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Photoshop Same Subject Multiple Times: Tutorial

The author is a photographer, designer, and freelance writer who shares her thoughts and tips here!


Learn How to Make a Subject Appear Several Times in an Image

Make your family and friends appear several times in an image with this fun Photoshop tutorial. These images were made in Photoshop, but it can be done with any photo editing software that allows you to work with layers.

Everyone will be fascinated with the final result and will be wondering how you made it. It is a unique and creative way to make family photos.

Advanced Photoshop users can skip some steps, especially when it comes to duplicate images, but I will go step by step for new Photoshop users.

At the request of my models, I blurred their faces, but the main point is that you see the final effect.

1. Taking Your Photographs

The first step, of course, is taking the images you will use.

To get exactly the same frame in all your photographs, it is important to set your camera on a tripod. Hand-held photos may not be as accurate for this purpose.

If you have a remote controller for your camera, even better; it can be cable or wireless—this is to avoid movement in the camera as you press the shutter release button.


Make sure to select an area where your model can move without blocking each other.

Plan ahead of how you want your image to be after the whole process and ask your model to pose accordingly to your idea.

This is so fun! That is what movie directors do when planning a movie scene.

For example, the first two images show a volleyball game between them. For the first image, I asked my subject to throw the ball, and I captured it in mid-air. In the second one, she gets ready to hit it back.

2. Open Your First Image in Photoshop

Once you have it opened, save it with a different name. You don't want to ruin your original photo in case something goes wrong.

For this tutorial, I named mine 01 and saved it as .jpg


3. Open Image #2

Here is where the fun part begins!

Open image #2.

Now you have two images opened in your Photoshop window. Look at the two red arrows on the top left corner of the image below.

In previous versions of Photoshop, you will see both images in two different windows. I have them as it shows here but that depends on your display preferences.


4. Duplicating Layer in Photoshop

On your second image, right-click on your photo layer (the one highlighted in blue) and select: Duplicate Layer.

You can see this window in the image above marked with an arrow on the right side of the screen.

After selecting duplicate layer, a prompt window will open.

Under Destination:

Click on the arrow next to Document box and select image 01 to duplicate your image into that file.

See image below:


Now go to your image 01, and you will see two layers as shown in the image below:

After duplicating the layer, you can close the original Image 2 so you remain with only Image 1 with two layers.

This will make it easier so you will not be confused with several images opened at the same time.


On your tools palette, select your Eraser tool (E) and select a size at the top. I chose 226px, but this depends on the size of the subject and the details.

You can adjust the size in the process.

Important: Make sure the top layer is selected (highlighted in blue) as in the image below:


5. Start Erasing

Let the magic begin!

On the top layer, start erasing where the subject is in the image below to make it appear.

To make sure you are doing it on the right spot, you can turn the upper layer off to see the layer below.

To do this check the image below and look at the arrow pointing towards the eye icon on that layer. I circled it in red.

Click on it and you will see the bottom layer, make sure you turn it on again and keep the upper layer highlighted.

Your subject will start appearing just like magic!


Continue erasing until your subject appears completely. Now you have two persons in the image—my models are playing volleyball!


6. Save Your Image as PSD

This will save it layered.

We are going to save your progress. To save your picture layered, we will save it as .PSD. PDD Format.

To do this go to File>Save as

In the prompt window type the name you prefer. I always add PSD after the name but that is me.

In the drop-down menu under Format, select the first option as shown in the image below: PSD PDD.


Manfrotto Tripods

As I mentioned before, it is important to set your camera on a tripod to get accurate alignment in the images for this tutorial.

Following is the tripod I have been using for years, and I recommend it to you.

Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black)

This awesome tripod by Manfrotto is strong, easy to use, and carry. Its flip-type legs are fast to release, which makes it a perfect tripod for field photography. I have been using Manfrotto products for several years, and I strongly recommend them. Their quality is superior to other products in the market.

