What color are you?
I don’t mean on the outside, I mean what color is your soul? When you speak, dance, move, breathe, what color is the energy that radiates from your body?
Some say we’re made of matter, and others say we’re made of energy. Either way, it makes sense that with every move we make we’re giving off electricity. We pick up on each other’s vibrations when we’re near them – it’s why we can feel anxious around someone who is anxious, or elated around someone who emanates joy. It’s a concept that has always been fascinating to me, and I think it has a lot to do with the types of people we are drawn to in life. Certain energies attract, and can bring like-minded people together on a subconscious level.
So… what if you could visualize that energy? That’s where Radiant Human comes in. Christina Lonsdale started the aura photography project in 2014 and has been traveling the states ever since, shooting people’s auras with her unique and immersive photography laboratory. After the photo is revealed, Christina shares her interpretation of what the colors mean.
Read on for an interview with Christina and to seem some of her gorgeous aura photography. And tell me, what color do you think (or know!) your aura is?
Find out of Radiant Human is coming to your city here, and be sure to follow the journey on Instagram.
Christina’s self portrait
When did you start doing aura photography and why?
I started researching this project in 2013 and I’ve been traveling with it since 2014. I was really into this concept of the human atmosphere; I loved that these images produced a colorful cloudy haze around a subject’s head, very similar to the earth’s atmosphere or the color surrounding stars from millions of light years away. In cosmology, there is so much you can learn just by the color of a star and that really inspired me. There was this appeal to looking at self-discovery in the same way that we look at space exploration. There’s something so exciting and positive about people coming together from all walks of life to learn more about the universe we are in, to explore the unknown, and find our meaning through that. I always loved that it was about finding out more, not necessarily coming at it with a definitive expectation or belief. That’s how I want people to view this project, it’s not about proving anything, it’s about exploring.
We use aura photography as a jumping off point, but it’s so much more than that, there is this interaction with the dome as a traveling experience, the social interaction of “following” the tour and the power that comes from talking to a complete stranger about self perception and discovery.
Courtesy of Radiant Human
Can you tell us about the camera that you use?
The camera works on the principle that we all have electricity in our body and that electricity radiates past our skin’s surface. This camera uses hand sensors that pick up this electricity and through a proprietary algorithm, matches this electricity to a color, then that color comes out as a second exposure. It takes just about 60 seconds for the photo to develop on film and I think that is really one of the treasures about this process. This is on film! It’s one of a kind! There are no doubles, no jpegs that can be duplicated and therefore become disposable. This photograph is as unique and singular as you are.
Courtesy of @cheeseplatter
How did your upbringing influence the type of work that you do?
My background has always been a balance between two worlds. I was an 80s baby that was born into a commune that my dad started in the 60s, we lived in the desert because my parents were basically outsiders trying to build a new life where they could live life simply. There was a Guru there that I guess you would call a “spiritual father” to all of us. We had goats and chickens, my mom made fresh tortillas every morning, and then the commune had some drama and we moved to California. My mom worked for the first time, we got a TV, a computer, and then the internet happened, cell phones got big right when my dad was teaching me how to use the tarot. My life has always been walking between new age and the digital age.
Who are some of your personal favorite artists?
There is a mentor of mine named Hugh Moss that just published a book called “The Art Of Understanding Art.” It’s a fabulous book and it makes art theory so approachable and “unstuffy,” so I recommend it to anyone. One of the key take-aways I found through that book is that good art elevates your consciousness, and that can obviously be different for many people, so with that in mind here are my faves:
James Turrell, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Cindy Sherman, Nikki S Lee, Joan Didion, Olafur Eliasson, Alan Watts, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Taylor Swift (can’t help it! I’m a Swifty!).
Courtesy of @ashleycass
If you could photograph anyone’s aura, dead or alive, who would you choose?
I just photographed my grandmother before she passed and that was really special to me!
“I still get excited every time I see a photo. I can’t help it, I love seeing people’s reactions when they see what they’ve created with their energy. I love that there is this energetic portrait with your physical portrait and this dialog that reaffirms a lot of what people already know about themselves but they just need to hear someone say it. To have a photo illustrating how you are actually broadcasting yourself out to the world is a really powerful image and that is something I will never get tired of, that’s what I’m trying to do, I want to offer a platform for people to see themselves in a new way.” – Christina Lonsdale, Radiant Human
The colors in my aura are blue, red, and purple. According to Christina, blue indicates depth of feeling, trust, loyalty, intuitive, sensitive…all things I definitely see in myself. On the other side of me is red which indicates strength, will power, new beginnings, passion – things that wouldn’t immediately come to mind, but make sense when I look back on the past year of my life (and yes, according to Christina, your aura can change over time depending on what you’re going through or where you are physically). Purple is visionary, unconventional, non-judgmental, and loves to inspire others – Christina could tell that I’m in a creative line of work, one that involves meeting and working with many different people, and that I aim to inspire others – all pretty spot on.
If you have the opportunity to schedule an appointment with Radiant Human, I highly recommend it. Now if only we could train our eyes to see these auras all the time…what a beautiful, colorful world it would be…
+Find out if Radiant Human is coming to your city, and be sure to follow the journey on Instagram…And, if you’re in town in Austin during SXSW, they just announced that they’ll be returning March 17th – 19th!
Follow Julia on Instagram.