How to make yourself invisible in light painting photos

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How to make yourself invisible in light painting photos


Eric Paré

is best known for his stunning light painting photos and helpful tutorials. In all his photos, he remains invisible even though he stands behind the model and draws shapes with lights. He does it all in-camera, and many people have wondered how he does it.

In this video, Eric and his partner Kim Henry share a few tricks to staying invisible while doing light painting. If you’re aspiring to try this photography technique, these tricks will help you get the shots in-camera, and save you time in removing yourself from the shots in Photoshop.

1. Align yourself with the model

The best thing to do is hide behind the model while painting with light and make yourself literally invisible in the frame. But there are a few more tips how to make sure you’re hidden as much as possible:

  • Stand sideways. This way you’ll have your slimmer side facing the camera and it will be easier to hide.
  • Always check where the camera is before you start shooting, so you get perfectly aligned.

2. Wear black

If you’re drawing shapes with light in the complete dark, wearing black will help make you invisible.

3. Don’t block the backlight

If there’s some light behind you and you’re not perfectly aligned with the model, you will show in the image. In this case, even black clothes won’t do the trick.

4. Add a black tape at the back of the tube

When you’re drawing shapes with a light tube, add black tape at the end that faces you. This way, the light won’t spill on you.

5. Ask the model to wear a dress

Feet can be difficult to hide and align with the model. A long dress or skirt will hide your feet way better than any other clothes. And it looks nice, too.

6. Move fast

Since you’re painting with light at long exposures, moving your hands fast will help you stay invisible in the photos.

These were some tricks to help you nail the light painting shots in-camera, so you don’t have to remove yourself from the images in post. For more light painting tutorials, make sure to visit Eric’s YouTube channel.

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