Double Exposure Portrait Photography

Hello friends!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might remember my previous experiments with double-exposure photography here. Double exposure refers to the concept of taking two pictures and merging them. It’s often done for portraits especially, to tell a story or just add an artistic flare.

I’ve been meaning to try it again ever since the aforementioned post and I finally got around to making some more creative portraits. Enjoy some artistic (or maybe just weird) photography experimentation! 🙂

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See, isn’t it neat? Here I used a picture Sully took for me as the portrait and a candle shot from this post as the overlay.

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I created all of these in Photoshop. Step 1: Remove the background from your portrait and fill with white. Step 2: Open your overlay photo in a new layer above the portrait. Step 3: Change the overlay’s blend mode to “Screen.”





Other than some tweaking and adjustments, those three basic steps are all you need. Here I slightly erased the overlay from my face and kept it “full strength” over my hair.

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I love how this one turned out! It’s a picture of my friends Samantha and Graham from their engagement photoshoot, overlaid with a photo of the view from their house. 🙂


After that one, I was inspired to take another of their engagement pictures and overlay it with one from their wedding. It could be done better, but I really like this concept! I might try it more seriously if I shoot another engagement/wedding.


A lot of these portraits are of me, since, well, I’m the most readily available model. Sully also took this one for me though! It’s nice having an assistant. 😉


A picture of my mom from a charter fishing trip, overlaid with a landscape from that same trip. 


In my limited experience, the best photo combination is a dark, contrasted portrait with a fairly well-lit overlay. Sky and other light parts will show up mostly white if overlaying a dark part of the portrait, like the hair. Dark overlay + dark portrait = mostly portrait showing through, like on my sweater.


Even though these were just for fun, it was neat to try and add a little bit of storytelling to a photo. Here’s an old picture of Sully looking studious and writerly, overlaid with a country landscape full of cows. If you know Sully, you’ll agree this combination is quite fitting. Heh.

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I have stripes on my face! The wheat overlay sort of worked and sort of just looks weird? I dunno. The colors go nicely with my shirt though.

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Two old photos. If only the portrait was a camera photo instead of a grainy phone picture, this would be one of my favorites!


This one is quite confusing. I wanted to make a portrait of Megan with sunflowers but the only one I found that worked was of her sitting on a yellow couch. So everything kinda all blends together. 


Something else I realized: if the subject of the overlay is too large (like these giant flowers) it will look weird. Also green skin sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t…

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This one cracks me up because it looks exactly like the cover of a cheesy book or Hallmark movie, you know? You can find a lot of double exposure photography in those covers. Still, I love this combination of two portraits from MacRae’s senior photoshoot.


We’ll end with another of my favorites. Clouds make for a dreamy overlay.


I hope you enjoyed that strange li’l post! It was a lot of fun to experiment with.

Have you seen or tried double exposure photography before? Which of these portraits were your favorite?

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



25 thoughts on “Double Exposure Portrait Photography

  1. That is so cool!!!! Never seen anything like it! I really like the one with your hair up and the autumn trees on your shirt (the one that was taken with a phone), and the picture from your friends’ engagement. Thank you for sharing, Allison!
    God bless,


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