According to some spiritual beliefs, an aura, sometimes called an energy field, is an atmosphere or quality surrounding something, often a person or other living thing.
Some people, primarily psychics, mediums, and other paranormal practitioners, claim that they can see a person’s aura, including its color, size, and “vibration.” These qualities of an aura hold some significance for certain people.
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This guide will mostly sidestep the discussion surrounding the lack of scientific backing for auras, aura photography, and aura cameras. The focus will instead be on the history of aura photography, outline what aura photography is today, and discuss what different auras mean to people who believe in aura photography.
For the many people who are entertained by, interested in, or outright convinced by horoscopes, astrology, tarot cards, mediums, and ghost hunting, aura photography may be right up their alley. People are interested in aura photography for a wide range of reasons, so this guide will help shed light on the topic.
Table of Contents
The Origins and History of Aura Photography
While the modern aura camera, AuraCam, is the result of work started by Guy Coggins in the 1970s, its roots are traced back much further.
Paranormalism experienced a massive uptick in popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries, leading to people making (and selling) a wide range of products and experiences to capitalize on the paranormal craze. Hypnotism, spiritualism, occultism, Mesmerism, and many other “ism’s” were everywhere.
Documented attempts to photograph energy fields surrounding a person began in the late 1800s. However, a breakthrough occurred in 1939 when Semyon Davidovich Kirlian discovered that by placing an object, or body part, on photographic paper and passing voltage through it, he could capture an image with a glowing edge surrounding the subject. This is “Kirlian photography.”
Regardless of Kirlian’s intentions, this photographic technique has been adopted by various parapsychologists to showcase people’s bioenergies and psychic powers. Studies have since shown that electricity produces gas ionization around an object depending upon the presence of moisture.
Fast forward to 1992, when Guy Coggins introduced Aura Imaging cameras and software that allegedly relies upon biofeedback data to create a color around a subject.
As of now, there’s no scientific evidence, at least none that stands up to rigorous peer review, that supports the notion that “auras” are psychic in origin. Study after study has concluded that the ability to see auras doesn’t exist.
Aura Photography Today
Despite lacking supporting evidence, many people find aura photography compelling and exciting in the modern age.
For example, Sarah Potter of Cosmopolitan writes that she “treats” herself to an aura portrait every year on her birthday. “It helps me reflect on my past year and set the stage for my next journey around the Sun. If I am home in NYC, then that means a trek downtown to my fave metaphysical store, Magic Jewelry in Chinatown, for an aura photo and analysis,” Potter writes.
Over at goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness and lifestyle brand, goop’s editors invited well-known aura photographer Christina Lonsdale of Radiant Human to visit their office and capture the team’s aura portraits.
Goop writes of aura photography, “The portraits are stunning, strange, and so cool — thanks to a double exposure that first takes a portrait and then the aura — and they happen thanks to silver-laced hand sensors that sit in your lap, sending a charge through the body.”
Some are more skeptical, even if they participate in aura photography. Marisa Meltzer of The New York Times had an aura portrait session with Ms. Lonsdale of Radiant Photo as well. She writes of aura portraits, “And perhaps they are best understood visually. One could interpret virtually anything from the colors, but taken as a series, it’s possible that I might be able to identify real patterns or change. At least I finally have a decent picture of myself.”
Whether for entertainment or insight, each year, many thousands of people get aura portraits done.
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Lonsdale is far from the only aura photographer who has a studio and goes on tours around the country, capturing people’s aura portraits. Another is Detroit-based conceptual artist and energetics researcher Eileen Lee of Aura Aura. She’s captured tens of thousands of aura portraits around the United States since 2017.
And, of course, there’s the camera behind it all, AuraCam. Coggins’s latest version is the AuraCam 6000. “As a holistic health practitioner, yoga teacher, or energy worker, you know the value of being able to accurately interpret your client’s spiritual state of being. With the AuraCam 6000, you can do just that. This unique device uses a human-computer interface composed of both hardware and software to capture a representation of your aura thanks to our innovative technology,” explains AuraCam.
How Does an AuraCam Work?
Goop’s article about aura photography briefly explains how an aura camera works. There’s a double exposure that captures a portrait of a person and then their aura. Hand sensors on the subject’s lap send a charge through the body, which then changes depending on their aura or spirit.
“Our aura reading machine uses a hand sensor. A person would put their left (or right) hand onto the hand sensors. This, in turn, would allow a particular product to measure physiological parameters. The hand sensor itself has various contact points on them designed to maximize reading accuracy. The hand sensor is also sensitive to deviations in temperature, humidity, and static electricity in the environment and the person, allowing for greater precision in data gathering. These data parameters are then projected as a radiant, colored aura field around the body on an instant film photo or a computer monitor. In rapid time thereafter, a brilliant color photo or computer printout can be presented to the user to help them understand their own personal aura color interpretation,” explains AuraCam.
What’s happening is that a sensing device sends an electrical charge through a person, and that charge is then read by an aura camera, along with a more traditional portrait of the individual. Colors correlating in some way to the sensory readings are then exposed around the person, and some people believe these colors hold significance.
All About Colors: What Do the Colors in an Aura Portrait Represent?
The colors are at the heart of aura photography’s appeal and, for some, its value. What do the colors mean to the people who believe in the significance of auras?
Lee describes aura colors as follows: “Our aura colors can (and do) change with our life stories, emotions, and situations. This experience looks to capture and document these moments, empowering participants to understand their auric states, fostering deeper awareness as universal beings — all while expanding the individual and collective consciousness.”
Lonsdale of Radiant Human explains that there are eight colors: red, orange, tan, yellow, green, blue, purple, and white. Aura Aura says there are additional colors like pink, magenta, and indigo. Magic Jewelry NYC claims that there are red, orange, yellow, pink, green, indigo, blue, purple, and white auras.
Each color has its own meaning, and the location of colors is also essential. Aura Aura explains that “aura anomalies,” such as streaks, beams, channels, rays of light, and orbs, can further expand an aura’s significance.
A red aura indicates strength, intensity, willpower, new beginnings, leadership, action, practicality, and passion. People with red auras are typically unafraid of birth, death, sensuality, and adventure.
As for the chakra, red is the color of the root chakra. This relates to the connection of an individual to the tangible world.
People with red auras are encouraged to be active and spend time in nature.
If a person’s red aura is heavy or dark, it’s believed they have low energy.
Orange is the color of the sacral chakra, which relates to creativity, sensuality, and subtle emotions. People with an orange aura are said to be creative, confident, independent, social, and enjoy challenges.
It’s important for people with orange auras to get into water or visit a river or ocean, as they can be aloof and must have their energies regularly revived.
People with orange auras are often entrepreneurs or those who are successful salespeople. Those with orange auras are said to work well with many other people.
Individuals with tan auras are detail-oriented, cautious, logical, strategic, and often intelligent.
These people work well within structured environments and can be meticulous planners.
Those with tan auras should be sure to expand their horizons often, as they can become mired in rigid thought patterns.
Yellow auras indicate optimism, enthusiasm, open-mindedness, and generosity. People with yellow auras are often playful and whimsical.
These people foster an environment where others feel comfortable.
A yellow aura also indicates that a person has power and influence over others. It’s the color of the solar plexus chakra, which is the chakra responsible for self-esteem and personal power.
People with a yellow aura have a strong sense of self and radiate like the Sun.
Green is the heart chakra’s color, which is essential for self-improvement and self-healing.
People with green auras emanate unconditional love and support for others, and anyone who encounters a person with a green aura feels empowered.
Individuals with green auras are often drawn to nature and animals. They are said to be the most balanced of all people across the spectrum and feel a strong sense of responsibility to themselves and others.
However, if a green aura is dark or murky, it may indicate that the person is “green with envy.” Sometimes people with a green aura perceive themselves as victims.