7. Open Image 3

Open your image number 3. In this case, it is the girl sitting by the tree.

Duplicate the layer as we did in Step 4.

In this tutorial, you should always duplicate your layers into image 01 as destination, and these new layers should appear at the top.

Advanced Photoshop users can use commands and shortcuts. For newbies, we are doing it step by step.


After duplicating your third image you will see three layers in your Layer Palette as shown in the image above.

You can close the original of your third image now.

Start erasing as we did previously, this time remember that you have to bring the two previous images up. In this case, the two girls playing volleyball, and the ball in the air.

As we did before, you can turn the layer off just to check the position of your subject in the previous layer, and then turn it on again to continue.

Remember to check that the top layer is highlighted because this is the layer you are working on.


Isn't it fun to see how your images start showing up?


Now your image should have three models as this photo shows.

Save your image: File>Save

8. Adding One More Image

Open image 4.

In this case, is the girl on the tree. She took the cap from the girl sitting by the tree. Isn't she a meanie?

Repeat the duplicating process as we did in Step 4 and then image 01 will show four layers this time.

Remember to close the 4th image after duplicating it.

Start erasing until the girls in the previous layers come up.

See image below.


Now open image 5 and repeat the whole process. In this case, it is the girl peeking behind the tree.

After you're done, the image should look like this:


Save your image again.

9. Flatten the Image

We are almost done!

Now it is time to flatten the image.

There are several ways to do it:

As I mentioned before, advanced Photoshop users will do it faster. You will too when you get a hold of the program, but for now, I will show you two easy ways to do it:

Press Ctrl on your keyboard and with it pressed. Click on each layer on the Layer Palette until they are all highlighted.

Another way is to Press Shift on your keyboard and click on the top and bottom layers; all layers will be highlighted.

Image above

Now go to Layer at the top of the screen and from the drop-down menu select: Flatten Image.

See image below:


Now you can save your image as JPG, PNG, or Tiff, whichever format you prefer.

10. Your Final Result—a Bunch of Girls Having a Wonderful Day!

10. Your Final Result—a Bunch of Girls Having a Wonderful Day!

Put Your Creative Cap on and Have Fun

The sky is the limit!

I hope you had fun with this tutorial on how to create an image with the same subject multiple times.

You can create any image you like—be creative. The sky is the limit!

These are two more images with this technique. In fact, the first one is the same one we used in this tutorial but I added one more image.

How about creating one with: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil . . .


Good Luck!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on having the same subject multiple times in one image. If you have any questions, please send me a message through the contact button in my profile.

I would love to see you around again and hear about your experiences after applying this tutorial.

© 2012 Malu Couttolenc

Please leave your comments—thank you for visiting!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 31, 2017:

Hmmm...I'll have to try this! I've about been hauled off to the nut house from trying to learn how to make layers!

I wonder if these steps will work on my version of Photoshop, which is back at 6.0 ?

Cleanus on June 02, 2015:

Here you can get Adobe photoshop CS6

GetPhotographic on December 27, 2013:

Great lens. Aren't layers amazing! They have endless applications and you've made it so easy to follow.

anonymous on August 28, 2013:

Great technique.

Would love to adopt this one sometime.

othellos on August 04, 2013:

Excellent lens on a topic that can help a lot of people. Your instructions are so clear that makes the whole process look so easy.

anonymous on March 24, 2013:

Your lens came just in time - I'll use your instructions for my 1st aprile prank:). I can't wait:). thank you for sharing.

sikiriki on March 11, 2013:

Nice lens and good informed

Smurfs LM on March 11, 2013:

haha great one. I was always wondering how they make pictures like this:)

betterdayz on March 07, 2013:

I love messing about on Photoshop but find it's a constant learning curve. There is always something new to learn. This should be cool to try. Really appreciate the info.

Wayne Rasku on March 05, 2013:

This is a fun project. You make it look so easy.

