All photos by Elizaveta Porodina. Used with Creative Commons permission.
Experimenting with colors is one of the best ways to make portraits interesting. A particular color scheme — or the absence of it — can set the mood and aesthetic of a photo. We see this at work with photography trends like retro, neon, and pastels. Today, we have yet another perfect example of portrait photography made more eye-catching in the latest series of Munich-based fashion and fine art photographer Elizaveta Porodina.
Porodina, as we’ve seen in previous features, has already mastered the creative use of colors to set or enhance the mood of her portraits. It’s especially notable in series like Neon Night, Who’s That Girl?, and New York Blues. The latest addition to these is the aptly titled COLOURBOOK, a collection that combines several visual styles, techniques, and elements. Not only does it serve as an effective portrait photography inspiration, but it is also worth studying for anyone who wants to get extra creative with their studio portrait work. Using different colors of light is easily achievable in the studio, so this series is brimming with ideas for us to explore.
Another noteworthy component of COLOURBOOK is the way Porodina played with shapes and lines to complement the colors. Apart from the hues of the lighting, she also used face paint or makeup on her model to add more interesting elements that draw our eyes. The full effect of this approach shows in the shots where the shapes are also filled in with vibrant colors, set against colored backgrounds. Others show her clever use of shadows to place the shapes on her model.
Some shots also display creative techniques like silhouettes, props, and blur to maximize the experimental look. To top everything off, there’s a subtle retro feel produced by adding film grain and slightly lowering the contrast in post. All these make Porodina’s COLOURBOOK an excellent example of the possibilities of a creative and experimental approach to portraiture.