Blue comes in various shades, including cyan, turquoise, and royal blue. These different shades mean slightly different things. However, a blue aura is often associated with the ability to live authentically. Blue is the throat chakra’s color, which controls communication and expressiveness.
People with blue auras are often considered dreamers and place high significance on personal relationships. Honesty is vital to people with blue auras.
People with blue auras make great philosophers. The lighter the shade of blue a person has, the more peaceful they are.
If a blue aura individual feels left wanting, they should consider joining a choir, participating in theater, or doing a water-based activity.
Indigo is the color of the third eye chakra, which correlates to inner knowledge and the ability to intuit.
An indigo aura indicates sensitivity and empathy. A brighter indigo shade relates to clarity, willpower, and the ability to help others.
People with this aura often operate more based on emotion than logic and enjoy thinking of themselves as a small part of a bigger whole.
Despite relying on emotional thinking, indigo auras indicate an ability to discern fact from fiction. However, a darker indigo aura, such as a navy blue, can mean that a person is experiencing self-doubt and a disconnect from their intuitive abilities.
The color of the crown chakra, purple relates to dreams. People with this aura are allegedly dynamic and charismatic. They have powerful personalities and often aim to inspire and lead others.
“Purples” are said to be visionaries and very idealistic. They are also described as empaths with the skills to be progressive and original.
A purple aura can emanate from unconventional, playful, and non-judgmental people.
Such original thinkers can feel overwhelmed, so they should share their vision with others or a journal to ensure they don’t hold too much inside themselves.
A pink aura is considered to be gentle and representative of loving energy. People with pink auras are considered tender, kind, and compassionate.
A brighter pink corresponds to curiosity and a strong desire for love and peace.
A lighter pink is apparently a rare color of aura; the more “bubblegum” a pink aura, the more gentle an individual is.
The heart chakra is represented by pink, and it’s often associated with feminine energy. People with a pink aura are said to be able to heal others with a simple smile or even just their presence.
Someone with a magenta aura is said to be a very original individual. Magenta combines blue and red energies, so they have a strong understanding of the physical world, like a person with a red aura, while also being intuitive, like people with blue and indigo auras.
Someone with a magenta aura is well-suited to creative work and is said to march to the beat of their own drum.
They are independent and rarely swayed by outside influence and peer pressure. A person with a magenta aura often uses humor to diffuse situations and confront life’s challenges.
Connected to the soul chakra, a white aura is the mark of a person transcending the physical realm. It’s believed there are only a handful of people with pure white auras on the planet, and they are entirely free from personal issues and health problems.
A strong white frequency surrounding a person indicates unfettered receptiveness to the universe. A person with a white aura doesn’t have ambitions for their corporeal existence and is focused on objective truth and purity.
People with a cloudy or murky white aura may seek answers and feel confused instead.
If someone has a pure white aura, it’s said that they’ve reached a higher plane of existence.
Location of Colors and Aura Anomalies
Any aura above a person’s ears represents an individual’s consciousness.
Colors on the left-hand side of an aura portrait relate to the energy entering an individual and how a person perceives the world.
On the right-hand side, these auras represent the energy someone is pushing out or how the world perceives that individual.
An aura arch reflects a person’s goals or aspirations or something that they value greatly.
If a person’s aura portrait includes streaks, beams, channels, or rays of light, these can indicate a direct connection to the universe or a spiritual relationship.
Want an Aura Portrait?
Individuals that want an aura portrait of their own can seek out professional photographers with aura cameras, including Radiant Human, Aura Aura, and Magic Jewelry NYC.
A quick Google query for “aura photography near me” or “where to get an aura portrait” will also yield results for people with aura cameras in different locations.
People could also purchase an AuraCam 6000 or rent one. Prices vary, although a daily rental can cost more than $500.
An AuraCam 6000 also requires consumable “modules,” which cost $450 for 200 or $1,050 for $500.
Image credits: Illustrative images generated using artificial intelligence.