Last week I decided it was time for me to change my profile image across my social media networks. As always iPhoneography is my tool of choice.

I am not one for getting the wrong side of the camera. My iPhoneography social media streams are not full of ‘selfies’. I get tagged occasionally on Facebook and well if someone has an image of me and tags me then so be it but being the shy character I am I really do not want to see myself. Morning and evening in the mirror is plenty for me!

First impressions count and very often the first thing you see even before profile words or posts is the image. Your profile image has to be fit for the audience and social media channel you share it on, but it also needs to reflect a bit about you. A picture may be worth a thousand words but critically a profile picture comes at a premium because it is worth the first 1,000 opinion forming words.

You will see from my profile images that I tend to find ways to hide myself away. I guess I can get away with this style because I don’t have or want an intellectual professional image with all the trimmings. This tutorial focuses on how I achieved my look and whilst it may or may not be appropriate for individual profile images, the techniques and apps can be used for general iPhoneography art.

iPhone photography apps used:

iPhoneography - profile image

{ iPhoneography – profile image }


Process and apps used

Hipstamatic ~ initial capture one:

This combo is Lucifer VI lens with Nike AO DLX film:

Hipstamatic ~ initial capture two:

This combo is Lucifer VI lens with Nike AO DLX film:

Note: Initially I toyed with Hipstamatic double exposure which generated interesting results but not really the effect I was after. A reasonable amount of definition was lost and using this combination results tended to come through over-exposed.

In the end I decided to take the shots individually (via my lovely assistant). I lined up my iPad using it’s folding cover as a tripod and positioned everything as I wanted. Then I simply got into position and my assistant pressed the shutter twice for me with the only movement from me being to move my arms away from my face for the second shot.

Superimpose ~ mask and blend the two images together:

The profile shot with my hands over my face was selected as the background layer and the profile shot with my face fully visible was layered over the top as the foreground:

A blend method of ‘color burn’ with 70pct transparency was applied and my body area masked so that the only region actually affected by the blending was my hands as they covered my face:

Screen Grab of mask

Alt Photo ~ apply filter:

The ‘Tintype (scratched) B&W Vintage effect’ was applied to the profile iPhoneography image:

Superimpose ~ whiten the eyes and watch face:

The initial capture of my face was imported in to Superimpose as the background and the Alt Photo version imported as the foreground. The images were then switched to make masking easier. The whites of my eyes were masked together with my watch. The mask was then inverted (to negate the image switch earlier) and the two images blended under ‘Hard Light’ to lighten these areas. The effect was reduced slightly over the watch face by using the eraser tool with a soft setting to reduce the opacity of the mask:


Narrated video tutorial

View the entire end to end process on video:

To take a slightly slower paced more in depth look at Superimpose please visit my Autumn Walk post.


Update: Featured as AMPt member of the week

To be selected as member of the week by the ‘Advanced Mobile Photography Team’ is a massive honor for me. The members of this Team are amongst the best mobile photographers on the planet. Their mantra is ