Behind the Scenes in "Black Light" Body Painting Photo Shoot

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

Welcome to Behind the Scenes! Here I share with you my artist process, discussing the intention of each shoot, along with inspiration and challenges I've faced. I hope these posts bring you closer to understanding and interpreting art, while simultaneously getting to know me and my work.

Black Light

Model: Kealy Heeg

Photographer & Body Painter: Kas Rea Visual Arts

Creative Team: Jay Scott, Gerald Murray, Julia Aden

Creating the Design

As a body painter, it's important to sketch before you paint! Model Kealy Heeg wanted the theme of water, so in the sketch, I included a waterfall, the night sky and galaxies. It's also important to make any props beforehand, so I made a glow-stick crown.

Painting Process

When painting in black light, if any skin is left bare, it will appear bright and light purple, which distracts from the other colours. To avoid this issue, I covered Kealy's skin dark purple and black paint. To give the impression she was nude, she wore a beige bodysuit that was also painted. This technique emphasizes the vibrant colours of the UV paint and causes the skin to almost disappear against a dark backdrop. The overall effect is bold, eye-catching and beautiful.

When using body paint, I never cover the bottom of soles of the feet and I have models stand or sit on covered surfaces. Bodypaint is non-toxic and does not stain the skin, yet if left for a while on surfaces or fabrics it can stain. It's also helpful to work in regular light and black light to see the desired effects.

Fabulous Photoshoot

Photoshoots are naturally collaborative. Each photographer has their own visions, the models strike poses and it is an amazing experience of being in "the flow state". This is when creative expression flows easily and whole-heartedly, which is what happened with this shoot. Our creative team worked exceptionally well together as we played with different backdrops, lighting effects, poses and props. The end results were fantastic.

Photo Editing

Image editing can be an art in itself. I emphasize this because editing software allows the photographer to creatively explore endless possibilities to how their images will look. For some photos I put Kealy in the cosmos, adding a starry background, with light purple and pink filters, and I pumped up the vibrancy in certain colours. For processes such as this, I use Adobe Photoshop CC, combined with Adobe Lightroom. I've used these software's for a few years now and recommend it for more serious photographers. For more recommend artistic products, check out my blog here.


Black Light marks a huge milestone in my body painting journey. This was the first time I worked with black lights and it opened a door to new possibilities and expanded my knowledge of body painting. Overall, Black Light was an empowering and fun experience. I enjoyed working with new paints, new lighting and had a blast collaborating with a supportive creative team. This shoot was an amazing experience and a lot of fun!

#blacklight #bodypaint #photography #model #closeup #portrait

That's it for now! I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Thank you for reading, I'm so glad you're here.

Much love,

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