Photography equipment can be expensive, but there are some cheap (and even free!) alternatives to help you get the most out of your photos without breaking your piggy bank.
1. Use an egg timer to make time-lapse footage.
Time-lapse footage can be really fun to make, but slow-moving camera rigs cost a fortune. For a low-cost alternative, try this idea from YouTuber COOPH. First, mount your camera to the top of an egg timer. As the timer slowly spins, your camera will capture amazing moving time-lapse footage.
2. Use string as a tripod.
Tripods are one of the most important photo tools, but it can be annoying to carry them around all the time. Instead, try DigitalRev TV's trick for making your own "tripod" by mounting string to your camera. Use enough string to create slack with your feet, and your camera will be stabilized. It's not as steady as a normal tripod, but it takes up almost no space in your pocket or camera bag.
3. Make a camera stabilizer from a belt.
Camera stabilizing kits cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, but there's an alternative that you probably already own. Simply wrap your camera in a belt. As demonstrated by Peter McKinnon, the belt will stabilize the camera and give you silky-smooth video.
4. Create a beauty dish out of a pie pan.
If you have a few bucks to spare, you can make a DIY beauty dish that will dramatically improve your portraits. According to DigitalRev TV, all you need is a pie pan and some tin foil. Cut a hole in the pie dish, stick your flash through it, then tape some foil in front of your flash to bounce the light onto the pie pan. The beauty dish reflects light softly and evenly on your subject.
5. Rub ChapStick on your lens for dreamy soft focus.
It sounds strange, but rubbing ChapStick or petroleum jelly on your lens can create a dreamy soft focus in your photos. In the golden age of Hollywood, directors would use this technique to make actors look better on film.