10+ top DIY photography tips

The use of light in photography is crucial to taking the perfect picture. Experimentation is key to learning how different colors, textures and lighting affect the outcome of a photo. The subject should always be the focal point of a photograph. Avoid any technique that retracts from the beauty of the subject.
There are numerous tips available to photographers. The 10+photography tips detailed below will not only improve photography techniques but hopefully offer new ideas to the novice photographer. Learn how to make a reflector, tabletop v-flat, how to shoot with paper scrim, setup still-life photography and so much more.
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How to use flowers as clothing
Place the subject in a sitting or standing position. Consider whether the subject should "wear" the flower as a hat, blouse, skirt or dress. Move closer or further away from the subject until the flower appears to cover the body as clothing.
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Select the perfect flower. Consider the color and shape of the flower, and the effect it will have on the subject. The difference between a complementary or contrasting color will produce a very different effect on a photograph. Watch the video below to learn how to select and hold the flower for the photograph.
How to make reflector with foil
Use a razor to remove one side of a large cardboard box. Wrap the front of the cardboard with aluminum foil. Fold excess foil over the backside of the cardboard. Use masking tape to secure excess foil to the cardboard. Seat or position the subject near a window. Place the reflector beside the subject; take a photograph.
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How to make a tabletop v-flat
Draw a vertical line down the middle of a 20-inch-by-30-inch foam board. Cut the board on the line using a razor. Tape the two pieces of foam board back together using masking tape. The foam board now opens and closes, acting as a v-flat. Place the v-flat on a tabletop.
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How to shoot bokeh
Bokeh, or a blurry effect captured by the lens of a camera, is a technique used by many photographers. To shoot a bokeh, photographers rely on the blurriness of objects and light. When used correctly, the soft look of a bokeh makes the subject the focal point of the image.
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Use white string lights to create a bokeh effect. Use the f-stop on a camera to create a shallow depth of field. The video below demonstrates how to use string lights to capture bokeh in photography.
How to shoot paper scrim
Attach paper scrim to a photo frame with masking tape. Place the subject on a flat reflective surface; place an angled light a few feet in front of the subject. Hold the scrim behind the subject. Take the photograph.
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How to make a photo frame backdrop
Put on rubber gloves. Bring photo frames outdoors. Place the frames on a plastic-covered work surface. Spray frames of different sizes in gold metallic spray paint. Allow paint to dry. Hang frames in landscape and vertical positions on a white wall. Hang smaller frames inside larger frames to create an interesting backdrop.
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How to set up a still life
The appeal of still-life photography is that the subject never moves. It is up to the photographer to choose a subject and arrange it for the perfect photo shoot. Position the subject so it captures the light or lack thereof in its environment.
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Determine the subject of the photo. If the subject of the photo is a flower, for example, arrange the flower and any greenery in a vase. Place the subject on a table near natural light. View the video below for tips on arranging flowers and positioning the subject for a still-life photograph.
How to make a moon and stars backdrop
Turn a bowl upside down on a white piece of paper. Trace the bowl with a magic marker. Cut the shape out of paper. Stack multiple pieces of white paper. Trace the shape of a star on the paper. Cut the star out of the stack of paper, revealing multiple paper stars. Cut several lengths of gold twine. Glue multiple stars to each strand of twine. Reserve one strand of twine for the large moon. Hang the strands on a dark-colored wall.
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How to make a flower wall backdrop
Create a flower wall backdrop out of artificial flowers. Purchase several bundles of flowers. Flowers should appear uniform in color and appearance. Avoid dark colors; instead, opt for pink or white. Use scissors to cut flowers from the bundle. Glue the blooms to a foam board. Fill the foam board with blooms; fill gaps between blooms with greenery. Set the backdrop several feet behind the subject. Take the photo.
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How to paint with light
Light plays an important role in photography. Interestingly, light may actually be used to "paint" a still-life subject, making it appear darker or lighter. Observe the color of a subject when a concentrated light source, such as a flashlight, is pointed at it.
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Place a still-life subject on a dark surface. Use small aperture and a slow shutter speed. Watch the video below for tips on room lighting and placement of the flashlight to achieve a "painted" subject.
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