NekoIchi on March 04, 2013:

Neat concept! Now it gives me some ideas.

anonymous on March 01, 2013:

I am a photographer, I use photoshop a lot. I love it. I have done this several times with my grandchildren and it is so much fun. Enjoyed your lens

lesliesinclair on February 26, 2013:

Nicely done. I'll try this in the future.

Northerntrials on February 26, 2013:

Cool concept I have an idea for a picture I 'll create this weekend. Thanks

Fabian Cornejo from Colorado on February 26, 2013:

That's awesome! You made it look so do-able.

Rob Hemphill from Ireland on February 25, 2013:

Such a quirky idea and well presented tutorial, blessed by a Squid Angel.

Joanne Reid from Prince Edward Island/Arizona on February 25, 2013:

Wow!! Fabulous lens!

internetsuc6 on February 24, 2013:

great stuff. Really amazing

laurenrich on February 23, 2013:

This is great information. It is very helpful and well organized. Thanks for sharing.

Bugsy459 on February 23, 2013:

AWESOME - This is really wild!!!!

Spletni Delavec on February 23, 2013:

Nice tutorial. Congrats on LOTD, congrats for #9 overall rank and especially congrats for being mentioned in "Top ranked lenses on Squidoo" lens :-)

Jenepher on February 23, 2013:

Great Info!! Thanks..

mrknowitall54321 on February 23, 2013:

Great attention to detail! Well done

The-Quirky-Banana on February 22, 2013:

AWESOME! I'm new to photoshop, and I like this kind of thing, so this is great! Congrats on the Lens of the Day :)

fotolady49 lm on February 22, 2013:

Congratulations on LOTD! This is a FUN lens. I've done a lot of image blending and fantasy images but never anything with the same subject duplicated in different parts of the same image like you did. What you did was really neat. Even though I am an advanced Photoshop user, I also learned something new about CS5 that I didn't know you could do with both files open in the same window since that is new to CS5, like you mentioned. I've only been using the CS5 version for a little over a year. Like I always say, no matter how much you know in Photoshop, there is always something new to learn. Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

freeman84 lm on February 21, 2013:

Nice info, and Gratz on the LotD.

Naa Kordai from London on February 21, 2013:

Great lense; will be putting this in practice on my next lense!

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on February 21, 2013:

This is a great photoshop tutorial! Congratulations on LotD!

anonymous on February 21, 2013:

Great tutorial. will have something new to play with now as could not understand layers at all

VineetBhandari on February 21, 2013:

Thanks you for sharing.

Frankie Kangas from California on February 20, 2013:

Fun, informational and easy to understand. Have to try it. Blessed Bear hugs, Frankie

racingdatabase on February 20, 2013:

Hehe, this is brilliant. I only got Photoshop a few weeks back and the whole thing is still a mystery to me (I've actually still being using Gimp - yikes!) Thanks for the info!

miaponzo on February 20, 2013:

OMG this looks like fun!!!! Thanks for the great tutorial!!! :)

carlcdouglas on February 20, 2013:

Well structured tutorial. I can feel my creative juices flowing with different ideas!

anonymous on February 20, 2013:

Thanks for this great tutorial... I think it is also possible with other softwares

Bob from Kansas City on February 20, 2013:

I really like finding new ways to use PS and this is an awesome tutorial that I will definitely be using! Many thanks!

pauly99 lm on February 20, 2013:

That sounds like fun. Wonder if I can do that with my golf swing? Well not when its about 10 degrees fahrenheit outside.

Bill from Gold Coast, Australia on February 20, 2013:

Great stuff! Congrats on LOTD. I do not have Photoshop, but do have Gimp. Pretty sure I could apply these instructions to that somehow.

ebaybee on February 20, 2013:

Great tutorial! Thank you for sharing.

teach on February 20, 2013:

Great tutorial...thanks for sharing!

anonymous on February 20, 2013:

How creative. I can't wait to try this.

