How to Shoot Dreamy Double Exposure Portraits + 5 Awesomely Inspirational Photographers


Haunting, dreamy, and gorgeous all at once, double exposures of silhouettes are the kind of photos that make you stare a while.

It’s been on your projects-to-try list, so here’s a friendly nudge with a few tips on this ethereal brand of portrait-taking.

The basics

  • 1st image: Shoot your subject with the sun or a bright sky behind them.
  • 2nd image: Shoot a well-lit textured backdrop, a landscape, flowers, grass etc. This fills in the silhouette with that image!

If you’re shooting with your phone or a digital camera

  • Overlap photos in Photoshop and play with their transparency to blend them.
  • Or use apps like Image Blender or Little Photo to combine photos.
  • If you’re shooting on film:

    • Use 200-400 ISO. Underexpose by 1 stop, since you’re exposing the film twice.
    • Shoot a roll of silhouettes. Then, rewind and reload to shoot over those exposures with textures.
    • Or line up your frames more precisely by marking your film when you load it and writing down what you’ve photographed on each frame.

    With methods ranging from 35mm to iPhone, there are a handful of photographers who have really mastered the double exposure portrait. Check out their work below for inspiration!

    5 Amazing Double Exposure Photographers
    (Photo above by Japser James)

    A Guide to Double Exposure Photography

    p.s. We wanna see your double exposures! Follow us on Tumblr and post your double exposure with the tag #photojojo. We’ll pick our favorites to post on 7/13!

    Posted in DIY, Guides, Tips