Carry Your Camera

Thanks to Smart Phones, many of us have a high resolution camera in our pocket at all times. Yes this is great when your child does something cute, but why not really put this tool to use? Below I will go into some of the not so obvious benefits of always having a camera with you, and how it can help with your DIY projects.



How many times have you been out somewhere and thought “that is so cool” or “I would love to have that”? Have you ever taken pictures of those inspirations? Whether you are in a store, at the park, walking the dog, or scanning through a magazine at the doctor’s office, our world is filled with ideas. Don’t be shy, don’t ask for permission, just take your phone or pocket camera out and snap a picture so you can reference the inspiration later.  It doesn’t have to just be about home improvement or design either. My mom is always taking pictures of recipes from waiting room magazines, and many of them have been well worth it.

I fell in love with this bed at RC Willey one day, but the price tag was a little too large. Someday I plan to use this inspiration photo to build a similar style bed for my daughter.

Product Information

Whenever I go shopping, I am always taking pictures of product descriptions and prices. Many of the small items from the hardware stores are not online, making it really hard to plan your bill of material without taking a trip to the store. At the same time, you don’t want to just buy everything from the store when you are still in a design process. Your camera bridges this gap! Whenever I am looking at a product in the store, I make sure to capture the following information with my camera so I can go home to research and plan further:

  • Price
  • Pictures of the item itself
  • Item #, Model #, Description
  • Dimensions not listed in the description

When shopping for a tool box, we took pictures of signage and dimensions for several different toolboxes. Afterwards, we searched by item number to look up customer reviews, and verified the measurements we took with what we needed.

Home Information

There is also information from home that you sometimes need in sourcing items at the store. If you need another bag of connectors and don’t want to rely on your memory to match the size, why not take a picture of the bag you already have so you can just match it to the picture in the store? You also may need dimensions, so take a picture of the dimension using a tape measure in your picture. By doing this, you won’t mistake where a measurement was taken, because you can see the surroundings in the picture.

Google Shopper

Google Shopper takes your Smart Phone camera to the next level, allowing you to view detailed product information while still in the store. With this application, you can scan the barcode of the item and easily see product reviews and pricing information from other stores. I have used this application on several occasions, especially when buying things I know nothing about. One instance was when I needed to buy a humidifier for my daughter’s room. I didn’t know the first thing about humidifiers, but I had a 20% coupon that was expiring that day, and I was determined to walk out of the store with a good humidifier and my 20% off. Using Google Shopper, I scanned several barcodes and quickly narrowed my choices. After reading multiple product reviews, I bought a great humidifier that I have been very happy with. Many stores also price match, so this is a good way to get a competitor’s price without leaving your current location.


I hope this blog has given you reason to carry a camera with you at all times. If you have other tips feel free to leave them in the comments section below.


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