We’ve all had those moments when we prepare for a shoot and pack all of our equipment but on the back of our mind we think that we are forgetting something, then we arrive to location and whadayaknow we forgot an important piece of gear.
Here on DIYP we see all sorts of DIYs. From professional looking DIYs that take a week to do through a weekend projects to fun 10 minutes DIYs. But some of my most memorable DIYs are the quick-and-dirty-on-the-spot-DIYs. IT DOESN’T LOOK PRETTY but IT DOES THE JOB.
One thing I always bring to a shoot gaffers tape (narrow and wide), a clamp, and a few carabiners. I just throw it all in my bag, in case a need rises.
Here is my top 5 quick and dirty diy’s:
Before I bought a 3 feet light stand I didn’t have a choice but to use a plastic chair in my studio where I would put a studio strobe so that I could place my light below my subject. Ugly? As Hell, but it does the trick.
The Bond paper bounce card
For events I normally place a stofen omnibounce on my strobe. But last month, I left it at the studio and did not have any other diffuser. Good thing I always bring some tape, so I looked for a piece of bond paper, folded it into a rectangle and taped it over the speedlight. Pretty? No, but it did the job.
Oh, and have you ever had a boom stand with no weights? I have. Good thing that I always have a carabiner on my photography bag, so I clamped it to the boom stand. Not as ugly as the previous two, but still does the job.
Illustration board reflector
One time I was having a workshop and needed a reflector to fill in the shadows, the only reflector I could find was already about 4 years old and all the silver has fallen off of it. I got one of my illustration boards and used it as a reflector. I just cut a small hole on top and slide my light stand through there and taped it. Actually illustration boards became a standard in my studio after that.
I am not sure my Brader” Jayjay De Guzman will appreciate the fact that I am calling him a DIY hack. Yet, we always do this when we need a top down angled shot. I call it “The Trust“. I stand on chair extending and raising my arm with the camera as far as it can go and leaning as far as I can, and just give my trust to the person holding me.
Final conclusion and lesson for this article: Have a checklist.
I know you have one of those quick and dirty diy’s so share them in the comment! It doesn’t have to look pretty.