Alessandro Zamboni from Italy on February 20, 2013:

This is awesome! A great tutorial, and it deserved a "Lens Of The Day" prize!

My compliments!

TopReviews2u on February 20, 2013:

Congratulations on Lens of the Day! Great informative lens.

SteveKaye on February 20, 2013:

Well done lens. Congratulations on receiving the LOTD.

BGrimes on February 20, 2013:

Very well written tutorial. I don't have Photoshop, but I'm really tempted now! Congrats on the purple star and lens of the day!

GuyNadeau LM on February 20, 2013:

Really great tutorial. Really impressive.

MartieG aka 'survivoryea' from Jersey Shore on February 20, 2013:

How great is that! Thanks for the easy to follow instructions and congratulations on a well deserved LotD :>)

Karli McClane from USA on February 20, 2013:

Excellent tutorial. Reading this made me want to try it out, just for the fun of it.

AskPat on February 20, 2013:

Congrats on LOTD! Great lens!

micjeffi on February 20, 2013:

Congratulations for the Lens of the Day :) Fantastic tutorial, i really enjoy it

Morgannafay on February 20, 2013:

Congrats on the Lens of the day! This is a wonderful photoshop guide on creating a photo in one image multiple times. <3 It's a well deserved recondition to an awesome writer. :)

anonymous on February 20, 2013:

Wow! That's intriguing! I can relate with saving every step. I learned that early, more of a prevention technique. It's definitely important!

KyraB on February 20, 2013:

How fun! Thanks for Sharing and Congratulations on LoTD!

Virginiangare on February 20, 2013:

Its thorough and simple, i love it. Congrats!

anonymous on February 20, 2013:

Very cool use of PhotoShop. Great lens! Congratulations on getting LotD!

Kathy McGraw from California on February 20, 2013:

Oh I so remember this tutorial! Congratulations on your LOTD, it is well deserved!

jean valdor on February 20, 2013:

Wow great lens!

kimmanleyort on February 20, 2013:

Malu, congratulations on LOTD for this terrific photography lens!

WinWriter on February 20, 2013:

Well done plus easy to follow instructions and pictures. Thank you :)

MissKeenReviewer on February 20, 2013:

Great lens- great photo effect idea. Just love it!

Beatlechan on February 20, 2013:

This looks like fun. I haven't done any fancy stuff in photoshop for awhile. This is something my son and I would enjoy putting together. thanks for the tutorial!

Harriet from Indiana on February 20, 2013:

I have Photoshop Elements. I purchased the book and video classroom and I am afraid I am beyond teaching. I could not seem to do anything that the video or book showed. This is a great tutorial that I am sure will help those that have the capacity to understand. Blessed

winningforwomen on February 20, 2013:

Thanks for this amazing technique. I don't have much experience using Photoshop and your lesson makes me want to get started.

writerkath on February 20, 2013:

What a hoot! That looks like a blast! I don't have photoshop, but you're tempting me... Congratulations on a fun LOTD! SquidBlessed!

katiecolette on February 20, 2013:

That looks like so much fun! Love photo editing :) Congrats on LOTD!

lebanonrealesta1 on February 20, 2013:

nice lens, i liked it

poldepc lm on February 20, 2013:

congrats on LOTD

cleanearth on February 20, 2013:

Sure makes me wanna get photo shop, I've always used paint shop pro, but I definiitly want to keep this info on hand. Thank you for sharing

Vikki from US on February 20, 2013:

Very helpful! Congrats on lotd ;)

RuthieDenise on February 20, 2013:

This is a very helpful lens. I have often wondered about Photo Shop. I am thinking of trying it.

BestRatedStuff on February 20, 2013:

Congrats on both the purple star and LOTD, this is a tutorial worth bookmarking.

maryseena on February 20, 2013:

Wow! This is a wonderful idea, very clearly explained. Thanks for sharing.

sagebrushmama on February 20, 2013:

Love it! My daughter took a class in Photoshop techniques last year...will have to see if she can try this!

