


Great Tips to Get Your Photography Some Energy

Ok everyone, we're not just gonna hit you up with loads of hacks, but some tips you may not have heard of before which can definitely give your photos a boost and improve your photography.

Not all the best photography tips are practical how-to short cuts or quick guides for optimal exposure settings, sometimes you really do need to sit back and not do any photography whatsoever. This takes straight onto tip # 1 quite nicely…

clever photography tricks
Image by Patrick Hendry

1. Need a Plain Backdrop? Use a Reflector

Now, this is more of a practical tip and an awesome one at that if I do say so myself.

Sometimes you're outdoors and just wish you had a wall or studio backdrop to capture a stunning portrait (this might happen if it's more ad-hoc, as otherwise, you'd make sure you had a solid background in advance).

When you just want a plain white background, this is a great tip – it ensures you can get a clean crisp look to your portrait. Great if you can rest the reflector on something, otherwise you'll need someone out-of-shot to hold it!

Top Tip!

Remember to dial in some positive exposure compensation – around 1 stop.
This is because your camera will try to dim down the white background because it thinks the white is over exposed.

2. Take a Moment to Imagine Your Next Shoot

When I say “have a moment”, what I am getting at is the idea that we all have 24 hours in a day, right? And for a certain number of those hours we're sleeping/eating/present with other things.

However, what about those moments like taking a bath, brushing your teeth or commuting to work on the daily train journey? Often here, you will look for something to do/think about, but why not think about your photography?

Sometimes, these moment of peace are the best opportunities to productively think about how you imagine your next shoot – where ideas can flow more easily. If your mind is at peace, chances are you'll have some awesome ideas come through.

Almost like meditation for photographers, though rather than trying to clear the mind, you're calmly envisaging. Find a regular place and make it a habit. Perhaps not so much of a trick, but a great tip nonetheless!

clever photography tips
Image by mcredifine

3. Use Your Competition To Give You A Hand

What? But I need their business, not their help?!

Hear me out. Now, of course we all want to book the same gigs, land those repeat clients and secure that dream event you've always hoped for but we shouldn't necessarily go against our competitors.

Other buddies who are professional photographers can be great for giving you tips for certain clients – or any potential difficulties which may arise, lend you gear you just don't have the money or resources to obtain for the gig, even sending clients your way because they're just not able to fulfil the client's needs at that moment in time.

You can see the positives already mounting up. If I can't do a gig, I will always recommend someone who can – it's good karma, folks.

clever photography tips
Image by Stuart Vivier

4. A Hot Shoe Toy For Shooting Kids

Photographing kids ain't easy, for one they don't stop moving – this can be heaps of fun, but also difficult to grab a great shot whilst they are still for those precious few seconds!

A great trick for toddlers and older kids too (this also applies to babies somewhat) is to try using a toy mounted on top of your camera to distract and entertain them.

You'll have to play along a little with this.

To achieve this you could go out and buy a PEZ dispenser (you'll have to trim it at the bottom so that it fits as it's ever so slightly wider than a standard hotshoe).

Throughout the shoot, you can then select times when the kids can grab a candy from the dispenser, pure brilliance!

clever photography tips
Image by Rikki Hibbert

OR…learn how to make one of your own here.

5. Don't Force “Inspiration” – It Will Just Leave You Feeling Overwhelmed

Personally, I follow many photographers whos work I just love and feel envy toward what they seem to achieve on a weekly basis through their blogs, but this doesn't mean I am desperate to replicate this. This could be where some are going wrong…

So, remember too you can use movies, sports, tv or even commercials to inspire your creativity. You don't necessarily have to be focused on those blogs you follow on social media and become fixated on certain ideas. Try and take a more relaxed approach, you'll be surprised!

At the end of the day, you ideally want to be creating your own ideas, not just copying and putting a spin on them. It's hard to do this, don't get me wrong, but the outcome will be infinitely more satisfying.

clever photography tips
Image by Bess Hamiti

6. A Fantastic DIY Reflector Using Insulation Board

This costs very little and can provide some great uses for your portraits. You might be asking, why not use a simple large circular reflector like everyone else does? Well, while these are great for filling in shadows by reflecting light back toward your subject's face for a more flattering look, it will only do this for head and should shots, not the entire body.

A full body “large” reflector board might cost you somewhere in the region of $70+ and insulation board will do the same thing. Just cover the edges with white duct tape, and you're good to go.


Hopefully, these tips will enable you to just look a little outside the box for some ideas – ones that are often free and closer to home. Any tips you can think of or just something plain weird you've heard through other photographers, drop a comment!

Further Learning

Working on building your skills, you’ll soon learn that for any great photograph you NEED to be able to use and manipulate light, there’s no escaping that.
Luckily, we have a course designed to bring your light skills up to scratch! “Fantastic Fundamental Light Skills”

About Author

Russell is a self-taught photographer who loves travel and capturing life as it unfolds. Having lived in the far east for a few years with some long term travel, this catalyzed his new-found passion for photography.
Lifestyle, Food, and Event Photography are areas he enjoys most.

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