If you’ve landed here then you know how expensive photography can be. Whether it’s a hobby or a profession, the costs can quickly pile up. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned or discovered by thinking a little outside of the box without sacrificing function.
The most important thing to take away from all of this is that you should think for yourself and be the creative that you are! There are many solutions to these common purchases. Also, there are some commercial products that just don’t work the way you want or need them to… dive in a do something different. Possibly even patent it and make thousands!… or hundreds. 🙂
1.Mastering the Light….stands
Probably my absolute go-to, to share with others is this first one. We all have at least one light stand (I have seven or more!) and they all need to be carried and stored. I’ve been using this light stand hack since 2014. Don’t bother buying a traditional light stand bag, buy this instead!
It’s a speaker stand bag with two zippered compartments and heavy-duty zippers for $25! That’s a money-saving value right there! I use the 50″ version and hold 13 foot light stands with no worries. I actually have two of these bags with different sets of stands depending on the job that I’m doing!
2. C-Standing on all the money that I saved
You may be thinking “that’s great Sean, but I use C-Stands….”. I’ve got that covered too because I use C-Stands on occasion as well. Now, they’re a bear to transport and weight a ton once you have two or more together. This can help.
The Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Golf Bag holds both of my C-Stands (with room for up to four) and it has wheels and padding. I don’t put more than two C-Stands in this bag because it can get pretty heavy. Pick this up and your back will thank you! Get it for ~$57.
3. Lights, modifiers, action!
If you use any sort of flash gear, then you’re moving stuff – on the regular. You need a gear hauler that’s preferably compact, holds a ton and doesn’t sacrifice protection all while staying easy on the wallet.
Check out the Flash Xplor 600 case and start using this to carry around your Evolv 200‘s and speedlights and all sorts of small parts. While it was designed to carry the Xplor 600 strobe, you can stuff all sorts in them!
Here’s what I have in mine: (see photo below as well)
- Evolv 200 x2
- Zoom Li-On Speedlight x2
- MagSphere x2
- MagBounce x2
- MagGrid x3
- MagGel xAll
- MagGel Holder x2
- MagRing x2
- MagShoe x3
- XPro Triggers x2
- Extra AA Batteries for triggers
- Wallet for all the gels
Oh, did I mention that this case is ~$40.
4. Carry your (extra) camera without looking like a bridled horse
When photographing weddings, it’s great to have a second camera body on you as a backup and/or with a wider lens. I know that there are many options out there but I was in the market and wanted my solution to do two things. First, it needed to sit at my waist, not another strap and secondly, I had to be quick. The natural solutions was the Spider Holster but it’s expensive… at least to me. I can do better for less.
That being said, I love my Op/Tech USA strap. I’ve used it for a decade and it’s super comfortable and affordable. Not to mention the uni-loop system that it uses makes it easy to switch things around. So, for wedding days or events where I want to carry a second body, I use the uni-loop attached to a keychain that can’t come off of my belt. It’s such an easy and simple solution! All for around $17. Unhook and go!
If you’re concerned about the Uni-Loops, don’t be– they’re rated for 100 pounds!
5. Weigh down your stands… differently (and better)
So we all have probably seen a photography sandbag for light stands. Here’s a super simple and better solution. Use ankle weights. Mhmm. Wrap those things around your light stand when you get on location and it does the job well and you can still move your stand around to different spots and never readjust your sandbag! Easy Peasy.
If any of these photography tips helped you, please let me know. I love being able to help people! Yes, this post is full of affiliate links. No, it doesn’t cost you anything extra but it does help support me and what I do. So, if anything here helped you or saved you some time and money, then support me by using one of these links! Thanks!
Share with a fellow photographer!