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on February 20, 2013:

Wow, we are going to have great fun with this. Thanks for showing us how and congratulations on LOTD

JohnCumbow on February 20, 2013:

Very cool. And you make it so easy!

a-lyric on February 20, 2013:

This certainly beats finding identical quintuplets! ;-)

steveko on February 20, 2013:

Great tutorial, never thought of doing that.

Thank You

daisychainsaw lm on February 20, 2013:

Great lens, useful as I`m about to invest in Adobe CS6; can`t wait to get started!

louc99com on February 20, 2013:

That's cool. This trick can be very difficult to apply when we take the photos in different time. Each images will got different light volume and we need to play blur effect if so. I hate the blurring process because it's take long time to be finished but not longer than rendering :D

As an image editor, I give you double thumb for this tutorial and Congratulation for LOTD also purple star.

Yume Tenshi on February 20, 2013:

I've been working with Photoshop for years and it is always inspiring to find some new method of doing something! This is a well written tutorial and I will most certainly give it a go! :D

Maria Burgess from Las Vegas, Nevada on February 20, 2013:

This is a really neat project. Thank you for sharing these tips and congratulations on your LOTD feature and Purple Star!

hmommers on February 20, 2013:

Great tutorial!

I hope you don't mind if I add this tip: this also works the other way around. When I visited "Arches National Park" it was crowded with people, so I took several pictures and erased the people afterwards.


Marlies Vaz Nunes from Amsterdam, the Netherlands on February 20, 2013:

What a wonderfully clear and fun tutorial!

Fox Music on February 20, 2013:

Thank you for this remarkable lens (lesson) "Photoshop Same Subject Multiple Times: Tutorial" and concrads on Lens of the Day !!

Elaine Chen on February 20, 2013:

congratulation on the LotD :-) and thanks for the great tutorial

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on February 20, 2013:

I don't have Photoshop but have wanted it for a long time. I use an old PictureIt program and sure have fun with it so know I would enjoy Photoshop. I have to get a new computer first. Thanks for this great tutorial

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on February 20, 2013:

Great tutorial - even I can follow that! Very fun picture choice, too. Congratulations on your creative, "I wanna do that too!" Lens of the Day!

JoshK47 on February 20, 2013:

What a fascinating effect - wonderful work on this lens! Congrats on LotD, and here's a SquidAngel blessing for you!

Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on February 20, 2013:

This is a great exercise for working in layers - I am book marking your lens! Thank you!

Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on February 20, 2013:

This is a great exercise for working in layers - I am book marking your lens! Thank you!

Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on February 20, 2013:

This tutorial gives a good outline of one of the principles on which photoshop is based. Layers also have opacity so you can allow other layers to be seen through them in varying degrees. You do not have to totally erase. This can lead to very interesting results, have fun playing (those of you with photoshop)

Roberto Eldrum on February 20, 2013:

Ah, I have always wanted to do this and other similar tricks. One of my favorites is replacing your head with others. Gotta get my creative juices flowing. Thank You for the lovely creative tutorial. ~srk

afropages lm on February 20, 2013:

I love this lens. I will try this for sure!

Robin S from USA on February 20, 2013:

Congratulations, this lens was selected LotD today. You can read all about it here:

Kae Yo on February 20, 2013:

That is really cool. I want to try that! Congratulations on LOTD!

espio007 on February 20, 2013:

Very interesting and also so simple. Great lens

WriterJanis2 on February 20, 2013:

I love all of the pictures you included for readers.

Jogalog on February 20, 2013:

A really clear easy to read tutorial. Congratulations on LOTD!

aritahime on February 20, 2013:

Great! I'll try this soon =D

Thanks for sharing!

irminia on February 20, 2013:

A fun idea and a nice tutorial. Congrats!