I recently did a post on playing with fractal prism filters for the first time, and I seriously could not wait to get my hands on my own set. They have been great fun out in the garden and with nature. I really want to try them with portraits. I recently did a Conceptual Portrait shoot titled “Winter Wonderland” — I must confess finding a little inspiration from fellow writer and photographer Jason Hahn’s Snow Scene.

Behind the scenes

Shot in the studio, I used a white backdrop and created ‘snow’ using rolled up blankets covered with white sheets. Mosquito netting was hung in front of the backdrop. I used three lights set up. A 90cm octobox, and 45cm beauty dish on Bowens Strobes and a Nikon SB910 Speedlight on the floor for a halo effect. A smoke machine and dried twigs created added depth.

Using fractal prism filters

I got my filter set from Getfractals, and by placing them directly in front of the lens and then moving them around to get fantastic results. I really like the Julia and the Penrose filters, that give such glorious results and somewhat have a ‘otherworldly’ feel to them. Granted, they aren’t the most visually appealing for a stand-alone portrait session, but if you are looking to add something a looking different, these might just hit the mark.

With the halo effect of the Speedlight and the beauty dish, I was able to obtain the most ethereal lighting. Almost sci-fi in feel, enhanced by incredible costume, hair and makeup.

If you are looking to create something to really stretch and strengthen your creativity and imagination, I really do recommend stepping completely out of your comfort zone and fractals might just be the way to go.


Credit must go to my wonderful model, Jess (aka Miss Fairy Floss). Who endured several hours of hair and makeup to achieve this transformation. Even to the point of wearing opaque white eye contacts, she was totally blind for the whole shoot. Styling and costume by myself, with the most amazing hair and makeup by Emma Marietta. Without my team, I could never create these fantastic creations. If you would like to see some of our other Conceptual Portraits creations, please feel free to visit my gallery here.

Want to read more about these great filters? Check out Erin Holmstead’s complete review.

All images were shot with my Sony a7 II camera using either a 28-70mm or 50mm prime lens.