Save up to 60% on all Fstoppers tutorials

Great Images Using Powder As a Prop

Earlier today Zach Sutton posted a creative way to use baby powder as a smoke replacement for your photoshoots. Now we're taking that to a different level. Have you ever tried to shoot powder as just, you know, plain powder? By throwing powder (flour, baby powder or color pigments) on your models, you can get some very creative results. Check out these great examples found on Flickr and get inspired.

Have you ever used powder as a prop for your photoshoots? Share your results in the comments or on our Facebook Group!

Photo: David Talley .

in and of earth
Photo: Brooke Shaden.

The Princess of Colour
Photo: Luke Takes Photos.

The Bakers Wife
Photo: Emma Reid.

Photo: Harry McArthur.

Photo: Marios Tziortzis.

Photo: Alex Stoddard.

Flour Power
Photo: Jeremy Lusk.

Photo: Elizabeth James.

Photo: nickmastrini.

Singing blues has been getting old.
Photo: SierraRosePhotography.

Photo: pmcsk.

That Feeling In Your Chest....
Photo: Nico Nordström.

Photo: Jen Linfield.

Model Lilli
Photo: Benjamin B.

Photo: Don Horne.

Rainbow Child.
Photo: Ellenor Daisy.

Log in or register to post comments


Felix Alejandro Hernández Rodr's picture

Using flour you can create some composites... Two photos; one is the background and the other is and object (coffee cup) taken on flour. In pos, you apply the overlay blend mode... and vuala... you transfer the shadows, cracks and details to your background... Its a different way to use powder for a photo shoot.

Brittan E McGinnis's picture

Great tip, thank you!

Lu Rodriguez's picture

Wooow! thanks!!!!!!
great work!!

Felix Alejandro Hernández Rodr's picture

this is the example...

James Johnson's picture

That's a great tip.

Anthony N's picture

Very cool

Thomas's picture

I used it in a shoot and made a small video to show how easy it was here:

(and the resulting images are here: ).
No need to have a lot of gear. Just a room, a few (fast) lights... and a vacuum cleaner.
And it's amazing how the results can be great. I got great feedback on those images.

Norshan Nusi's picture

A great idea for someone's birthday.

Why their birthday?

Norshan Nusi's picture

Oh sorry about that, in my country, they celebrated birthday of a person by throwing flour at them. A great waste of material to me, but it is quite common in Malaysia.

While in India, the Holi festival is celebrated by throwing colored powder at each other!

Michael Fedora's picture

I've done project similar to this on my final year of uni. My old photography website is offline atm but there are few on my new website (website is still in the process of building so only one small gallery) Check it out:

Anthony N's picture

Is there another way to add color to baby powder other than the dry food coloring? Can you buy it colored?

Hey Anthony - You can get powdered paint in tubs from art shops - Make sure its the non toxic kids powder paint.

You also get paint colour pigment - But this may stain the models face and is also a lot more expensive

Anthony N's picture

Awesome, thanks for the information!

Anthony N's picture

hahaha got me

Sorry, couldn't resist, I was going to post the first link that came up. Thank you for being a good sport lol.

Thomas's picture

You can also use regular (white) powder/floor/whatever, and place colored gels on your lights.

Anthony N's picture

Cool idea. Thanks!

Natasha Leigh Wells's picture

Was really inspired by a few of these last year! This was my shot at it - Would love to try it again!

Tony Kolstee's picture

A word of caution about which powder to choose: Airborne flour is enough to trigger serious illness if a participant is gluten intolerant or has celiac disease. Talcum powder is also not good as the small hard silica crystals can damage the lungs. Cornstarch, on the other hand, is generally safe. See also

Von Wong's picture

u forgot me :P !

I thought I saw your photo just above mine - Turns out it was Benjamin B.. I loved your set BTW

Kaleigh Middelkoop's picture

Amazing! Love it!

I actually shot faculty portraits for my college using powdered paint. So messy - SO WORTH IT! :)
behind the scenes:


Lu Rodriguez's picture

hello there!!!! this was my 1° try.. i took this one a few months ago... and there was 1° time i use flash to!... hope you like it! i I always wanted to experiment with this ... but did not have the tools to do it before. On my fb pag. i have more zoom details! if you want to cheek!

Hope u like it!!! :)

Dino G.'s picture

I love this more than all the above examples it looks like the milkyway behind her

Karel Tison's picture

Just taken this monday...flour illuminated by gelled speedlights

Oliver Oettli's picture

Funny, since i took my powder shots last november, this topic seems to follow me everywhere! Here's my take on it

Derek Bisbing's picture

I had great success using purple drink mix. and it tasted 'good'.

victor gonzales's picture

I did a shot with a dancer using flower and some choice lighting set ups a while back and the shots, while messy, came out incredibly!

Lorenzo P's picture

Great post

Stuart Marlin's picture

Did these about a year ago, Best to light the flour from behind. I had 2 Alienbees with large gridded soft boxes behind (one on each side. One small 580exII in a beauty dish for a touch of front fill. It is VERY messy and each image takes a minute or 2 to set up. Some enhancing the contrast of the flour with Nik colour efex (tonal contrast). For some I used both flour and gold glitter. The different specular qualities made some interesting effects. I printed these very large and they formed the main part of my 1st gallery show.

Gilles Diaz's picture

Hi everyone, taking inspiration from this post here is a shoot i made hope you like it. Any comments and critics are accepted