How to Shoot Colorful Bokehlicious Night Portraits


What goes well with street portraits and night photography? Bokeh, many photographers now will immediately tell you. It’s not exactly a new concept and many of us have been playing around with bokeh for all sorts of concepts and projects. But, seeing how the so-called bokehlicious night portraits are so trendy now, it may well be worth it to see how it’s done and what makes it so popular. Manila-based photographer Gab Loste has shared his process in a quick video tutorial.

If you’re new to the bokeh + neon lights combination that is all the rage today, you’ll surely appreciate all the technical details mentioned in the video. For this shoot, Gab used a 105 mm f2 lens set at the widest aperture, 1/125 for the shutter speed, and the “lowest possible ISO.” Other things you’ll need aside from a model are some transparent stuff that you can shoot through (like a prism and a clear umbrella), and a location with some really nice lighting.

Watch Gab’s video below to see how he did his bokehlicious night portraits:

As you can see from his tutorial, it involves a simple process that creates really eye-catching results. There’s a lot of color play in this kind of portraiture, so if you’re really into vibrant elements in your shots, you’ll definitely enjoy the shoot. Gab notes that you’ll need to be close to your subject so the background effectively blurs into a lovely mix of colors. One thing I’ll add here is that if you want some really noticeable bubble bokehs, you’ll have to position your subject on a spot where the bright lights are further away. The shallow depth of field will transform them into colorful bubbles in the background. Lastly, props like the prism and the clear umbrella will allow you to get extra creative and experimental.

Check out Gab Loste’s YouTube channel if you’d like to see more of his videos.

Screenshot image from the video by Gab Loste