Low-Budget Photography Equipment

They say it takes money to make money, but sometimes it pays to wait before making a wallet-draining investment. If you’re a hobby photographer hoping to hone your skills, these photography tips might work for you. I’ll show you how to get buy without spending a fortune. In my opinion, you shouldn’t buy equipment before you’re ready to, and its much better to practice your craft for awhile first. Otherwise you might not have the knowledge to make an informed decision when you do buy something. Or worse, you might make a purchase and regret it later. These tricks are 100 percent regret-free.

So, without further ado, I present to you a list of materials you can use to make your photography hobby more interesting for less money.


I think I could write an article about the many uses for sheets, but that’s for another day. Sheets make excellent cheap backdrops for your photos. This can be true for photographing people or objects. Find a creative way to hang a sheet, and then you have a backdrop. Study the set ups of professional photographers, and try to mimic it with your sheet. You can also find a way to hang a sheet in front of the light source if you’d like to diffuse (soften) harsh light. At all times, never have the sheet touch the light source, and be aware of any potential fire hazards as you set up your photography area.


Posterboard can serve as a backdrop for small objects or to give your photographs more fill light. To use the posterboard as a reflector, you will want the board to be white. You’ll want to practice positioning it at different angles in order to get the best lighting. The board will act as an addition light source, bouncing light onto the area. This is great if you are photographing a person and one side of their face is darkened; you can use the board to reflect light on the other side.

Clamps and Clips

You can buy professional-grad clamps for use with your backdrops and other photography equipment, but why do that if you don’t need to yet? You can always be on the lookout in your home and in stores for things you can use to attach parts of your photography setup. Clamps or clips can help when setting up your sheet backdrop. If you are using the clamps to hold anything valuable, make sure to test them for strength first.


Instead of buying expensive lighting, why not experiment with the lights you have? One simple way to change the quality of light coming from your desk lamp (or other light you’re using) is to replace the tungsten bulbs with daylight bulbs or blue-tinted bulbs. Experiment with bulbs and lamps to find what works for your photography.

Light Boxes

Something fun to try as you experiment with your photography is a do-it-yourself light box. There are a number of detailed tutorials about how to do this. For example, Digital Photography School has a good tutorial, and the number one ingredient is a cardboard box!

Now you have some new ideas to jazz up your hobby, go out and do something. Photography is an adventure, so just keep trying things and keep practicing.