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Inspiration

11 Pro Photographers Share Their Favorite Creative Accessories

By Pye Jirsa on December 4th 2018

Struggling with burnout and trying to produce consistently creative imagery for your clients? We asked professionals out there what photography and lighting accessories they’ve been inspired by lately to create incredible images. These techniques are perfect for situations when you are dealing with an unfortunate background or room, enhancing the features within your scene, or creating something entirely new! Take a look and see which ones you would apply on your next shoot:

David J. Crewe – Website | Instagram

“Use your old scraps of backdrop paper to create props and light shaping tools for your creative shoots. For instance, a recent portrait session with a model who had just shaved her head, we decided to take the scrap of my Savage Universal Deep Red paper that would have normally been cut and thrown into recycling, and used it to create a halo/spotlight with a large light behind her to REALLY emphasize her new style.”

Ryan Longnecker –  Website | Instagram

“A great way to incorporate some depth and natural tones of a scene is to grab some leaves/sticks/plants from a scene and hold it in a corner of a lens and shoot a shallow DOF. looks like it could be a film burn or a light leak or just foreground but adds continuity and depth in landscape scenes.”

Amii & Andy Kauth – Website | Instagram

“Andy and I like to call this “SSCP” (silhouette, sunset, copper pipe). All you need is a sunset and a copper fitting, which you can easily get at your local hardware store for a few dollars. We have a 1″ x 3/4″ piece that we’ve been using since 2015. We originally got the idea from Sam Hurd, who favors a piece of aluminum pipe to create what he calls “the ring of fire.” Pro tip: You’ll find the greatest success with a 50mm lens.”

Dave & Abby Moss – Website | Instagram

“We like to use reflective objects like an iPhone or a prism.  By reflecting the sky with an iPhone screen below our couple, we were able to hide the ugly earth berm they were walking across, and add a little more interest and beauty to the scene.”

“Moraine Lake at sunrise is usually very still, reflecting the ten peaks that rim the far side of the lake in the blue glacier water. To make the scene even a little more magical, we used our prism to reflect those same ten peaks underneath the couple, making them, even more, a part of the scene.”

Jay Cassario – Website | Instagram

“I’ve never been a huge fan of putting a bunch of different things in front of your lens to create different effects. I personally feel that a lot of photographers overdo them and rely too heavily on them. With that being said, I do like experimenting with new things I haven’t seen before.”

“Having used a regular mirror and Prism a couple times, I always wondered how I could make it a little more creative to help bring the focus towards the subject. While on a trip to shoot a destination wedding, I had to pick up a pack of razors and stumbled upon mirrors that had holes in them for hanging in the shower. Boom, I immediately thought about how that’s what had been missing. Gave it a try at the destination wedding. No luck, just frustration. Then tried it a few more times and got it figured out, giving me the ability to do something much more unique than using just a mirror alone as you can see. You can purchase it here.”

 

Rob Hall – Website | Instagram

“A video monopod, portable tripod, Light stand, etc. Anything that can keep your camera in the exact same position while you manipulate lighting, allowing for seamless composites. I used a Manfrotto Monopod to do this composite which highlights students and transformed the Oakland Center at Oakland University.”

Eric Talerico – Website | Instagram

“It’s nothing new, but I’ve been using a full CTO Magmod gel, sometimes with a grid, behind the couple to recreate the sun. I learned it from the SLR Lounge ‘Re-Creating Golden Hour‘ Workshop. I also used Atmosphere Aerosol in this image to emphasize the sun rays.”

Paul Von Rieter – Website | Instagram

“I love shooting through lace in challenging settings. It’s an easy way to create a beautiful portrait in less than perfect conditions.”

Marlies Hartmann – Website | Instagram

“We were driving to shoot their wedding portraits when we noticed the overturned car. As the videographers drove up the hill ahead of us we saw the dust from the car create some light beams. We all looked at each other and knew we had to stop and shoot. After we got out of the car, I had my assistant drive up the hill as fast as possible to make more “atmosphere” with the dust. This created the natural light beams, and I had them walk together towards them, including just a small piece of the overturned car to add to the story.”

Jared Gant – Website | Instagram

“Years ago I learned from a mentor this fun way to get guests to have some fun and interact a bit with the camera. It obviously doesn’t replace a photo booth but gives the guests something fun to look forward to in the wedding gallery or blog post.”

“To get this effect I use a Sigma 8mm Fisheye. On a full-frame camera, this lens creates a circular photo with tons of distortion and really has minimal use for me. But, pair it with a Ray Flash Ring Adapter and you get a whole new effect. Immediately after taking the photo, turn the camera around to show the guest. Within minutes you’ll have a line of people wanting to have their photo taken.”

Pye Jirsa – Website | Instagram

“A good square ND filter (Ideally 4 stop) will give you enough light stopping power to do 2 things. Shoot wide open while using flash at full power, but also creatively slow down shutter speed during the day. This is wonderful for incorporating motion into your imagery as shown here. I prefer square NDs because I shoot on the go. These filters are easy to store in your bag, and they fit any size lens by simply hand holding it. It’s not necessarily the best practice for landscape photographers, but for portrait photographers on the go, hand-holding the ND filter works just fine. You can read more on how I use them in my portrait photography here.”

Which one of these techniques would you try out? Comment down below!

About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

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