Would you like to learn more about your spiritual self?

No, we are not going to offer another astrological chart or invite a medium. Instead, we will introduce something on the verge of art, technology, and divination: Aura photography.

If you ever saw a bunch of colorful portraits on social media and wondered if that is just another Photoshop contest - well, not exactly.

Discover how to have your own aura depicted on a portrait and what you can learn from it!

Colorful aura portraits photographs

What is aura photography?

Aura photography, or Kirlian photography, has little to do with your actual, spiritual aura. But don’t get upset too soon: it is still an exciting process that allows you to discover more about your past, present, and future energies.

Using special equipment, you can record the electromagnetic energy that comes off your body and display it in a colorful, distinctive image. This is a simplified explanation - let’s dive into the science behind it!

Aura photography is a type of photography that creates images of corona discharges around an object.

A coronal discharge is caused by the ionization of gas or fluid surrounding the object. These discharges remind the energy fields, those colorful halos around a people's body you might have seen on Instagram.


The origin of aura photography


Aura photography was born out of Kirlian photography. Kirlian photography, in turn, was an invention of Semyon Kirlian, a Soviet inventor, and his wife Valentina Kirlian, a Soviet teacher and journalist.

The couple witnessed an intriguing event at a hospital in 1939: a patient was receiving treatment from a high-frequency d'Arsonval electrotherapy device. When the electrodes were placed near the patient’s skin, a neon glow appeared around him.

This inspired Kirlians to remake this glow and capture it on a camera. The couple started their experiments. The inventor placed his hand on an electrified photographic plate and was astonished by the result.

He saw an electrographic image of his palm surrounded by a cloud of vibrant energy, which was the corona discharge in the air around Kirlian’s hand.

Aura shot two palms neon lights

This was the moment of discovery - the Soviet couple has figured out how to depict aura on images without cameras or film. They used just three things - discharge plate, electric field, and high-voltage source.

Thirty years later, Kirlian photography gained popularity thanks to scientist Guy Coggins. In the 1970s, he adapted the technology developed by the Kirlians and crafted his own camera system.

With the team of clairvoyants, Coggins brought the AuraCam 3000 to the world - the camera used an algorithm to transform electrical input into colorful aura photos.

Some years later, Coggins updated the technology and released AuraCam 6000, which is used by aura photographers today.


How aura photography works

Aura photography camera polaroid how it works

Your model places palms on the two discharge plates connected to the camera.

When you press the shutter button, the discharge branches off the person, and the plates send information about the energy to the camera, which then prints a Polaroid photo with corresponding colors.

To get started with aura photography, you will need something more than just excitement about the spiritual world. This type of photography requires some special equipment, which can cost as high as $16 000, and careful preparation.

You can work in your own studio, but many aura photographers combine this art with traveling. They build mobile setups and go places to host pop-up events at festivals and parties.


Special camera equipment needed

An aura camera

The aura camera is shaped like a box with a traditional Polaroid camera inside, which instantly prints your photo after it was taken. The camera has no control over the f-stop or shutter speed.

Two hand plates

The two discharge plates,  plasma plates, need to be big enough to allow enough room around your objects for the corona discharge. Ideally, those plates should be shaped like a shallow dish.

Dark background

It is better to use a dark background to make sure all aura colors get properly captured around your subject. It will also enhance the contrast of the colors and add a pinch of magic to the photo.

Dark photo studio

To capture the corona discharge, you will need a dark environment. It would be tricky to see the corona effect on the discharge plates With the direct natural light. Work in a space where you can close the blinds to ensure no light gets in.


How to decipher aura photos


Not only the colors are important on the aura portrait - their shapes and location contain a deep meaning too!

All aura photographs look astonishingly beautiful, but there’s one thing that sets them apart from all other creative pics - they are very personalized.

Aura portraits depict how you feel in the moment, so the colors surely won’t last a lifetime and will barely stay the same even 15 minutes after if you decide to take a new photo.

The right side of the picture shows the past energy of recent events you are moving on from. The left side tells how your near future looks and the energy you create for yourself.

This is where your dreamer, more emotional part makes an appearance. The center of the photo depicts what you are experiencing right now - your aspirations, hopes, and goals.


Understand the aura colors

Usually, the aura portraits are filled with several colors, and each has its own meaning:

Red

Passionate, strong, willful, courageous

Magenta

Inspiring, heart-centered, motivated, grounded,

Pink

Loving, caring, cheerful, generous,

Orange

Creative, ambitious, spontaneous, adventurous

Yellow

Joyful, optimistic, enthusiastic

Green

Compassionate, peace-oriented, nurturing, connected to nature

Blue

Empathetic, supportive, intuitive, sensitive

Purple

Playful, visionary, nonjudgmental, unconventional

White

Wise, energized, positive, protective

Tan

Practical, detail-oriented, logical

Indigo

Honest, peaceful, imaginative

Aura photography portraits colors decipher

Up next: Dive into color theory


Whether you’re into the discovery of people’s aura or just love to play with colors to tell captivating stories, color is a powerful tool for any photographer.

Explore how color theory depicts your artistic vision in a related sphere - filmmaking.

Learn how to choose a film color palette and apply essential cinematography techniques in our Color in Film guide!

What is aura photography?

Aura photography is a type of photography that creates images of corona discharges around an object.

How to do aura photography?

For aura photography, you will need an aura camera, two discharge plates, a dark background, and a dark studio.

How does aura photography work?

Your model places palms on the two discharge plates connected to the camera. When you press the shutter button, the discharge branches off the person and the plates send information about the energy to the camera, which then prints a Polaroid photo with corresponding colors.

How much does aura photography cost?

The cost of equipment may go up to $16,000.