Double Exposure + Experimenting with Self Portraits

Hello, dears!

I had so much fun making this post and editing the pictures for today! A few weeks ago, I spent a while practicing self portrait photography because I found a spot of beautiful lighting in our house and wanted to use it somehow. πŸ˜› I went a little overboard with the editing, ending up with some pretty and unique double exposures and black and white photos.

I hope you enjoy these experiments, and maybe get some inspiration for creative ways to edit portraits (your own or of others)!

featured image 125

Before we start, here’s a completely unedited picture of me, so you know what I actually look like (or looked like when I took the pictures) before I get into all the crazy edits. πŸ˜‰


Okay, starting off with a fairly normal photo. I especially wanted to practice capturing “catchlights” in eyes with this photoshoot. Catchlights are the shiny highlights that appear when the subject looks into the light or into a light place, like the sky. For most of these photos, I faced toward the white-curtained window, which created really pretty diffused lighting. You can tell I was looking at a window by the shape of the highlights in my eyes.

portrait 3

I played around with black and white a lot at first. There’s just something about B&W portraits, am I right? I think it’s the contrast between the skin and the hair and eyes.

portrait 9

A tip for editing portraits is to sharpen the eyes – even if you don’t enhance the color or anything else, that really makes them pop! I also used the “Eye Brighten” tool here.

(Side note: isn’t it interesting that people’s eyes aren’t exactly symmetrical?? Mine certainly aren’t; I bet yours aren’t either. So when you’re drawing two eyes and they don’t turn out exactly the same, don’t worry too much about it. πŸ˜‰ )

portrait 7

For some reason I think half-portraits look really neat. I drew this in my sketchbook as well, which I’ll show you in an upcoming art post. πŸ™‚

portrait 6

The black and white with a pop of red reminds me of a vintage poster or something. Does it to you?

portrait 4

This one’s kinda strange, but I liked the way the windowpane shadows reflected on our bathroom counter. πŸ˜›

exposure 8

Alright, now for the double exposure photos – YAY! Double exposure is when you take one photo (usually aΒ  dark portrait with a white background) and overlay another picture (often a textured picture like trees or clouds) on top of it. The texture “sticks” mostly to the dark parts, like the hair, and doesn’t show through the light parts as much, like the face.

Ah, I love how this one turned out! Especially the tiny moon in my hair. πŸ™‚

exposure 5

I like the way this one turned out too, despite the fact that I NEVER do this in real life. πŸ˜› Sometimes poses that feel awkward in real life actually look the best on camera. And… sometimes they don’t. I think most photographers are more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it, but it’s good to practice both sides once in a while. πŸ™‚

exposure 4

Double exposure pictures often use portraits in profile, since the way the hair and face contrast works really well with the effect. To be honest, I rarely take pictures of myself in profile because I just don’t like the way it looks, at all. Despite that, I decided to try and I’m actually really happy with how it turned out! The tree texture did work well with the side profile.

exposure 6

Apparently I liked hand-in-hair poses?? XD I think the half-double-exposure effect looks really neat, and would be great for a graphic of some sort, maybe for a website or a book cover?

exposure 9

Purple clouds! YAY. And that’s all I have to say.

exposure 7

We shall end with a VERY edited picture that was a ton of fun to make, but hardly looks like me anymore. πŸ˜› Also my expression is… strange. I need to keep practicing my non-smiling-face. XD But I love the way the purple and pink sky shows through here! So pretty.

exposure 10

I think that’s enough pictures of my face for now. :’D I hope you enjoyed those edits! Feel free to pin these for future reference, and check out this great tutorial if you’d like to learn how to make your own double exposure portraits.

Also, I’m going to start linking the editing site I use,, with a referral link. That means PicMonkey will pay me some money if someone clicks the link and signs up through it – kind of like Amazon affiliates. πŸ™‚ I am a loyal fan of Picmonkey, heh heh. I’ve been using it and recommending it for probably five years – ever since I started my blog, I think. So yeah! Check it out if you’re looking for a versatile and powerful editing platform.

Which photo was your favorite? Have you tried the double exposure effect before? Does anyone else just love editing??

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!


P. S. Photos taken with my Nikon D3400 and a 35mm lens. Edited with


51 thoughts on “Double Exposure + Experimenting with Self Portraits

  1. AHHHHHH I LOVE THESE ALLISON! Mainly because it’s pictures of you, my bestest friend, but still. XD XD This starts to drive me crazy when so many people say this to me, but AHH, YOU’RE SO PRETTY. πŸ™‚ And also hmmmm, I think you definitely look your age now, random fact.

    CATCHLIGHTS! Eeeep, I LOVE those! Also these were my favorites:

    I really like the double exposure look, but as you know, I rarely do any editing like that. Perhaps I should try!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *gulp* YOU ARE SO KIND. Thank you so, SO much, my dear. ❀ I'm really glad you think so. πŸ™‚ And ha ha, really? Thanks… I think? XD

      I KNOW, ME TOOO! I always think of that shoot with your cousins when I think of catchlights, because you did such a great job of capturing them then. πŸ™‚ Ooh yay, favorites! I love those too!

      Yeah, I realize that… but YOU SHOULD TRY IT. It's just so much fun!


  2. These pictures blew my mind! I had never seen double exposure pictures before! πŸ˜€ These are so so so cool! :O I LOVED them! I really like the one with the tiny moon! It is so cool! πŸ˜€ Awesome pictures! πŸ˜€

    -Laura ❀ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! These are really cool! I got excited when I saw the title said double-exposure!
    I really like this one, . I just think it turned out really cool and pretty!
    I also think this one is really interesting . The angle/framing of the photo is really neat, and the purple clouds make it look so interesting and like a fantasy book cover! Actually it really looks like a great book cover now that I think about it. πŸ˜‰
    This post was a great start to my Saturday! ☺
    ~ Gracie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “May the Creativity be with you”. Interesting snaps Allison. And may I say, you do have beautiful eyes. Such eyes and the lens make a good combination for amazing outcomes. Keep it up, keep snapping πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahhhh, these are SO cool, and they must have been so much fun to edit! I usually enjoy editing even more than I enjoy taking pictures – to me, that’s when I sort of… bring the photos to life, I guess. πŸ˜€ *happy sigh* It’s such a relaxing thing to do, don’t you think? Anyway… here’s my favorite photo:

    I love the perfectly sharp focus and the contrast between your dark hair and the light-colored clouds. ❀ Also, YAY PICMONKEY! Well, kind of. I'm still getting over their betrayal. *sigh* XD Actually, it turned out to be kind of a good thing, because it forced me to learn how to use GIMP and now I love it! These photos have inspired me to try some more creative editing styles. πŸ˜€ *wanders away with my camera*


    1. THANK YOUUUU! YES, they most certainly were! Really? Yeah, I definitely get that, how editing feels like you’re bringing the photo to life, and also truly experiencing it in a way you can’t on your tiny camera screen. πŸ™‚ Ooh, thanks, and thanks for telling me WHY you liked it – I love hearing! Heh heh, I knoooow, I’m so sad PicMonkey isn’t free anymore. *wails* But hey, I’m glad you like GIMP! And also that this post inspired you. *beams*

      Liked by 1 person

Your comments make my day! Please keep them clean and respectful so everyone can enjoy this blog. :) Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s