How to Take a Silhouette Photo – Easy Tips For Artistic Results

silhouette photo
| How-To > How-To-Guides

Learn how to take a silhouette photo without expensive software or tricky steps. With these easy tips, all you need is clever use of natural light…

I often see silhouette tutorials that are just over-complicated or require some sort of expensive software. Here’s a far simpler way to make silhouette photos; all you need is a window, and some blinds or a swathe of material to cover it.

Take a silhouette photo on a sunny day for amazing results

This silhouette photo technique can be used at more or less anytime, but is best on a sunny day.

First, close your blinds or place a thin blank ( preferably white) sheet of material so it completely covers your window. Then place the camera on a tripod or flat surface in front of the window, at whichever angle you want the photo, though an eye-level shot is best. Now get your subject to stand in front of the window. They can pose however they like and you can take as many pictures you want.

silhouette photo tips

Post-production ideas

Depending on the lighting, you may have to up the contrast and brightness of the photos.

You can cut the silhouette of the person out and put it on another background or just layer the image onto another one – it depends on how you want your finished product to look. For example, I like how the blinds look in the background, but some people don’t.

silhouette photo tips

More tips to get started

  • Make sure you or your subject exaggerate their pose. Otherwise, you may just end up with an oddly shaped blob.
  • Use props. Sometimes just a pose can be boring, so try using different objects or outfits like top hats, different hair styles or cut-out shapes.
  • Don’t over-complicate things. Having too many people in the photo can overwhelm the image and make it hard to tell where one person ends and another begins.
  • Try getting your subject to move different body parts. For example, they could try keeping their body forward but facing their head to another direction as this can leave a nice glow across their face.

silhouette photo tips

If you enjoyed Tia’s ideas on how to take silhouette photos, follow her on Instagram at @tia_drops for more experimental photography.

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