Being that photography is an art, it shouldn't be surprising that so many creative minds have conjured up so many crazy photography gadgets over the years.
Yet, when I was doing research for this article, I was absolutely astounded by the sheer volume of awesome photography-related stuff that's available today.
A lot of what I found was - let's be honest - useless and stupid.
I came across some accessories that aren't functional and won't help you take better photos, but are fun nonetheless (lens shot glasses, anyone?).
But I also came across quite a few items that made me stop and think, "Wow, now that's a good idea!"
I've thinned the herd of the best gadgets and gizmos, and present those to you below.
HyperDrive iUSBportCAMERA Wireless Tethered Solution
I'll be the first to say that the name for this gadget is a mouthful.
I can look past that because it's so freaking cool!
Basically, this little guy wirelessly transmits the photos you take on your Canon or Nikon DSLR to your mobile device, instantly.
That means you no longer have to squint at the tiny LCD on the back of your camera to check out a shot (not that I'm advocating chimping...).
Where the real value of this gizmo comes in is in the ability to shoot in Live View and tethered, but with the benefit of a much larger screen like your iPad and without having to deal with any wires or cables running between your camera and your device.
As if that's not cool enough, this thing also acts as a remote control.
Just touch your device screen to refocus the shot. Use the remote to change aperture, ISO, shutter speed, white balance...you name it!
You can even stream live video from your camera to your device, or transfer it wirelessly once the video is done recording.
All you have to do is attach the iUSBportCAMERA to your camera's hot-shoe mount, and you're ready!
Cam Caddie Scorpion Jr. Camera Stabilizing Handle
I don't have enough time to shoot still photos as much as I'd like, so I definitely don't get out to create videos all that often.
But when I do, I want them to look better than just a dude panning his iPhone around.
The Cam Caddie is the device that helps you do just that.
It works with just about any type of camera, from your phone to your DSLR or mirrorless to a full-fledged video camera.
Regardless of what type of camera you're using, the Cam Caddie helps you get smooth, steady shots similar to what the pros get with a camera stabilizer or a jib. See for yourself in the video below:
All you do is attach your camera, grab hold of the ergonomic and padded grip, and start filming!
The Cam Caddie can even support a variety of accessories from flashes to monitors to microphones and more, giving you a solid videography platform without spending a ton of money.
If you just want to create some fun videos, this little guy should be on your list!
The Pocket Spotlight
If you're like me, your smartphone is your go-to camera most days, simply because of the convenience of having it on you for those in-the-moment shots with friends and family.
And, just like the on-camera flash on just about every camera is less than ideal, so too is the little flash on smartphones.
That's where the Pocket Spotlight comes in...
It's a continuous light source featuring bright LEDs that light up your subject with beautiful, even light. With three settings - strobe, half strength, and full strength - you have greater control over the type of light you have for smartphone-based photos.
Using it couldn't be simpler, either: Just plug it into your phone's headphone jack (sorry new iPhone users...) and fire away! See it in action in the video above by Yahoo Tech.
And, because it has its own batteries, you don't have to worry about it draining your phone while you're shooting stills and videos. Better still, you can use it as a separate light source away from your phone for better control over the direction and intensity of the light.
It's not going to be your go-to flash for professional work, but for impromptu selfies or portraits with your family and friends, this little gadget will do your photos a lot of good!
Stagerbooth Inflatable Portable Photo Booth
I know an inflatable photo booth isn't going to be high on everyone's list of photography gizmos to buy, but that doesn't mean that it's not an awesome product!
For professional or even enthusiast photographers, an instant photo booth is a great idea for weddings, parties, and other on-location shoots where people will want their photo taken.
In that regard, this isn't just a cool gadget, but it could also help you make more money in the process!
The booth inflates in just minutes, and once inside, clients can have fun while they get their photo taken.
The interior lights can be changed by remote from red or pink to yellow or orange and a variety of other colors as well.
Is it silly? Probably.
Is it fun? Definitely!
Whether you want something crazy, something fun, something functional, or something that represents all three, these photography gadgets are sure to please. If anything, these products should remind us all how fun it is to create photos and videos - and how lucky we all are to have the opportunity to do so.