7 Household Items You Never Thought to Use for Photography

iStock 598250530 min image

I fully admit that I'm not the most creative photographer in the world.

I mean, I try. And when I see a cool new technique I like to test it out.

But I just don't have that creative part of my brain that allows me to come up with crazy awesome photography ideas.

Fortunately, the Cooperative of Photography is oozing with creative spirit.

A while back, they put out the video above in which they demonstrate how to use seven normal, everyday household items to make better photos.

I've summarized each tip below the video for quick reference, too.


Beer Cosy Lens Protector

beercosy image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

Breaking a lens is a terrible thing, particularly because it's completely preventable.

You don't have to buy an expensive lens pouch to protect your glass, either.

Just take the cosy off your beer (maybe let it dry first!) and slide it on your lens.

Then you don't have to worry about your lens getting bumped around because it's got a nice, soft layer of protection around it!

Black Tile Reflector

blacktile1 image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

Just a simple black tile for kitchens or bathrooms is enough to help you get epic shots of small subjects.


Because you can use its reflective surface to add depth, dimension, and drama to your photos.

blacktile2 image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

Just one look at the image above, and you can see what I mean.

Talk about drama!

And it's all done with a simple tile - crazy, right?

Flip the World on Its Head With a Glass Ball

glassball1 min image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

Shooting through objects gives you a fun and interesting way to create a different kind of photo.

Using a simple glass ball like the one above might not seem like anything special, but the results say otherwise...

glassball2 min image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

Not only can you flip your subject upside down, but if you flip the image on its head, you can see the subject right side up and the world upside down.

I like how they included the ball in the shot, too, that way you can see the larger scene and the smaller one in the ball.

It's a quick and easy way to create something unexpected and a bit whimsical, too.

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Light Up Your Photos With Some Flames

aeresol1 min image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

I don't think I have to tell you that this one can be dangerous...

But I will anyway - this one can be dangerous, so exercise extreme caution if you choose to try this trick!

aeresol2 min image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

By lighting the aerosol on fire, you get an interesting flame detail that adds tons of drama to a portrait.

I like how COOPH used the flames as foreground interest in the photo above.

It's like using a frame within a frame to direct our eyes to the eyes of the model.

Just some food for thought in case you want to live on the wild side and get an interesting photo while you're at it.

Create a Vintage Effect With Tights and Rubber Bands

rubberbands1 min image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

Whoever thought of wrapping tights around a camera lens to get a cool effect must've done a lot of trial and error to arrive at that find!

But a find it is because the effect it creates is something else...

rubberbands2 min image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

There's a dreamlike look to the shot that I really appreciate, and I'm not sure that the same look is achievable otherwise.

Take COOPH's lead and create a monochrome look, or see what this trick does to a color photo.

Either way, the results are unique and eye-catching!

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Shine Some Light With a Mirror

mirror1 min image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

As we all know, light is the key to photography.

But using interesting lighting is the key to making truly unique photos.

mirror2 image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

To do that, all you need is a mirror to reflect light onto your subject, as seen above.

The effect is great - you immediately draw attention to the subject with the bright light.

I like how the light frames the model's face too, don't you?

Create a Halo With a Tube Light

tubelight1 min image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

A cheap tube light has two things going for it...

First, it's cheap!

Second, it emits great light and can be used to create an unlikely portrait.

tubelight2 min image COOPH/YouTube Screenshot

In this case, the light serves not just to illuminate the subject, but to frame her as well.

The combination of the bright light, the illuminated model, and the dark background makes for a high-contrast portrait that wows.

Cool, huh?

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Final Thoughts

Who knew that getting more creative photos was a simple matter of raiding your junk drawer in your kitchen?

Each item COOPH used in their video is likely something you have laying around somewhere, so why not put it to good use?

I think the photos they made are ultra creative and visually interesting, so do the same for your photos.

Give these tips and techniques a try (be careful with that fire one...) and see what sort of results you can get.

I know I'll be giving these a shot this weekend!

Be sure to follow COOPH on YouTube for more awesome photography ideas.

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