Give Your Photos a Cinematic Feel with these 4 Tips

Let’s be honest; we’ve all wanted to recreate the visuals we’ve seen in certain films through our photography attempts. There’s just something about cinematic photography that evokes an emotional response among viewers and adds to the image’s allure. Unsurprisingly, cinematic photography is often used as a storytelling technique to add emotional depth and feeling to the visuals captured.

You don’t have to be a Hollywood cinematographer to create these beautiful shots! Here are a few tips to remember when you’re trying to add a cinematic feel to your photography.

Invest in the Right Lighting Equipment

You can’t afford to compromise on your lighting equipment if you want to achieve cinematic results. After all, film production sets and photography studios make use of high-quality lighting equipment to create dramatic images. If you want to match that level of cinematography without going overboard with the editing, you need the right lighting supplies.

One of the simplest and most affordable solutions is a three-point lighting kit. The EzyLite Three Head Continuous Lighting kit is perfect for this. It includes three single-lamp continuous light sources, 50 x 70 cm softboxes, standard lighting stands, and a boom stand. The equipment is lightweight and provides constant light throughout the shoot duration. The softboxes allow for diffused lighting, whereas the stands are ideal for adjusting the distance and elevation of your lighting lamps.

Alternately, you can opt for the VL300 Three-Light LED Video Light with DeepPara Softbox, Strip Umbrella, and C-Stands Kit. This includes three AC-powered COB LED studio lights that enhance colour accuracy and are compatible with various forms of light modifiers. You can also use COB LED lighting to prevent overheating. The only downside is that this kit is significantly more expensive than traditional kits that use fluorescent lighting. However, you get a strip umbrella and a softbox with the kit to effectively diffuse your lighting as required.


EzyLite Softbox Three-Head Continuous Lighting Kit With Boom Stand (3x85W), VL300 Three-Head LED Video Light Kit With DeepPara110, 59" Umbrella & C-Stand Kit and LED200B MKIII Pro Bi-Colour LED Studio Light

Another great option for capturing dark and moody photography images is the PIXAPRO LED200B MKIII. Perfect for budget-conscious photographers, this uses the latest high-intensity LED technology to capture visually stunning images. The bicolour balance offered by this integrated LED lighting source allows for accurate colour reproduction. Best of all, you can use the dimmer dial that comes with it to adjust the brightness levels and create moodier shots. 

Create Special Effects with Gels

For creating dark and moody images, gel sheets are your best friends. These are placed in front of the primary lighting source to create unique lighting effects. Since they come in multiple colours, you can choose your preferred time and enhance the overall effect to achieve cinematic results.

The PIXAPRO Creative Colour Gel Pack is one of the most popular gel sheet options used by photographers. It comes with 11 individual 30 x 30 cm gel sheets that can be attached to the light source using tape or double clips. The vast range of colours offered by this unique gel pack allows you to enhance the tone of your images and add a vintage touch to your shots.

The PIXAPRO 30x30 cm Colour Correction Gel Pack comprises 6 individual sheets and is the perfect item for photographers on a budget. The variety of colours offered via the gel pack lets you match the colour temperature during your photoshoot and can also be used to simulate special effects. For instance, you can use the sheets to complement the ambient lighting or cool tones. However, these gel sheets can only be used with LED panels and studio strobes.


30x30cm Creative Colour Gel Pack and 30x30cm Colour Correction Gel Pack

Optical snoots are very popular in creative film industry, which are designed to project patterns onto the subject or background, to add visual interest or creative effects to your images. It is also a great choice for cinematographers, ideal for producing cinematic lighting effects to add depth to your movies. The Highpower spotlight attachment has just recently launched and is also suitable for any high intensity LED from 500W and above.

Optical Snoot Spot Projector With Built-In Shutter Blades For High-Powered LED Lights

Use Stroboscopic Flashes for Fast Motion Shots

In order to capture fast motion, you should also consider using high-speed studio stroboscopic flashes. These typically have various modes such as HSS and multi burst, which makes them perfect for capturing fast motion shots during event coverage.

The CITI600 Manual Battery Powered Flash is a great option for this. You can fire several low-powered flashes rapidly at a frequency of up to 100Hz per second. This lets you create stroboscopic effects and add a dramatic touch to your images.

Similarly, the STORM II 400 High-Speed Flash Head can also be used to capture a cinematic image sequence of moving objects. This flash head uses IGBT technology that works well with the multi-burst mode on DSLRs.

If you’re looking for a flash head that you can mix and match with popular camera brands, the All-in-1 CITI600 PRO with AC Adapter is also a versatile option. The added AC adapter lets you use the flash alongside the main power, preventing overheating.


CITI600 Manual All-In-One Battery Powered Studio Flash (Godox AD600BM)STORM II 400 High-Speed Flash Head (QT400 II) and Studio Location CITI600PRO 2-In-1 Dual Power Flash Kit-Battery And AC Powered

Incorporate the Right Backgrounds

Don’t underestimate the power of backdrops! Backgrounds are used to set the right tone and enhance the overall effect by accentuating the subject. Better yet, the right background allows the subject to blend seamlessly in the shadows and helps you take darker shots.

With the PIXAPRO Hand-Painted Background in Neutral Grey, you can add some more texture to your shots. The grey colour helps make the images look more dramatic and adds a dramatic flair to your photography setup.

We recommend that you go for our pitch-black options for a darker effect, as they’ll prevent the light from bouncing off from the background. They’re also great for reducing spills and highlighting the subjects from creative angles. The PIXAPRO Black 1.35m x 10m Seamless Paper Background is perfect for this purpose. Resistant to wear and tear, the thick black paper is easy to carry, set up, store, and instantly adds a cinematic vibe to your photoshoot.


2 X 3m Hand-Painted Canvas Backdrop (Neutral Grey) and 1.35m X 10m Seamless Paper Basic Background Kit

At EssentialPhoto, you can chop from our vast range of lighting tools, equipment, and video accessories needed for capturing cinematic images. Check out our collection online and by the right lighting kits, studio fixtures, and other products today!