Skip to main content

Shooting Creative Portraits With Props

Lesson 5 of 8

Shoot: Using Gels

Joshua Kissi

Shooting Creative Portraits With Props

Joshua Kissi

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

5. Shoot: Using Gels

Lesson Info

Shoot: Using Gels

So we're gonna use the plant and the gel as well. So if we could have, nice to meet you. I'm Joshua by the way. Nice to meet you. Awesome. Of course this gel is like full size, but you could cut it into pieces that makes sense. Um, to go in front of the frame or to go into the light. I will just be playing with it as is right now. Need a knife? Yeah, please. (laughter) And just like a, literally a square. You're good. Thank you. No, thanks. Pretty much as you bend a paper or gel, it gives you different shapes and you can literally just put your camera behind it and shoot that way, based on shapes. It's time consuming but, if you have a eight hour shoot you'll get it right at some point. (laughter) So. [Joshua] Pretty much. You'll see the difference between the gel being applied and it not being applied. There's just a little bit more orange to it. [Joshua] Exactly. So as you can see like the gel just gives it a whole different feelings especially 'cause of the lights. Strobes...

are going off as well. (gel being cut) [Joshua] Awesome. If you look up a little bit like yeah, awesome. Not not too up but like right there is perfect. [Joshua] Yeah she's a great model as well, which helps. Let me see. (camera click) Oh, sorry that was like blown out. (laughter) [Joshua] Again because of the gel color, just gives on the red background, it gives us this really heat, moody feel and you can see without it, what it'd look like. But it'd pretty much would look like, which we see right now on the eye. [Joshua] Just slightly different. (gel being cut) Awesome. (camera click) (camera clicks) (camera click) [Joshua] Hold on. It depends how far, how deep you want this trick to go. You can kinda see it from the corners that you would bend in to it. [Joshua] Um I like those, which is fun. Can I get another one smiling? Yeah, perfect. (camera click) [Joshua] Yeah. So it's pretty much how you go about it. It's it's a lot of magician work it feels like. (camera click) (camera click) [Joshua] But once you find the right frame it's it's really worth it. Of course if you're shooting like clean clean portraiture stuff, this is probably not the best to go with. If you're looking for portraits but just a little bit more creative sauce to it, just to add some like edge to it. So, some people are like "Hey I just don't want portraits. "I want something a little bit more special." Um, props are a perfect way to go about it. (camera clicks) [Joshua] Nice, I like that. It's just like this streak coming down the middle. Um, so it took me like fifteen minutes to get to something that's like "Okay cool." (laughter) So again, it's it's a lot of. It's a lot of different like techniques, but you just have to kind of freestyle with it. Find a groove within it and you'll pretty much come out with something that's that's great.

Class Description

Photographers are always looking for new and innovative ways to add a little spice to their portraits and stand out in a crowded field. But sometimes, all you really need is a well-chosen, well-placed prop to transform your image into something special. Photographer and entrepreneur Joshua Kissi will show you how to use props to create the mood, emotion, and texture you’re looking for.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use props wisely without overdoing it.
  • Utilize prisms and reflectors to add special effects to your imagery.
  • Change the dynamic of your portrait by adding a vase of flowers or piece of furniture.

If you’ve been wanting to add more props to your shoots but weren’t sure how to do it, this course will help you incorporate them with style and impact.



I loved watching him in his element. Can't wait to put these ideas into practice. Please bring him back!


Good class. Bring him back for a class on his editing.

Whitney Welshimer