$1 Deals For Photographers

Everyone loves a good deal! And if you haven’t checked out your local dollar store then you’re definitely missing out on some stellar photo deals. Yep, you can find all sorts of amazing, useful, inexpensive stuff lining the shelves. The trick (and the fun part!) is thinking about how you can use the stuff you find for your photography or photography business. Mental exercise!!

Check out this video to see what WE found at our local dollar store!

Deals for Photographers

You’ll find tons of practical, useful things, but you’ll also find materials that could be repurposed into more valuable. Here are a few things you could look for at the dollar store:

  • Props for a photo booth
  • Branding and marketing materials
  • Product packaging
  • Flash lighting mods / reflector
  • Supplies for useful kits (medical, sewing, wedding / portrait emergencies, cheap black socks!, tools/repair)
  • Office supplies
  • Organizational supplies
  • Craft supplies
  • Toys for kids
  • Candy / treats
  • Cleaning supplies (microfibre towels, lens cleaning clothes)
  • Experimental photography materials (battery powered coloured lights, magnifying glass, sparklers)

Shopping Tips

  1. Go at an off time of day as the aisles of these stores tend to be narrow so they can cram as much stuff as possible in. This can make it difficult to leisurely navigate a packed store.
  2. Quality is generally pretty low, and some items might be scratched or broken, so check it over carefully.
  3. Think of it as an exercise in divergent thinking and keep an open mind. What cheap, common, household items can you repurpose into something more useful?
  4. A lot of dollar stores don’t seem to accept credit cards so bring cash or debit.

Your Turn!

Have you found something useful for photography or your business at the dollar store? Share it with us below!

Lauren Lim

Hey friend, I’m Lauren! I’m a photography ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I’m downright obsessed with photography, and love sharing it with super cool folks like yourself. When I’m not shooting, or writing, you can find me cooking (and eating!), traveling, and hanging out with wonderful people.

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10 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. Yes, lots of stuff! I usually spend more than I was planning, especially if I have an hour to browse and let the creative juices flow. Foamcore boards are great as reflectors for studio/portrait work. Aluminum foil cooking trays make great DIY flash modifiers. Soap bubble kits for kids. CR2 or CR123A Batteries for flash triggers (use good quality rechargeables for the main flashes). Mailing supplies. Repair/emergency supplies for the photo kit such as sewing, mirrors, tissues, etc. Fashion jewelery, costumes, boas, and other props for boudoir and fashion photography.

  2. Dollarama is a goldmine! I've found tons of great stuff for the office too, CD mailers, CD cases, CD labels, card stock. So many awesome finds! Great post

  3. Some great ideas there Lauren! But one problem with the dollar shop or the 100 Yen shop here in Japan is that some things just go out of stock and will never be re-stocked. Things like the nice wooden boxes in your video. This can be really frustrating if you're depending on getting more.

    I was browsing through the 100 Yen shop and something you might add to the list are fabrics or cute cloths. Nice for taking simple product or food shots like a plate of cookies. And white shower curtains too!

  4. *@Evan:* Man, those are some fantastic ideas! Will have to try out the foil try idea, I'm intrigued! Thanks for sharing!

    *@Sarah:* Great idea on the CD mailers, card stock, so many uses for all that great office stuff!!

    *@Ian:* That is a fantastic point about tiems going out of stock, Ian. I will have to buy a ton, or always have alternatives available. And that's an awesome idea about fabric for product and food shots! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. I'd love to see a similar post on what sorts of things you find at a thrift store. This afternoon at my favorite thrift store, I spent around $20 and got 7 photo frames in various sizes. (A couple of them will need a coat of paint, but that's easily do-able.) If you had some time to spend, I bet you could find a lot of doo-dads and props for photo projects!

  6. Haha. Lauren, you are so cute. I've always gone a bit nuts in dollar stores – especially when I went through a painting phase. So much awesome stuff!

  7. *@Sarah:* That's an awesome idea! Thank you, we'll definitely hit up a thrift store and see what we can find!

    *@Erin:* Lol, thanks! It's so easy to go nuts, and so fun. :)

  8. Christina says:

    You are freakin' adorable! Thanks for the video!

  9. “Who doesn’t want a dino… or Spock?” Lol. Great suggestions!!

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