Dollar Store Gem: $1 Kick Light Stand!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I won’t make excuses, so let’s get in to it:

Props go to my wife for this one. The woman is a junkie for the dollar store. Anything that costs a dollar is a good deal as far as she’s concerned. Mostly it’s crap, but sometimes she gets something actually worth a dollar. And then sometimes she gets something that worth more than a dollar.

I immediately knew it was one of those special times when she showed me this:

one dollar kick light stand

It’s a little mini tripod! She saw it and knew that I would find something far more useful than it’s intended purpose. And she was right! I immediately ran and got one of my cold shoe cajiggers that come with those strobist umbrella adapters and screwed it on:

one dollar kick light stand cold shoe

And, hey! We’ve got a little light stand!


This thing makes for a perfect kick light. A kick light is basically a low backlight. David Hobby once suggested using a tennis shoe for this purpose, but that’s a little more ghetto than I would like to be. It’s only a dollar, it’s totally stable, and it looks like real equipment!

How’s it look when you use it?


Like that! Here is my dog Annie, lit by daylight with the $1 kick light back and behind. Notice the dramatic rim light. ooo, ahh. So, keep your eyes peeled, and when you see one of these crappy little tripods, pick one up. Because this little stand doesn’t just kick light, it also kicks ass.


  1. Sean

    I got one of these things a few years ago and it took me months to realize that the legs actually extend out when you pull the rubber feet… making it even more stable/useful. Maybe yours does too.

  2. Denear

    Please explain “got one of my cold shoe cajiggers”? Where can one find these cajiggers???
    I never trusted those little tripods for my camera, but for a flash stand, great idea.

  3. Yeah, so, the catch is the “cold shoe cajiggers” cost about ten times the price of a $1 tripod. Or fifteen to twenty times if you get a nice one. This one appears to be insulated, sparing you the need for the piece of green electrical tape featured in the pictures….

  4. @Sean – They do extend! That’s great! I like to extend one leg out further, and then have the flash lean in that direction for stability.

    @denear – the cold shoes come with the umbrella swivel brackets here:,859.htm

    @matthew – Yes, the cold shoe costs more than the tripod, but I also use them on darn near everything. It’s not a hidden cost for this specialty device. The cold shoe cajigger is a valuable part of the photographer’s swiss army knife.

  5. I was actually at the $1 store today and came away with some really great stuff! I’ll have to look out for a little kick light…I really like the effects.

  6. Wow, I didn’t know that the adapter thingy-ma-bob actually had a name! I’ve looked and looked to buy these separately but to no avail! Thanks now I know what to look for!!

    Unfortunately I’m going to have to wait for a few years before I see a dollar store. 😦 Hawai’i doesn’t have any! Boo!!

    Thanks for taking the time when you can to update your site. There seems to be a lot of useful information on here.

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