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Illuminating Creativity: A DIY Projector Photography Adventure

If you haven't already delved into part one of this creative journey, I strongly recommend checking it out here. It will provide some valuable insights into the thought process behind this unique photography experiment. But if you're ready to dive in, let's embark on an illuminating adventure that combines DIY ingenuity, the picturesque beauty of Utah, and the lens of a photographer passionate about pushing creative boundaries.

model in pink light with black light paint on her face, hands and neck closing her eyes looking up

A DIY Projector Photography Setup

In my quest to capture captivating images, I embarked on a creative endeavor that involved a Vankyo Leisure 3 portable projector, my trusty Lumix GX8, and the versatile Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 lens. To set the stage for this innovative photoshoot, I scoured the depths of the internet for abstract art images that I believed could inject a dash of uniqueness into my project. However, it's essential to note that using recognizable images from other artists can infringe on copyright, so tread cautiously. Another option worth considering is employing stock images in such experiments.

Projecting Creativity

The centerpiece of this photographic experiment was the Vankyo projector, which I connected to my laptop using a standard HDMI cord. The magic unfolded as I projected these images directly onto my model. But using a projector comes with its set of considerations. The proximity of the subject to the projector significantly affects the intensity and harshness of the light. It can also magnify their shadow in the background. To mitigate this, I positioned my projector on the ceiling, albeit with a somewhat limited range of movement. Consequently, I kept the model as close to the wall as possible to minimize her shadow.

model standing in front of projector that has yellow, blue and red colors in it
Erin Holmstead Photography

Camera Settings

Photographers love to geek out on camera settings, and this project was no different. For this shoot, my settings were ISO 800, f/1.7 at 1/60s, providing me with the flexibility to shoot handheld. Nevertheless, for the black-and-white image, I made a slight adjustment. With the wall's white background and the projected image also containing ample white elements, I opted for an ISO of 200. This helped prevent the image from becoming overexposed, retaining the details and contrast I desired.

Adding the Magic Touch

As any Utah beauty photographer would attest, a photoshoot isn't complete without that touch of magic. In this case, I decided to elevate the images into a beauty shoot. To accomplish this, I introduced a Lume Cube, creatively housed within my DIY Snoot. The result was nothing short of extraordinary.

model standing in front of blue galaxy image projected onto her with a beam of light across her eyes


This unique DIY projector photography experiment is a testament to the boundless possibilities for creative photographers. The freedom to experiment, combine elements, and create something truly distinctive is the essence of photography. As a Utah-based photographer, I've learned that the beauty of this remarkable state extends to the creativity it inspires. So, fellow photographers, let this serve as a reminder that the realm of photography is one where your imagination can truly shine. Experiment, create, and let your art illuminate the world.


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