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Cool Photography Tricks with Household Items Anyone Can Do

by Jennifer Violet 5 years ago in how to
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Looking to give your photos rad filters without spending money on actual filters? Just find something laying around the house! These are the coolest photography tricks with household items.

In photography, filters are meant to make any photo appear much cooler and professional. Many photographers use filters on the computer to edit their images, but there are so many tools out there to create stunning filters naturally. From fake snow to glittering stars around the frame, there are so many ways to make your own filters without relying on the computer. Sure, the computer features plenty of filters and effects, but they're all the same. We want something new. We want something genuine. We want something that will make our photos stand out from the rest!

Believe it or not, your everyday household items can help you with that. It's true, photography doesn't have rules when it comes to taking the most gorgeous and professional photos ever. And there are objects laying around the house that you can easily use for filters. If you are a beginner in photography, these tricks can give you a hand! If you're wondering what they may be, these are the photography tricks with household items you can use as an aspiring photographer!

Magnifying Glass

Many people actually use a magnifying glass to create a filter for a close-up look. Since magnifying glasses in general help us see things from a closer perspective, this gives our photos a closer perspective on the model, too! The magnifying glass will give us an up close and focused look on an object while the rest of the photo is relaxed or blurred.

Instead of buying a macro lens to achieve these shots, you can make your very own with a magnifying glass. It's super simple to use and it can make almost all of your shots unique.

Aerosol Spray and Lighter

Okay, this is a dangerous option among the photography tricks with household items—aerosol spray and a lighter. Yes, we shouldn't play with fire, but make sure you practice fire safety before attempting this out. Before getting started, also keep a bucket of water by your side as well as wet rags in case something does catch on fire. Don't spray towards the model, don't spray towards the camera, and test this out outdoors only—never indoors.

As I was saying, this is actually a pretty cool filter because it makes the model in the photo look so badass with fire around the frame. For a red and orange filter, or if you're looking for a filter that resembles natural fire, this is a dangerous, but exceptional option.


Using a mirror as one of the best photography tricks with household items is a brilliant idea. There's so many ways you can do with a mirror. From focusing light on a specific area to giving off shadows. Either a large mirror or a small one, whatever vision you have in mind for your photo, there's always a mirror laying around somewhere in the house.

Allow your model to pose in a dark room during the day and use a mirror to reflect the sun off of it and onto the model. You can reflect the sunlight on the eyes of the model for a mysterious look (but be careful!) or reflect sunlight on any area of the image where you want the attention on. You can also put the reflection on any flat surface to capture the model's shadow. Using a mirror is the perfect way to achieve a simple natural light portrait, too.


As a matter of fact, tights can be used to create a really cool filter. What the tights create is a really vivid affect, almost opaque to the shot. If you're searching for the perfect filter to make your photos come out looking super vintage, this is a great alternative to achieve that. Plus, you can easily find tights anywhere in the house from someone who wears them.

What you do is cut out a piece from the tights, cover your camera's lens with it, and use a rubber band to fasten it so it doesn't come off when shooting. You can use any color tights, but photographers mainly use nude for a more natural affect. This trick will have all of your photos looking vintage in the best quality.

Water Droplets

Among the photography tricks with household items, you can easily get your hands on water... it's just water. Whether you want to shoot through a water droplet, or put a whole bunch of them in one shot, water is a great technique in creating a beautiful filter for any image.

There are multiple ways to use water as a filter. You can place a few droplets on your camera's lens and take photos that way. Allow your model to hold up a glass frame with droplets of water on it and it'll appear as though your model is looking through a window on a rainy day.

Aluminum Foil

Want snow in your photoshoot? No need to shave ice and create bucks of that. Instead, you can use aluminum foil as snow! Or if you want a bunch of glitter falling in your photos, this is also a great technique in achieving that.

It's actually really easy to use. Just take aluminum foil, cut the pieces into strips and then into squares, and there you have it! Load your buckets with these and toss them in the air and above your model when shooting to get the best looking snow or glitter affect ever. No need to settle on those cheesy, snow filters on the computer anymore.

Glass of Water

So many photographers use a glass of water to create the coolest affect. But what can a glass of water possibly create? Well, for the best photography tricks with household items, a glass of water can give your model an opposite perspective! Meaning if you place a glass of water in front of an object and you hold the camera in front of it upside down, while the object in the back looks upside down, the glass of water will turn the perspective of the object right-side up.

A great way to use this method is having your model in whatever position you want, and place either a tall glass of water or even a wine glass filled with water on any surface in front of your model. Turn your camera upside down, facing the glass of water in front of the model, and the affect will happen naturally!

In order to create the really magical starry filter, you're going to need fairy lights. If you happen to not own any, this pack of two by GDEALER works ideally! For that magical affect around your frame and your model, fairy lights give off stunning spheres of anywhere you place it. This is also a great self photography tip for the perfect selfie.

You can hold the fairy lights close to your lens so the lights blur out and what's in focus is your model. Or your model can hold the lights and have some of the lights in focus and some out of focus. This method is definitely one of the best photography tricks with household items.

Lace Table Cloth

Similar to using tights, using a lace table cloth is also a great way to capture beautifully filtered photos. Whether your mother has a couple of them laying around on coffee tables, or your grandmother is a lace table cloth hoarder, it's fairly easy to get your hands on a piece of lace cloth. And if the lace cloth happens to have a design on it, that's a plus on the filter!

You simply place the lace cloth over the lens and snap photos that way or have someone hold up the cloth for a better shot. This gives your photos a semi-burry filter and if you have any designs on the lace cloth, they'll be incorporated in the shots, too!


Lastly from the best photography tricks with household items you can try out, a CD is a great way to throw in some rainbow into the shots! Have you ever seen those Instagram posts of models with a ray of rainbow across their faces? You can achieve that affect with a CD!

Just like how you would hold up a mirror to reflect sunlight, you'd do the same with the CD. The rays of sunlight will give off a stunning rainbow filter and you can apply the filter anywhere on the model or object. Put a slash of a natural, colorful rainbow in your shots with this unique filter technique!

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About the author

Jennifer Violet

Bakes sweets ever Thursday and donates them to her local homeless shelter. Is an owner to five pugs and can count to 500 in French.

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