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5 Ways A Hardware Store Can Help With Your Next Photo Session

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Preparing for a photography session involves a lot more than just bringing your camera. Having a good collection of supplies and accessories will help make everything go more smoothly. As the photo session approaches, you may not have the time you need to order extra photography supplies online. Instead of sacrificing your vision or photo quality, a hardware store can come in handy.

The following five types of supplies can be found at a majority of hardware stores and will help you get through a photo session. The supplies may even work so well that they become a permanent part of your photographer toolbox.


Creating even light is essential for both interior and exterior pictures. To help get this even light from any angle, a photographer often uses a reflector. A professional reflector is not needed when the hardware store has plenty of accessories that can substitute as a reflector.

  • Reflective Insulation: Typically used for attics, reflective insulation has a shiny side that is used to keep temperatures low during the summer months. This shiny side can be used to reflect sunlight onto a subject's face. It folds nicely and can be cut into multiple sizes depending on how big the image composition will be.
  • Acrylic Sheets: If you're looking for a reflector that is a little less subtle, then consider purchasing an acrylic sheet. The white pieces reflect enough fill light that can help for portraits and full body images.


The compositions that you create on your photo session are often limited to the angles you can achieve. Instead of climbing up trees or rocks, you can take high vantage point shots by purchasing a ladder. Instead of lugging a full-sized ladder on your photo session, consider a half-sized or step ladder.

When using a wide-angled lens, you have the ability to capture a large area of the ground without having to climb as high. Ladders offer great new perspectives for your photos. Look for a lightweight ladder that will be easy to carry and transport for your sessions.


If you are into specialized photography, then the hardware store can help you with creating a variety of special effect shots. Instead of purchasing an expensive green screen or blue screen, you can use tarps instead. Tarps often have holes on the edges to make them easy to hang.

Multiple shades of both green or blue tarps are available. When shopping for the tarps, pay attention to the size. You want to ensure that the tarps will fit the subjects that you are shooting.

Clamps & Hooks

Props are often a big part of photography, but you need ways to hang them. Whether you're hanging the tarps or various signs used in the photos, hardware stores offer clamps and hooks to complete the tasks. Even if you're unsure where the session will go, it's easy to toss a few extra clamps in your bag during the session.

These hardware accessories can also help you when there are obstacles in the way of your photos. For example, if there is a hanging branch in the way of a shot, you can simply clamp it to the side of a tree instead of breaking it off. When the session is done, you can remove the clamp and the tree will go back to normal.


Sometimes the flash on your camera is not enough. When you're in need of a few extra lights, a hardware store can offer a cheap and viable solution. By manipulating the light, it's easy to use a number of hardware accessories during the session.

Hardware work lights often come with their own stand so you can still shoot hands-free while the lights illuminate the scene. Small LED work lights can be held in one hand to add dramatic lighting to scenes. The straps can keep your fingers free while the light covers a subject.

When taking pictures at night, a hardware head lamp will help you see inside your camera bag while keeping your hands free. It's a great way to illuminate areas between shots and still keep your hands free. This is ideal for when you take nature pictures.

Take a stroll through your local hardware store to see what other types of tools and equipment can help you with your next photo session.