How to Take Silhouette Photos: Guide and Tips

Summary: In this blog, we will show you how to take silhouette photos. And we also provide some tips for you on silhouette photoshoot.

a sunset silhouette shot of a man

The silhouette is one of the creative photography techniques. The bright background and the subject in the dark strike a sharp contrast, being eye-catching. The subject in the dark conveys a sense of mystery.

Taking a silhouette picture is not a hard task as it seems that a lot of complex procedures are involved in the process. In this blog, we will show you how to take silhouette photos and give you some suggestions for it. If you want to take creative silhouette photos, just follow us to explore how to make it. After that, you are able to photography a silhouette easily.

How to Take Silhouette Photos

When the time and venue are right, you can move to the next step to shoot silhouette photos. Follow our comprehensive guide on how to photograph a silhouette, you can create a silhouette picture easily.

Shoot against the Light

A silhouette shot of two people jumping

Where the light source is located determines the success of silhouette. Generally, the photographer would make sure the subject receives enough light and then shoot. In this case, the subject is clear and recognizable.

However, when shooting shadow silhouette photos, things go to the opposite. The source of light is behind the photography subject. The photographer shoots against the light, leaving the subject a dark outline on the photo.

Then how to shoot shadow silhouette pictures indoors? Just set your subject near the door or window, similarly, shoot against the light. On condition that the light doesn’t work well, you can place a light source behind the subject.

Select Subjects With a Sharp Outline

Once the environment is right, determine your photography subject. Anything can be the subject of the silhouette photo, so don’t limit your subject to the human. Photographing animals, plants, and architecture are all good ideas.

But to maximize the photographic effect, you must make sure your subject with a sharp outline, and it is recognizable. Besides, when you are shooting more than one photography subject, ascertain that each of them is not overlapped by others, preventing it from being messy and unrecognizable.

Shoot From a Low Angle

A silhouette shot of a dancing girl in the seaside

Shooting from a low angle enables the photography subject less likely to be distracted by other objects around, making it stand out in the silhouette picture. A low angle may also open the door to a new world for you, and bring a different visual experience for the viewers.

Manual Mode

If the above methods fail to satisfy you, you could adjust the picture manually to have better control over the exposure. Just tap the brightest part of your photo to adjust the exposure, and then your photography subject could be a silhouette.

Tips for Taking Silhouette Photos

Learning how to take shadow silhouette pictures is not enough, to better utilize the skill we would like to engage you with some tips for silhouette photoshoots.


A sunset silhouette photo of a girl

As we all know, light is the prerequisite to a successful silhouette picture. To ensure the right light, choosing a suitable time for silhouette photography is crucial. The best times to take silhouette photos are at sunrise and sunset. The light is gentle at this time and the scenery is fascinating, making it perfect for a backdrop.


In addition to the right light source, the venue also plays a crucial role on silhouette photography. No matter you are going to take silhouette photos indoors or outdoors, make sure there won’t be obstacles in the venue. It had better be an open field, freeing the subject from being distracted. The beach is a good example to outdoor silhouette photoshoot.


In case the external condition is ready, pay attention to the composition of your silhouette photos. Don’t let the photography subject make up your entire silhouette photo, try to leave some empty space for it. Besides, placing it at the three-quarter line of the photo makes for better silhouette images.

Moving subject

A silhouette shot of a bird hovering above the forest.

Your silhouette photography subject could be anything. A still subject is a choice that never goes wrong even though you are a novice. But if you have mastered the skill of photographing still subjects, and want to challenge to better silhouette photos, try photographing moving objects. It conveys a sense of mystery, meanwhile, presenting vitality. Use burst mode to capture the best moment.

How to Make a Silhouette Photo

Now you have learned how to shoot a silhouette, you may wonder if you can turn your picture into silhouette, and how to make a silhouette photo. Of course, you can! Just follow our steps.

Select a Silhouette Maker

Various silhouette art created by Fotor's silhouette maker

Free and powerful silhouette maker.

Its in-built editing tools enable you to create double-exposure silhouette images, and adjust the setting. Various preset background is also available. You can silhouette your image easily just in a few clicks.

Create a silhouette picture

To make a silhouette photo, you need to pick up a photo editing tool first such as Fotor, a free and powerful photo editor. With Fotor, you can create your silhouette picture in a few clicks. Fotor’s silhouette maker will automatically detect your subject and enables you to make adjustment to the silhouette according to your aesthetics.

Upload a Photo

Upload your picture that you want to make a silhouette into Fotor.

Cut Out the Subject

Fotor’s silhouette maker will identify your subject and remove the background automatically.

Make a Black Silhouette

Adjust the brightness, contrast, exposure and shadows of the subject that has been cut out. Lower the lightness, exposure and shadows, and enhance the contrast.

Add Background to It

Finally, add the silhouette you have made to the original photo, or pick up a new background for it.


How Do I Take Silhouette Pictures on My Phone?

Similarly, place the source of the light behind your photography subject, make sure the subject with a sharp outline, adjust the exposure and shoot. Then you could get a silhouette photo.

How to Do a Silhouette Photoshoot at Home?

Find a spot with enough light in your home, such as by the door or by the window. Let the subject stand in front of the light source. Then shoot.


Silhouette as an easy and creative photography technique is super attractive and worth learning. In this blog, we shared a complete guide and useful tips on how to take shadow silhouette photos as well as how to turn a picture into a silhouette. By following our guide and tips, you are able to create your silhouette pictures easily. Take action now!