From a R43 pasta strainer to R146 string lights, this viral Instagram photographer doesn't spend a lot to capture the perfect image. Image Kai Böttcher.
  • Kai Böttcher is a 25-year-old photographer who specializes in portrait photography and has an Instagram following of about 600,000 followers.
  • He recently shared a popular compilation of behind-the-scenes photos that showed how he stages his photoshoots.
  • Kai uses simple, everyday objects such as pasta strainers and bed sheets to create lighting and shadows in his photos.
  • He told Business Insider that the more simple the photo, the better.
  • Here's how to get the perfect shot without spending money, according to one of Instagram's most popular photographers.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Kai Böttcher is a self-taught photographer, who specializes in portrait photography.


Böttcher said he started an Instagram page a few years ago so he could have a place to post the portrait photos he took of his friends.


The 25-year-old photographer's Instagram page took off, garnering over half a million followers in just three years.


Böttcher received so much attention for his beautiful shots that he decided to share a series of behind-the-scenes photos to his Instagram ...

... that show how he cleverly stages photoshoots to help him capture the perfect shot.


Böttcher's side-by-side photos prove that perfect Instagram pictures are all just an illusion.


"I started with sharing the behind-the-scene shots because I want to show people that you don't always need an extravagant and expensive shooting setup to get great results," Böttcher told Business Insider.


He wanted his photos to show people that they, too, can create beautiful photos without professional experience.


Böttcher revealed that some of the most basic and inexpensive props help create the best photos.


"Often a cheap Philips Light or a pasta strainer for R43 is enough to get really interesting lighting patterns and effects," he told Business Insider.

Böttcher recommends this portable Philips table lamp.


Something as inexpensive as a R30 bottle of paint from the craft store can be used to add pops of color to a photo.


Böttcher added in a R146 string of multi-colored lights to add a playful feel to this photo.


Glow-in-the-dark paint in a dark setting helped him make this stunning photo.


Böttcher achieved this rainbow look on the model's face with a R290 rainbow suncatcher combined with sunlight.


And in this photo, Böttcher used a R100 lemon press in front of the sun to create this pattern on the model's face.


Böttcher will sometimes hold objects like an old curtain in front of his light source to create shapes and shadows on the model's face.


Sometimes all it takes is the manipulation of light to make a standout photo.


Böttcher often uses colored, handheld lights that add a completely different feel to the photo.


Another inexpensive method such as positioning the camera towards a mirror gives the photo a different feel.


"I love to play with mirrors and reflections in general in my shots. You can get multiple perspectives of a model in a single shot," he told Business Insider.


These simple objects help create interesting patterns and light leaks, Böttcher said.


Although Böttcher prefers to use a camera for his shots, he said you can still get great shots with a smartphone.


"I would suggest anyone who starts with photography to first learn the basics like light and composition..." he said.


He said that you should start with a phone or a cheap camera before investing in something expensive.


Böttcher received a lot of positive feedback on his behind-the-scenes photos.


"The reason why people like the behind the scenes is because they see that there really is no magic behind the shots..." he told Business Insider.


"It motivates them to just get outside and shoot without the need to buy any really expensive equipment," he said.


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