One of the things I love most about photography is that there are so many ways to express your creativity.
Whether you like portraits, landscapes, or something in between, the manner in which you create photos can truly be your own.
I also appreciate how people's ingenuity and creativity in photography turn into some really worthwhile hacks that can save time and money.
Here's a few of my favorite photography hacks for beginners.
Keep Your Remote Close With Velcro
Image Credit: MarioGuti via iStock
Having a remote to trigger your shutter is a must-have on its own, but you also need a way to keep track of it.
After all, camera remotes aren't exactly big, so they're easy to misplace in your camera bag, and even easier to misplace if you're out shooting somewhere at night, as the gentleman in the photo above is doing.
Make it easier to know where your remote is by attaching Velcro to its back, and then attaching Velcro to one of the legs on your tripod (yet another must-have bit of gear you need!).
Doing so means you won't be digging through your camera bag for your remote, nor will you waste a bunch of time not taking photos because you'll have your remote attached to your tripod, right where you can quickly grab it to take a shot.
Buy Used Gear
Image Credit: mustafahacalaki via iStock
I'll admit that there's something awesome about buying brand-new photography gear. It's kind of like getting a new car - knowing that no one has ever used it or touched it before is great.
However, it's not so great as to justify the much higher expense of buying new over buying used...
When there's a pile of money on the line - sometimes hundreds of dollars - it only makes sense to buy a used camera or used lenses. Heck, by buying used, you might be able to snag a used camera and a used lens or two for the price of a brand-new camera body.
Image Credit: agrobacter via iStock
And while many-a-photographer have turned to places like Craigslist to find smokin' deals, some have been hoodwinked, found their gear to be non-functional, or even found that the gear they bought was stolen.
That begs the question...where does one buy quality used gear safely and securely?
The answer, my friends, is Gear Offer.
What's great about Gear Offer is that is was designed specifically for camera gear.
There's no sifting through a million ads for stuff you don't want like you have to do on eBay. Instead, it's just tons of great gear that has been used (and loved!) by other photography junkies.
In that regard, Gear Offer is a nice little community where photographers can come together and buy and sell gear without the worry or risk inherent with transactions on other platforms.
Creating an account is free and easy, and once your account is ready to roll, you can immediately start searching for a new-to-you camera or lens.
Once you find what you want, simply buy the product or make an offer, and if the seller accepts, all you have to do is enter your payment information and your address, and soon you'll have a box with your camera gear waiting at your front door.
How easy is that?!
Better still, as I noted earlier, you can also sell gear on Gear Offer, so a couple of years down the road when you've outgrown your current camera, you can hop on Gear Offer, create a listing, and sell it to another photographer.
It's a super slick system that ensures everyone is happy and gets a great deal. What's not to like about that?!
Gaffer Tape is a Photographer's Best Friend
Talk about a hack that keeps on giving...
Gaffer tape has about a million and one uses for photographers. Think of it like photography-specific duct tape.
Not only can it be used to modify light sources, keep backdrops in place, and attach lights to props, but you can also use it to help improve your workflow and curb mistakes.
One ingenious use for gaffer tape is to use a strip of it to cover the switches on your lens.
Sometimes, you can accidentally hit the switch on a lens and inadvertently switch from autofocus to manual focus or vice versa. By covering the switch with gaffer's tape, you don't have to worry about that problem and can keep on shooting in whatever mode you wish. For more ideas on how to use gaffer tape, check out the video above by Jared Polin.
These might seem like really simple hacks, but their ability to totally change your workflow - and, in the case of buying used gear, keep more money in your pocket - they're definitely worth a try!