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  • Writer's pictureTammy Howell

Blacklight Photography - Glow in the Dark Portraits

Updated: Apr 30, 2019

A glow in the dark session is a fun and different experience for seniors and results in some really unique portraits. Here are some tips and links to supplies to create your very own session.

  • Blacklight

  • Paint and brushes

  • Powder

  • 3 oz. cups and Press'n seal plastic wrap

  • Drop cloth

  • Fake eyelashes and clean mascara brush

  • Colored flashlights (phone app or gelled flashlight

  • Colored string lights

  • Random accessories that glow under blacklight

  • Lightstands and clamps or clips to hold lights

  • Wide aperture lens


Almost any type of background can be used, but some fabrics will react to UV light (blacklight). Gather all of the items from above, as well as any other items that might glow. I plugged my blacklight into a Vagabond mini and wandered around my studio to find items like the sunglasses and earbuds below.

1/160 f 1.4 ISO 640


One blacklight is enough. We used a second one in the makeup area. i used a 24 inch blacklight from The light can be handheld or clamped to a lightstand.


Paint and Powder

You could use one or the other, but both are useful. For colored eyelashes, paint fake eyelashes before applying. The paint come easily out hair. Use paint first, then apply powder laying down. To apply the powder easier, put them in a small cup (like a 3 oz. bathroom cup) with small holes punched in the bottom. You can seal it with Press'n Seal wrap.


Other Items

You can purchase specialty makeup for this purpose, but I found paint works just fine. Many nail polishes are UV reactive,

Here is a quick behind-the-scenes video of one of our sessions.

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