Experimentation is key to unlocking new levels of creativity. One technique that has gained popularity among photographers is using projectors as a versatile tool to enhance their images. By projecting light, patterns, or images onto subjects, we can create captivating special effects, unique backgrounds, and even project additional elements into their shots. In this blogpost, we will explore the exciting possibilities of using projectors as a creative lighting tool in photography.

To embark on my journey of experimentation in photography, I invested in a projector. I wasn’t sure if this might be a technique I would use frequently, so I opted for a more budget-friendly option. However, it’s important to note that there is a significant difference in the quality of projection between cheap and professional-grade projectors, and this disparity becomes evident in the final images produced.

When using a cheap projector, the images projected onto the subject or background may appear pixelated, introducing an unintended funky texture that can detract from the overall aesthetic. To achieve the best results and ensure the clarity and sharpness of the projected elements, it is recommended to invest in a high-quality projector that offers a superior projection experience. 


While a projector alone can enhance your portraits, pairing it with a haze machine can take your photography to the next level. It’s essential to distinguish between fog and haze machines, as they yield distinct results. Fog machines create textured and defined plumes of fog, which can be ideal for creating specific atmospheres or dramatic effects. On the other hand, a haze machine produces a more subtle and diffused effect, filling the air with a delicate mist that adds depth, atmosphere, and a cinematic touch to your photographs.

When used in combination with a projector and constant light, the interplay between haze and projected elements can yield breathtaking results. The softness and diffusion created by the haze machine complement the projected images, resulting in an ethereal and captivating ambiance that adds a touch of magic to your portraits. The combination of these elements opens up a world of creative possibilities, enabling you to craft images with depth, richness, and a cinematic allure that will leave viewers enthralled.

As you embark on your journey with projectors and haze machines in portrait photography, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, experiment with the positioning and angle of the projector to achieve the desired effect. By adjusting the distance and placement, you can control the size, focus, and intensity of the projected elements, ensuring they blend seamlessly with your subject.

Additionally, pay attention to the lighting conditions in your shooting environment. While projectors and constant lights can create mesmerizing effects, it’s important to strike a balance between the ambient light and the projected elements. The interplay between light and shadow can significantly enhance the mood and visual impact of your portraits.

Lastly, allow your creativity to flow and embrace the process of experimentation. The possibilities offered by projectors and haze machines are virtually limitless. Explore different images, patterns, and textures to project onto your subjects or backgrounds. Consider themes, moods, and narratives that you wish to convey through your portraits. By constantly pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the box, you’ll discover unique ways to utilize projectors as a transformative tool in your photography.


One of the most exciting applications of projectors in photography is the ability to project additional elements directly onto your subject. This technique allows you to add texture, patterns, or even other images onto your subject’s skin or clothing. 

For example, projecting a pattern onto a portrait subject can lend an artistic touch to the image. Be mindful of the projector’s brightness and focus to ensure that the projected elements blend seamlessly with the subject.


The projector can serve as a key light source, casting a focused or diffused beam of light onto the subject, creating interesting shadows and highlighting specific areas. In the images below I made sure the image I was projecting was a colorful one so I could get the effect of the colorful rays of lights. This effect was amplified by the use of my haze machine.


The ability to project images onto the background enables us to craft a customized environment that perfectly complements the subject, enhancing the overall mood and storytelling of the image. By experimenting with different images, adjusting the distance and angle of the projector, and considering the interplay of light and shadows, photographers can create stunning compositions that leave a lasting impact on viewers.

Dare to experiment, unleash your creativity, and explore the enchanting world of projectors in portrait photography. The extraordinary results you achieve will undoubtedly captivate viewers and leave a lasting impression.