Photoshop Same Subject Multiple Times: Tutorial

Updated on August 2, 2016

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.

As a request from my models, I blurred their faces but the main point is that you see the final effect.

1. Taking Your Photographs

Several images with the same subject in different places

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 2 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 as .jpg

3. Open Image Number 2

Here is where the fun part begins!

Open image number 2.

Now you have 2 images opened in your Photoshop window. Look at the 2 red arrows on the top left corner of the image below.

In previous versions of Photoshop you will see both images in 2 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 along 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 2 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 it shows in the image below: PSD PDD.

Manfrotto Tripods

The brand I have been using for years

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 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. For more tripod options visit: Photo and Video Tripods.

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 on 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 3rd image you will see 3 layers in your Layer Palette as shown in the image above.

You can close the original of your 3rd image now.

Start erasing as we did previously, this time remember that you have to bring the 2 previous images up. In this case the 2 girls playing volleyball and the ball in the air.

As we did before, you can turn the layer off just to check their 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 you image should have 3 models as this photo shows.

Save your image: File>Save

Save, save, save!

It is important to save your progress after each step.

Just as you do when working on any other computer project or document.

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 on Step 4 and then image 01 will show 4 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 peaking 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 do 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. The format you prefer.

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!

Hope you had fun with this tutorial of 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 2 more images with this technique. In fact the first one is the same 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....

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial about 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.

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

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Malu Couttolenc

    Please leave your comments - Thank you for visiting

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      • DzyMsLizzy profile image

        Liz Elias 

        2 years ago from Oakley, CA

        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 ?

      • profile image


        4 years ago

        Here you can get Adobe photoshop CS6

      • GetPhotographic profile image


        6 years ago

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

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        Great technique.

        Would love to adopt this one sometime.

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        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.

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        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 profile image


        7 years ago

        Nice lens and good informed

      • Smurfs LM profile image

        Smurfs LM 

        7 years ago

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

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        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 profile image

        Wayne Rasku 

        7 years ago

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

      • NekoIchi profile image


        7 years ago

        Neat concept! Now it gives me some ideas.

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        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 profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • Northerntrials profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • fbcivcoming profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • rob-hemphill profile image

        Rob Hemphill 

        7 years ago from Ireland

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

      • Joanne Reid profile image

        Joanne Reid 

        7 years ago from Prince Edward Island/Arizona

        Wow!! Fabulous lens!

      • internetsuc6 profile image


        7 years ago

        great stuff. Really amazing

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        AWESOME - This is really wild!!!!

      • Spletni Delavec profile image

        Spletni Delavec 

        7 years ago

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

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Great Info!! Thanks..

      • mrknowitall54321 profile image


        7 years ago

        Great attention to detail! Well done

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        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 profile image

        fotolady49 lm 

        7 years ago

        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 profile image

        freeman84 lm 

        7 years ago

        Nice info, and Gratz on the LotD.

      • Naakordai profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • Faye Rutledge profile image

        Faye Rutledge 

        7 years ago from Concord VA

        This is a great photoshop tutorial! Congratulations on LotD!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • VineetBhandari profile image


        7 years ago

        Thanks you for sharing.

      • Franksterk profile image

        Frankie Kangas 

        7 years ago from California

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

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        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!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • safereview profile image


        7 years ago from Kansas City

        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 profile image

        pauly99 lm 

        7 years ago

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

      • RawBill1 profile image


        7 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

        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 profile image


        7 years ago

        Great tutorial! Thank you for sharing.

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Great tutorial...thanks for sharing!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • Alessandro Zambon profile image

        Alessandro Zamboni 

        7 years ago from Italy

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

        My compliments!

      • TopReviews2u profile image


        7 years ago

        Congratulations on Lens of the Day! Great informative lens.

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Well done lens. Congratulations on receiving the LOTD.

      • BGrimes profile image


        7 years ago

        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 profile image

        GuyNadeau LM 

        7 years ago

        Really great tutorial. Really impressive.

      • MartieG profile image

        MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

        7 years ago from Jersey Shore

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

      • Karli McClane profile image

        Karli McClane 

        7 years ago from USA

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

      • AskPat profile image


        7 years ago

        Congrats on LOTD! Great lens!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • Morgannafay profile image


        7 years ago

        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. :)

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        How fun! Thanks for Sharing and Congratulations on LoTD!

      • Virginiangare profile image


        7 years ago

        Its thorough and simple, i love it. Congrats!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

        Kathy McGraw 

        7 years ago from California

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

      • jean valdor profile image

        jean valdor 

        7 years ago

        Wow great lens!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Malu, congratulations on LOTD for this terrific photography lens!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • MissKeenReviewer profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • Beatlechan profile image


        7 years ago

        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!

      • designsbyharriet profile image


        7 years ago from Indiana

        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

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • writerkath profile image


        7 years ago

        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 profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • lebanonrealesta1 profile image


        7 years ago

        nice lens, i liked it

      • poldepc lm profile image

        poldepc lm 

        7 years ago

        congrats on LOTD

      • cleanearth profile image


        7 years ago

        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

      • choosehappy profile image


        7 years ago from US

        Very helpful! Congrats on lotd ;)

      • RuthieDenise profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • BestRatedStuff profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • maryseena profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • sagebrushmama profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • LiteraryMind profile image

        Ellen Gregory 

        7 years ago from Connecticut, USA

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

      • JohnCumbow profile image


        7 years ago

        Very cool. And you make it so easy!

      • a-lyric profile image


        7 years ago

        This certainly beats finding identical quintuplets! ;-)

      • steveko profile image


        7 years ago

        Great tutorial, never thought of doing that.

        Thank You

      • daisychainsaw lm profile image

        daisychainsaw lm 

        7 years ago

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

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        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 profile image

        Yume Tenshi 

        7 years ago

        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

      • MBurgess profile image

        Maria Burgess 

        7 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

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

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        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 profile image

        Marlies Vaz Nunes 

        7 years ago from Amsterdam, the Netherlands

        What a wonderfully clear and fun tutorial!

      • Fox Music profile image

        Fox Music 

        7 years ago

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

      • Elaine Chen profile image

        Elaine Chen 

        7 years ago

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

      • OhMe profile image

        Nancy Tate Hellams 

        7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

        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

      • SusanDeppner profile image

        Susan Deppner 

        7 years ago from Arkansas USA

        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!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • Elyn MacInnis profile image

        Elyn MacInnis 

        7 years ago from Shanghai, China

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

      • Elyn MacInnis profile image

        Elyn MacInnis 

        7 years ago from Shanghai, China

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

      • Dressage Husband profile image

        Stephen J Parkin 

        7 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

        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)

      • neosurk profile image

        Roberto Eldrum 

        7 years ago

        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 profile image

        afropages lm 

        7 years ago

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

      • aka-rms profile image

        Robin S 

        7 years ago from USA

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

      • Kae Yo profile image

        Kae Yo 

        7 years ago

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

      • espio007 profile image


        7 years ago

        Very interesting and also so simple. Great lens

      • WriterJanis2 profile image


        7 years ago

        I love all of the pictures you included for readers.

      • Jogalog profile image


        7 years ago

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

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Great! I'll try this soon =D

        Thanks for sharing!

      • irminia profile image


        7 years ago

        A fun idea and a nice tutorial. Congrats!


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