"I Have A Dream", Making A Memorable Layered Portrait

“I Have A Dream” Silhouettes

Camera Class For Kids

Prepared by Brook Hewitt

This is a silhouette portrait of Max with a copy of the "I Have A Dream" speech layered on top. This was done in camera on a canon 6d multiple exposure setting.


This lesson is meant to teach students how cool silhouettes are and how to create them as well as how to layer neat stuff on top of them or create double exposures with two images. This lesson can be modified for a wide range of ages, abilities and cameras.

A silhouette is defined as a view of an object or a scene consisting of the outline and a featureless interior, with the silhouetted object usually being black. Silhouette’s can be a dramatic and creative way to photograph your subject.

This is a silhouette of a dinosaur, rawr!

One of the cool things you can do with a silhouette is layer another image on it to create a really neat artistic effects.

This can be done in camera with certain types of cameras or done on a mobile device or computer with special apps.

Today we use create a meaningful and memorable piece of art using a Canon 6d with a multiple exposure setting, our friend Max and a copy of the “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Here is a silhouette of my friend Max.

Here is a picture of a portion of a copy of Dr. martin Luther King Jr.'s historic, "I Have A Dream" speech. When you layer this on top of the Max picture, it looks really cool!


  1. Students will learn how to create a silhouette portrait.

  2. Student will learn what multiple exposure is

  3. Student will learn how to create the multiple exposure in camera

  4. Student will be introduced to layering effects using either a computer or mobile device.


  1. Canon 6d

  2. Willing portrait subject

  3. Backlit surface

  4. Printed copy of the “I have a Dream Speech”

  5. Computer

  6. Cell phone or mobile device


1. Backlight an area that will be behind your subject.

2. Place subject away from the backdrop.

3.Set your camera to expose for the well lit background

4. Get fairly close to your subject and focus (you might have to do this manually) and take the pic!

You may need to experiment with distance and angle from subject as well as the camera settings. Using a higher f-stop will make more of the subject and the subject outline sharper than a lower f-stop.

Once you have figured out how to create a silhouette you can start playing with layering or multiple exposure in the camera.

In Camera

1. Change settings on your camera by looking in the menu for multiple exposure. Choose 2 exposures.

2. Take the silhouette picture, remember to expose for the background but focus on the subject.

3. Take a 2nd picture of the “fill” image, today I am using the “I Have a Dream Speech.” You will need to probably change your shutter speed to allow less light into the camera for this part but make sure your 2nd subject is well lit.

The Camera will take care of the rest! Wait patiently while the camera layers the two images.

Done 'in camera' on a Canon 6D camera.

On A Computer Or Tablet


  1. Pick your images.

  2. Open your 1st or base image.

  3. Add your 2nd image on top of the 1st. It should have good texture or be somewhat graphic.

  4. Experiment with blending and editing until it looks the way you like.

This was done using two images on picmonkey. Here is a link you can follow to learn more about this: https://www.picmonkey.com/blog/double-exposure

This was done on my iphone using two images in snapseed. Here is a link you can follow to learn more about this: https://smartphonemediaproduction.com/snapseed-layers-and-text/


Light table Silhouettes

1.While you are busy helping students with “I Have a Dream Silhouettes”, have a light table set up with different animals on laying on it thus creating visual silhouette.

Dinosaur on the light table! RAWR!

1. Name that silhouette! Have pictures of silhouetted objects and ask students to guess what they are.

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