Christina Lonsdale Is Portland's Best Photographer of Auras

A yellow aura tends toward whimsy, while white apparently belongs to souls with cosmic wisdom.

Red signals leadership and passion. Orange bespeaks aloofness. A yellow aura tends toward whimsy, while white apparently belongs to souls with cosmic wisdom. And as Portlander Christina Lonsdale tells it, Gwyneth Paltrow's "polarized" green, yellow and blue aura is indicative of a woman who "feels things very deeply."

Lonsdale's company, Radiant Human, is equal parts art project and, in one very particular sense, palm reading: Subjects of Lonsdale's photographs rest their hands on a sensor that "reads" their energy. A rare kind of camera—invented in 1970 by Guy Coggins—overlays the portraits of her subjects with a second exposure that's meant to represent the color of their aura, the cosmic energy many cultures believe surrounds and emanates from all living things.

Like Apple Paltrow, it seems Lonsdale didn't fall far from the family tree. The daughter of a visionary painter mother and psychiatrist father, she grew up in a commune founded by her parents in the '60s. Lately, she's been taking her camera on the road, touring the country to take portraits and "get people in touch with this energy that's around them all the time but that they may not be paying attention to." Aside from Goop, she's also shot HBO's Girls star Zosia Mamet, Chloë Sevigny and Canadian "urban faery" Grimes, whose aura is—perhaps unsurprisingly—something of a rainbow.

Best of Portland Issue 2016.

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