12 Ways to Use Your Camera as a Tool


Never leave the house without two things:

  1. a Swiss Army knife, and
  2. your camera.

Why the knife? Because it’s a multitasking tool that you can use a kajillion different ways.

Why a camera? For exactly the same reason.

We’ve rounded up so many alternate uses for your camera that you’ll start bringing it everywhere. Use it as a flashlight, a memory aid, or a mirror, and you’ll never let it leave your side again.

Your camera may be a toy, but there’s no reason it can’t also be a tool.

12 Ways to Use Your Camera as a Tool

1. Mark Your Parking Spot

parking-smBefore you head out on a long trip, don’t bother rooting around for a pen to write down your parking space number. Take a photo of your parking spot so you can find it again when you come back.

2. Use It Instead of a Printer

map-smIf you need to take directions with you, but don’t have a printer, take a picture of the computer screen instead. You can zoom in quite a lot, and will be able to read the directions on the camera’s monitor.

Also works for confirmation numbers, email addresses and incriminating online photos of friends and acquaintances.

3. Remember Fiddly Details

replacement-smYou know the drill: you run out of something, you go to the store to replace it, and you realize you can’t remember which size or model number you need. Snap a photo before you throw the old one away and you’ll have it on you when you need it.

4. Mark Your Property

contact-smTake a photo of your name and address, and lock it on your memory card. That way, if you ever lose your camera, the person who finds it will know who it belongs to.

5. Shopping Lists

ingredients-smBefore heading out to buy ingredients for a project or recipe, take a picture of the ingredient list. Zoom in on the camera’s screen to be able to see each item on the list.

6. Retrace Your Steps

steps-smTake pictures of each step when you take something apart, so you’ll know how to put it back together later on. That way you won’t end up with those four screws and one unidentified twiddly bit that always seem to be left over after “fixing” something.

7. Collect Evidence

Heaven forfend you get in a fender bender, but if you do, you’ll be glad you had a camera. Taking photos of the accident scene will help you remember details of what really happened, and it’ll make the insurance claim rigmarole a lot easier.

8. Use It As a Mirror

mirror-smCheck your teeth for spinach when you don’t have a mirror. Or see how you look in really really dark sunglasses.

9. Make a Wishlist

things-smWhen you see a book at a friend’s place that you want to read, an album you want to get, or a gift you want to pick up for somebody, take a photo of it. That way you’ll have all the information you need when you finally get around to going shopping.

10. Use It As a Flashlight

If you get caught without a flashlight, use the flash or focusing light on your camera to help you see better.

Or, if you drop your keys behind the sofa, use the monitor on your camera to help you see into places you can’t quite reach.

11. Remember Places You Want to Go

place-smIf you’re like us, you have a list of places you want to go, or restaurants you want to try, but when you find yourself with a free evening you draw a blank on where to go.

Taking pictures of places when you see them will remind you that there are loads of new places to try, so you won’t end up at the same restaurant every Friday night.

12. Record Phone Numbers

phone-number-smChances are it’s easier to find your camera in a bag full of stuff than it is to find a blank piece of paper and a pen that actually works.

Save yourself some time and snap a picture of that crucial phone number when you’re out apartment hunting, or when you see a flyer you don’t want to forget.

More Ideas

If you’re looking for more tips on how to use your camera as a tool, check out this post at cockeyed.com!