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Shooting Creative Portraits With Props

Lesson 2 of 8

Shoot: Using Prisms Props

Joshua Kissi

Shooting Creative Portraits With Props

Joshua Kissi

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Lesson Info

2. Shoot: Using Prisms Props

Lesson Info

Shoot: Using Prisms Props

We pretty much have Karen, yes step in. Who's also my business partner at Tonal. Let's give a handclap for her, she's great. (clapping) (laughter) And she's my model for today. So pretty much I'm using this type of prism. So basically it looks like a toy. You go to a toy store and buy some of this stuff. But it's pretty much another way to get some creative streaks going, so. I'm gonna see what this looks like right now. And Karen's a professional model. (laughter) Let me get this goin'. There it goes. Okay, awesome. That's good. It's good. Okay, so we're gonna play around with this a little bit. See how that comes out. Again. Chin up a little bit, perfect. So it's just another way to like, you kinda see the effect of it. Of course, this is just a plain red background, but what we're able to see is some coloration in there, some rainbow. It's also a nice way to charge people for a very simple thing. Like, hey you want me to do this thing that I don't have IP to, but I could s...

ell you on it. I think it's just the mystery of how you come up with it. There's no real technique to how to hold it, at what distance, it's a lot of freestyle. So you could pretty much put it in front of your lens as well which gives you a whole different effect. And you could hold that real quick. Let's put it, like, over your eye a little bit. Yeah, like here. You could have the subject hold it as well if they're ... Most people just don't know what to do with their hands when they're taking photos. Like, what do I do with my hands? It's like, okay, just hold this. (Karen laughs) And it could be something. That's cool. Yeah it's really interesting. The next things I'll be using is another type of prism, it's just shorter. And it's another way where you could get the background, and it's like kind of a ... I'm good at holding my smile. Yeah, you're a good smile holder. (laughs) But you kinda see her in the background as well, kinda faded into it. Just another great way to ... If you like abstract imagery, anybody a fan of abstract imagery, no? Not really? (all laugh) It's cool. I guess I'm the only one that likes abstract imagery. But it's a nice way to just add some texture and storytelling to images. I'll try this blue one, let's see if this blue works. Ooh, blue. Yeah, blue. So I'm gonna test this one out which is basically like a kaleidoscope ball, diamond thing and you just shoot through it. So I'll just put it right in front of my lens and just take the photo. So, we'll see what we get, as well here. Don't worry, you're not gonna look bad. (laughs) She's like nervous. Okay. Kinda see it here. It takes some finessing a little bit. (Karen laughs) Gotta like, hold it and ... You could kinda see her face ... Oh, no you can't. Hold on. Let me get that goin'. Think I have to brighten it up on a ... Can you just open up the exposure a little bit on that? Pretty much kind of see what could possibly happen. Just like the patterning of her face. Of course it's a dark blue, so it's giving that effect. And it's a lot of just figuring out what to focus on, what to not focus on. You could also hold it halfway. I'll bring it down a little bit. Could you bring it back down, down, down? Yeah, awesome. So it's another way to get creative. Whether you use half of the frame, a quarter of the frame, the whole frame with the prism as well. Gonna test something else. Let me see what this one does. And I'll show you guys in a second. Don't worry, Karen. I won't have you out here lookin' crazy. This is another type of prism as well. You could literally just buy these on Amazon. They all cost like $30 and, not to throw Amazon out there, but it's a nice way to just have some creative things. Especially when you run out of ideas. This is another one, let me see. They come in different colors as well. So, depending on the background, subject, you could get pretty creative with it. Most people like portraits that have some sort of storytelling, so this is a nice way to play around with prisms.

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