"More fat, more light."

Clara Olshansky
August 31, 2017

Short of throwing our fast food containers in the trash, finding a way to reuse that refuse would certainly help curb waste. (After all, if cardboard is covered in grease and crumbs, recycling is pretty much out of the question.) We already know that we can turn pizza and cereal boxes into solar eclipse viewers. We can also turn empty wine bottles into herb gardens. Thanks to professional photographer Philippe Echaroux, we can also keep our Big Mac boxes from being immediately thrown in the garbage by turning them into a mini lighting kit for your phone's camera.

In this video, Echaroux, who usually works with some of the world's best photography equipment, takes on the challenge of making portraits with just his iPhone, a mini flashlight, and his McDonald's order. The first step, of course, was to drink his soda and eat his Big Mac. After that, Echaroux put together a lighting rig with just the empty burger box, the plastic straw, and the flashlight.

Sure, Echaroux may look a little silly holding an empty burger box up to people's heads while shoving an iPhone camera in their face, but the resulting portraits are pretty incredible. And no, it's not thanks to extensive altering and editing: Echaroux was only allowed to use iPhone apps to get the look he wanted. At the end of the video, he even reveals which mobile retouching software he used: VSCO Cam, Photoshop Fix, and Lightroom Mobile.

Perhaps the best thing about this photo hack is how easy it is to recreate yourself. With just a burger box, a straw, a flashlight, and your phone, you'll have everything Echaroux used to take these stunning portraits. If you want to try out Echaroux's system, you may as well go meta and photograph your fast food order with the burger light rig, making a cheap meal look super Insta-worthy.

For more of Philippe Echaroux's photography, you can follow his Instagram or check out his other photography challenges at his YouTube channel.