Unique Photoshoot Idea: Black Light


Neon Pole Fitness Photoshoot/ Black Light Photography Ideas

By: Fitness Photographer Sharon Lewis

Even though I’m a fitness photographer that doesn’t mean I only shoot super ripped, extremely cut, muscular people. I meet all people at various stages of their fitness journey. I want people to realize their bodies are a work of art because it is! During my neon glow black light photoshoot, I managed to literally make the body a work of art by having it painted as such. Alisia Silliman (FB as: alisia silliman bodypainter) is a phenomenal body paint artist in Denver Colorado. She was more than happy and willing to partner with me and my body paint vision having lost 160lbs herself! We used neon glow paint that reacts to UV light.

I wanted to make this photoshoot a positive and empowering experience for women. For some it was their first time getting naked and having their entire body painted (a 2 hour experience). At my Colorado photography studio I provided a lot of comfort and privacy. I used 4 UV Lights in total. 2 60watt LED Floods and 2 30watt LED strips. We shot 30mins on the pole, 30min against a black tarp background. I had neon glow tape or paint that we added to their shoes for more glow. Alisia provided the paint and I added some neon glow mascara and glitter.

Camera tripod is absolutely necessary! Slower shutter (I think I was at 1/30). My ISO was 800 (this will vary on what ambient light is in the room.)The darker the room the better!! F5.6 for most shots. Post process in Lightroom I bumped up clarity, shadows and black. I fixed just the background in Photoshop. This was super cool and I can’t wait to do it again!

3 Tips for a Black Light Photoshoot:

1) For full body paint don’t forget the hair and face. Ultraviolet glow mascara helps bring out the eyes of portrait shots. Painting the hair will help create a full silhouette. Remember, anything not painted will come out dark.

2) More black ultraviolet lights is better than not enough. You can always take some light away or darken in post. Be careful with ambient light. The darker the room, the better.

3) For ladies not comfortable going completely naked during photoshoot the neon body paint can be applied over nude flower pasties. The paint will not adhere well or smoothly over bathing suit material so if they want bottoms then get the non-cotton, seamless nude thongs from Target. You will need to do a bit of fixing in post.

Sourcing of Items used in this black light photoshoot: 

UV Lights:



UV Paint & Makeup




Camera Stand




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