Tips on making double exposure portraits

Blend photos with Adobe Photoshop to create an image that tells a story in a unique way.

Double exposure is a photographic technique that involves blending two overlaid images to create one single picture. These images often have a surreal, otherworldly feel that transforms into a story. A story that can’t be achieved with a single photo. Follow these tips to merge your photos and experiment in Adobe Photoshop.

Experiment with portraits to manifest your creativity

Double exposure portraits are evocative, sometimes even hypnotic, and they possess the magic power to invite people in for a closer look. Two portraits of the same person may create a sense of self-reflection. Mixing portraits with other subjects convey specific messages related to the subject.

To create a double exposure portrait, use a portrait as your ‘base image’. Most people start with an underexposed portrait or silhouetted against a plain or seamless background. Try putting your subject completely inside the frame, so it shows a clear outline in the final image. Then, use any photo as the ‘layer image’ to be superimposed on top of the base image. The layer image must be properly exposed to ensure easy blending with the base image. And now, you’re ready to craft your double exposure art piece.

Create a digital double exposure in just a few steps

In analogue photography, double exposure literally means exposing a frame to light twice. With digital photography and photo editing tools, you’re able to create the same effect in a faster and easier way. Here are features in Photoshop that you can experiment with:

Double exposure makes almost anything possible. Find out what else Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom offers to spark your creativity.