6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity 

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity

If you want to make your photography stand out, add some flair to your portraits, or just try something new, we have some ideas for you. To get more creative photos, you can use ordinary items you have laying around the house. Here are some tricks that you can test out right away. 

There are many different types of photography tricks that make your photos more unique. We’ve chosen six that only require the use of your camera, ordinary household items, and a subject for your photography. These tricks are best applied to portraits, but you’re welcome to come up with other uses as well.

Shaped Bokeh 

Get some paper (darker colored paper works best). Think of a shape you’d like to try that isn’t too complicated. Cut the shape out of the paper. We chose a cute and simple heart shape. Use a rubber band to attach your “filter” to the lens and make sure that it’s held on tightly and secured around the entire diameter of the lens. Depending on how hard your paper is, either use only a cut-out circle that matches the diameter of your lens, or if the paper’s soft enough, wrap it around the lens. 

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
The lights behind the model are heart-shaped.
Nikon D750, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S NIKKOR G, 1/100s, f/1.6, ISO 320, focal length 50mm.

This is a trick that can be used on lights behind people, objects, or animals. Or, something worth trying that looks spectacular is shaped bokeh behind a city scene after dusk. Every single light that spreads out before you will have a unique shape that you yourself hand crafted.

We recommend a lower f-number for this trick.

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
What a homemade “filter” attached to the lens looks like.

Reflections using a CD 

If you still have any CDs lying around the house, you can use them to get unique reflections in your photo. CDs may be outdated, but surely you can scrounge up at least one CD or DVD. If you put it up to your lens, you will immediately be able to see the beautiful reflections it makes directly in your viewfinder. 

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
I love film photography so I edited the final photo to give it a vintage look. Notice the creative reflection in the left part of the photo, the result of putting a CD next to the lens.
Nikon D750, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S NIKKOR G, 1/100s, f/1.8, ISO 200, focal length 50mm.

You can use this trick with reflections on people or objects, in the city, or on pets. It’s completely up to you. 

We spent some time experimenting with similarly untraditional lighting of portraits in the article, Want Truly Original Portrait Lighting ? Then Experiment with Reflections and Refraction

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
What our setup looked like during the photoshoot.

A “Rainy” Day

If you’re in the mood to experiment with a gloomy and melancholic atmosphere, you can use a spray bottle to spray some water on the window. This way you‘ll get the mood of a rainy day from the comfort of your own home. 

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
A photograph with atmosphere that tells a story. All thanks to a simple spray bottle.
Nikon D750, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S NIKKOR G, 1/100s, f/2.5, ISO 200, focal length 50mm.

It’s an extremely simple thing to do. The only trouble you might encounter is when trying to focus. Play around with the shot and try to focus on both the water droplets and the model, or if necessary, try manual focus. 

You can also try using the water droplets to do macro photography. The reflections in the droplets are stunning! 

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
How we took rainy day window pictures on a sunny day.

Fire

This trick may look complicated, but it isn’t. All you need is: 

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
How to take a supernatural photo while not burning your model.
Nikon D750, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S NIKKOR G, 1/125s, f/2.5, ISO 200, focal length 50mm.

When it starts to get dark outside, take some newspaper to a place where you can safely light a small fire and set light the newspaper alight. Make sure your camera is ready! Take pictures of the burning newspaper. I photographed the burning newspaper on its own with a prime 50mm lens and settings of 1/320s and ISO 200. 

Photos of the burning newspaper need to be dark. Everything surrounding the fire should be black or at least as dark as possible. When you have your fire picture, you can add it to any photograph by adding a layer with the “Screen” layer blending mode. And you’re done.

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity

The only remaining thing in the picture is the fire with some of its surroundings. The unwanted parts can easily be removed from the mask using the eraser in the drawing tools. 

It’s also a good idea to make sure the photo to which you add the fire is properly lit

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
By taking pictures of the fire you set, you can get effects that can be used on hundreds of other photos.

Use a television as your background 

You can place your model, your child, a pet, or an object in front of a television or computer and set any kind of background. It can be a tropical beach, mountains, a fantasy world, medieval city, colorful bokeh, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
We shot a rainy day once again, this time with an abundance of color.
Nikon D750, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S NIKKOR G, 1/100s, f/1.8, ISO 200, focal length 50mm.

It may be slightly more complicated to get the right angle and settings so that you can’t see that the background is actually a television. For this reason, I recommend as long a focal length as possible. The longer the focal length, the better it will blend in with the background. We managed with a 50mm focal length, but a lower focal length will lead to problems. 85-105mm or even higher is ideal, but you’ll need to account for more space.

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
What the setup looked like during the photoshoot.

A magic box 

This trick is ideal for photography with children. The whole idea lies in that we hide a light source in a box. The flashlight on your smartphone is more than enough. Definitely photograph in a setting where it’s somewhat dark (unfortunately, we couldn’t wait), making your photo that much more magical. 

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
What could be inside the box? 
Nikon D750, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S NIKKOR G, 1/100s, f/1.8, ISO 200, focal length 50mm.

You can come up with a story to go along with your photoshoot and even throw together a costume. Be careful when photographing subjects with glasses. Glasses create unattractive shadows so it’s better to remove them before the photoshoot. 

6 Photography Tricks to Help Unleash Your Creativity
What is actually inside the box.

This is just the beginning

If you find yourself running out of ideas and don’t know what to photograph, think of this as your guide for starting off. There are plenty of more tricks you can experiment with. You can search the internet for more ideas and let yourself get inspired. Use these 6 tricks we’ve given you as a jumping-off point for more ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

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