Alternative Uses for Your Photography Gear

Alternative Uses for Your Photography Gear

We work in a field where, whatever we buy something for, we use for its intended purpose. Sometimes we just want to save money and dig through our stuff to see what else we can use it for. Here's a list of things you can use your gear for, either in a pinch or as a better replacement for something else.

Tripods are probably the most widely used piece of equipment variety wise. If you're handy you can track down a vintage tripod at an estate sale or eBay and make it a lamp. This is probably my favorite use because it really puts photography on display in your living room and gives a unique look to your living space. If you're lazy like me, you can buy an awesome one pre-made.


You can use a tripod as a gun mount. Yup, pretty amazing. There is a company called Hog Saddle that makes mounts that specifically work with Manfroto tripods. It was designed by a Marine Scout Sniper as a rifle rest tailored to the special operations and law enforcement community.


If you're in a big pinch and heading out from a shoot, always keep a cheap umbrella around to combat rainy weather. At $13 they're not bad when you need to cover your expensive gear. Just try not to use the $11k Broncolor umbrella.

C Stands mostly are used for hanging laundry.  Either wet laundry that you want to hang dry, or when you're too lazy to put it in the hamper and you just throw it on your C stand.

Lens cloth's are awesome because they're some of the softest cloths for your camera, but they work wonders on your eye glasses as well as your computer screen.

Dust blasters work wonders on keyboards. You know when you're sitting there and you notice something stuck in your keyboard? Instead of jabbing at it with a pen, yes I know you have don't deny it, use your dust blaster. Makes your life a lot easier.

Video Lights are a pretty obvious use for alternative light source. Most people use them as painting lights. As you can see we put them to good use painting the Fstoppers offices.




Super clamps can be used for mounting pretty much anything that isn't photography related, but easiest and most feasible is surround sound speakers. If you have curtains hanging, you can mount them to the rod.



We'd love to hear other things you've used in alternative ways, so post them in the comments!

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I use gaffers tape to tie up my GF in bed sometimes

Why don't you use Super Clamps?

pretty epic...

yeah, I use gaffers tape with Hank's GF also.

You're fast losing readership with badly written, error filled trash like this. Posting nothing at all is better than making yourselves look like fools.

Jon Winkleman's picture

I have long used lens cloths for my eyeglasses. They are better quality lint-free microfiber cloths than those sold at the local pharmacy for eyeglasses.

McGyver could have done a heck of a lot better if he used gaff instead of duck-tape

Jerrit Pruyn's picture

The magic arm is my solution to most of my issues. Super charging my AC.

Stupid post. No surprise for the sadness that is now Fstoppers, stupid post.

What's next, using 35mm film as a cheese slicer?


What's even sadder is that you've bothered commenting,

The other way around but, my single point rifle sling also makes a great camera strap.
Good for two types of shooting...

I use the 'Savvy Sniper' single point with the detachable buckle. Makes for an awesome and easily adjustable camera strap/

I was paint my kids room last week and used a full apple to get the high points

Um... a halogen light is like $12 at walmart. Why in the hell would you use your expensive video light when painting? Maybe because you think your readers are all idiots and wouldn't know any better?

Or perhaps they wanted to save the $12 and already had the LED lights around? I used my LED video lights last night when I did some grilling. Worked wonderfully and didn't cost me an additional $12. I like to make the most out of the items I have already.

Alberto Tanikawa's picture

I've used LED lights, that I have built myself for photographic and video lighting purposes, for backup lighting during both Irene and Sandy hurricane induced blackouts. Likewise, I've used both an Alienbees VML and a Dynalite XP1100 to recharge our phones, and to power my laptop in order to transfer files from a wedding, prior to heading out to the next.

Used a super clamp to make a temporary mic holder for my father, who also made use of my Sennheiser MKE 600 for his conference calls when his usb mic failed (*just to preclude someone from saying, the obvious, that the MKE 600 isn't a usb mic, he used the analog analog input on his computer).

I bring my close-up filter when camping to start a fire, in case the magnesium shavings fail to ignite.

I use my light stand as a portable parrot stand ;-)

Reflector holder and stand to dry off my pants, socks, and hoodie after getting caught in a thunderstorm on my way into the office. Thank God no one knocked on the door.

great post, now where is my super clamp? oh yeah I used them to hang speakers so now they aren't in my kit!! Remember this is a photo website, co opting everyday things for photography is a good article, co opting photography equipment for stupid things is well stupid. No we know why the average income of a photographer is $28K.

We use my battery LED Video lights attached to super clamps to light my wife's Art Festival Booth after dark. You can see how much brighter her tent is than every one else's. Made a great excuse for me to get more,(without getting in trouble)