My daughters love knick knacks, things that lay all over my floors and objects that instantly creep up to clog my vacuum. But I’ve discovered that these little pieces of annoying plastic toys can be a fun little tool for fake flares, filters or anything else to help adding character to your photographs.


I picked up the yellow princess ornament and threw it in my camera bag, knowing that I would have an assortment of shoots that day.

By placing one of the yellow plastic pedals up against my lens, I was able to create a filter or a faux lens affect to add some character. By moving it around the front of the lens, I used it to work around and frame my subject as well.

This is an effect you can easily replicate in Photoshop, but sometimes the creative process is half the fun. So go, get creative and use some random objects lying around your own home to use on your shoots! And of course, share your process with us on our Photofocus or Google+ groups.