Photography hacks

Trying out TikTok photography ‘hacks’ to see if they actually work


Photographers Rachel and Daniel at mango street decided to try some “photo hacks” they found on TikTok. These types of quick “hacks” are known to be fake or overdone, and they wanted to see which ones actually work and which ones are just “meh.”

The duo tried out five popular “hacks” in all: three for portraits and two for product photography. And perhaps the most surprising thing is that they all have at least kind of work. Some required tinkering, and not all produced stellar results, but there was a nugget of truth behind each one.

Probably the most disappointing was the mirror/laptop hack, which seems to have real potential until you actually try it…

  1. Toilet Paper Smartphone Snoot – Verdict: Works after a few tweaks
  2. Mirror + laptop = cool product photos – Verdict: Kind of work…
  3. Shaved ice product shots – Verdict: Totally works
  4. Telephone Reflection Prism – Verdict: Works
  5. Flashlight through a colander – Verdict: tricky, but possible

If you remember, YouTuber Jessica Kobeissi recently debunked a bunch of ostensibly fake photography hacks she found online, where the final image was clearly taken with professional equipment, but the “hack” showed nothing more than a smartphone and cardboard or a flashlight.

It’s nice to see that there are some really workable hacks out there.

To see all of the above hacks in action and see how Daniel and Rachel made them work, watch the full video at the top. And if you like their quick style of tutorials and tips, you can find more on the Mango Street YouTube Channel.

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