What to Fill Photography Sandbags With?- [Answered]

So you’ve seen photography sandbags lying around in professional studios. Now you’re wondering what are these sandbags filled with? 

Could it be sand? Pebbles? Too many options are roaming around your mind.

Well, I’ve been there thought that as well. After much research now I’ve jotted down the ins and outs of photography sandbags.  

So, what to fill photography sandbags with?

When filling photography sandbags, use sharp sand rather than soft sand. Pea gravel or rubber mulch could be a great option to load those sandbags. These fillers don’t crumble or dust. You can also make DIY sandbags to store some of the regular items.

That does not cover all of the specifics. Continue reading to learn all there is to know about this topic. 

What Are Photography Sandbag Fillers?

Photography Sandbags assist in stabilizing lighting equipment in the studio. There are multiple sizes of sandbags for different photography lenses

These sandbags are for professional use. 

To increase weight, you may fill this bag with gravel, grit, pebbles, or anything else. It is beneficial with crane arms, light racks, and tripods.  

Usually, the primary filler is made up of small pellets or components to ease shipping and filling. Also, certain materials may be utilized as the supplemental filler. 

These secondary ones are used more for texture than weight.

Source: neiloseman.com

While we’re at it, here are some of my favourite photography sandbags:

What Do You Put in a Sandbag For Photography?

Sandbags may assist in sustaining your lighting systems in the studio. Such sandbags are of excellent quality and precision. 

This pouch is vacant and may be stuffed with stones, dirt, pebbles, or other weight-inducing substance. It may be used with swing extensions, light stands, tripods, and similar items.

Well, sandbags may be filled with a variety of sand kinds. This comprises construction sand. And this sand is plain white. 

In this case, you can fill beach sand and various forms of rinsed sand. On the other hand, these varieties of sand tend to crumble quickly, resulting in a lot of dirt. 

What Type of Sand to Fill Sandbags?

Sandbags are best filled with bulky or gritty soil, although any useable material on or near the site offers benefits. The bag’s structure may let sand grains escape. 

Don’t let this happen. Permittivity makes guttural growl or rocky soils unsuitable. Bags of earth stuff will swiftly degrade. 

Different sands may be used to fill sandbags. This includes washed sand, beach sand, and other washed sand. These sands tend to grind readily, resulting in a lot of dirt. 

Play sand is regarded as the best sand since it does not compress as much as cement and masonry sand.

There is also other key factors like how much sand per sandbag?

Sandbags of regular size (14×26″) or 18×30″) may store up to 50 lbs of grit. However, I suggest you fill the bag with 35-40 Ibs of sand. 

A usual sandbag can be filled with a maximum of 50pounds. But an overloaded sandbag isn’t going to be easy to carry. 

Diy Sandbags for Light Stand

Unfortunately if you purchase any decrypted battery for your camera, you won’t get any sandbags. But, you can make sandbags at home with some easy steps.

To make a classic DIY photography sandbag, fill ziplock bags full of sand into nylon bags and zip tie them together. The details are given below:

  • Fold the selected fabric in 37″x11″  half to identify the middle. Mark it on the right side with chalk. 
  • Stitch the side part. Instead of an edge, you might tie it.
  • Bring the two short ends around, joining in the center. Stitch along each longest side. Keep it square.  
  • Now “attach” the line. A 1′′ thread is sewed around the fabric’s border. Suppose it’s complicated. Hot glue it. Then, stitch it. Keep a tail on either side. 
  • Multiple stitches will secure the tail down.
  • Flip the sandbag over.
  • Stitch a 2′′x1′′ square to either side of the gap. 
  • Fill a large ziplock bag with sand.  Soak it in, then close the Ziploc bag.
  • Sew the sandbag closed from both sides. Put more attention to this part.
  • Do Steps 8 and 9 multiple times.

Source: diyphotography.net

All these essentials can be found in stationeries. 

Alternatives of Sand In Sandbags

You don’t always need sand to fill sandbags. Loads of things can be used as an alternative to sands in sandbags. 

For your ease, I’ve made a table listing all the pros and cons of the alternatives below:

Old ThreadsRecyclable and environment- friendlyTime consuming to fill
Scrap ChainsInexpensive and doesn’t require filler bagsCan get a bit dangerous
Garden PebblesLarge and less expensiveWeights a bit more
Animal FeedSimple to work withHas a slight odor
Pea GravelLow cost alternativeRetains moisture at times

Listed below are some of the top sandbag filler choices you may employ based on your accessibility.

Old Threads

If you’re trying to stay within your budget, you may recycle your old stuff.

Find old, unused cloth and chop it up using scissors. While they are free to produce, they are not readily transferable. That is, placing these fillers into the inserts will take time.

Also, the paper may quickly become wet, making them generally one-time usage.

Scrap Chains

You can also stock your bags with chains. Using a chain eliminates the requirement for insert filler bags since they may be loaded directly.

It’s also a great alternative to physically carrying the chains as they might cause injury. They’re shockingly inexpensive at scrap yards!

Garden Pebbles

Generally, garden pebbles weigh more. These are excellent for photography sandbag filler.

Garden pebbles sizes are comparatively bigger. But guess what! It costs less than pea gravel. 

Source: kennedys.net.au

Here’s how much garden pebbles you need to fill sandbags:

Animal Feed

Animal feed is easy to come by if you stay in a rural area.

They’re simple to work with. According to their makeup, they may have a slight odor. They may also be too light for a serious user.

Source: feedstrategy.com

But at the end of the day they get the job done.

Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is a low-cost alternative to grit that isn’t too sandy.

It also doesn’t retain water, reducing mold and smells. You may only discover moist pea gravel. In such a case, let them evaporate in the sunlight for a few hours.

Well, these are the most commonly used fillers. But you can also fill your photography sandbags with other alternatives. Such as rubber mulch, spare change, wood pellets, rice or play sands, etc.

Well, now you know what do you fill sandbags with. And I really hope that this has been of assistance in dealing with your predicament.


Can I use photography sandbags for kitty litter?

Kitty litter is an inexpensive alternative to other substances for photography sandbags. These bags are super handy to use and available in different sizes. You can put kitty litter to fill those sandbags. 

What kinds of sand is great for photography sandbags?

Play sand is often regarded as the best sort of sand for photography sandbags. Seashore sand and different types of washed sand may also be used to fill the container. 

Can I put wet sand in photography sandbags?

Yes, you may place ‘soggy sand in your bag since the fabric of sandbags can ventilate. The sand will totally dry out inside the bag for about 2-5 weeks if its kept outdoors. 

Bottom Line

Your photography sandbags may be filled with a wide range of items. If you don’t know what to fill photography sandbags with, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Do not rush into finding the perfect sandbag filler. Rather, take your time and experiment with various materials.

Best of luck!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top