For my personal style, I wanted to further my talent and develop skill in portrait photography. Portrait photography is cool enough, but I wanted to make it unique. I didn’t see myself doing well with creative poses or a themes shoot. As I searched around, I found one type of portrait photography that stood out. Color gel photography. Color gels are basically colored filters you place on lights to change the color – hue, saturation, and luminance.
I captured and edited 20 images for this project. With most of my models I used two color pairs for each of them. This helped me discover the best color options for them.
I created 3 new blog posts for these images, which you can discover here in these 3 links:
For my presentation of my work, I decided to print a 16×24 portrait of my favorite color gel combo. Below is a mockup of what I will be printing out.
I am also printing out several 5×8 creative resume handouts. This is basically a short-n-sweet and creative version of my normal resume. It will feature 3 different images of this recent project on the back.
HOURS SPENT: 31 hrs (3 hrs for pre-production, 12 hours for production, 16 hours for post-production)
RESOURCES USED: 3+ Speed lights, 1 reflector, 1 Godox AD400, trigger+receiver, Canon EOS R, Tamron 70-200mm zoom lens, Canon 85m prime lens, flash filters, color gels, light stands, 1 gray background setup
My process began with planning. I researched blogs and watched youtube videos concerning color gel photography. I discovered the essentials of positioning light; I learned about avoiding hotspots; and I learned about saturation. I gathered the equipment I needed. The hardest part was finding the right color and saturation of color gels. Luckily, a friend lent me several color gels. I planned and wrote down colors that I would pair together. I also made a list of potential models, reached out to them, and collaborated with them to set up photoshoots.
For the actual shoot, I set everything up with an assistant if one was available. I would have the model pose and spent most of my time adjusting the power, angle, and diffusion on the strobe and speed lights. I used the Godox as my trigger and had all the speed lights on slave mode. This was helpful in case I wanted to use one more light. The reflector was useful when I wanted to use a colored fill or key light instead of a white light. This led me one particular image that I felt had a look of professionalism to it. It was a very useful tool.
I used Adobe Bridge to sort through my images and select the best options. I hardly did any light/exposure edits, but I took the images into Photoshop to “clean it up”. I removed blemishes and hairs and fixed backgrounds if necessary. These images look good standing alone, but putting in the extra effort really made them look professional and stand out.
I am very satisfied with the time, energy, and effort I put into this project. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the next time I get to shoot with color gels.
I’d invite you to connect with and message me on LinkedIn if you’d like to collaborate or discuss ways that I can help you.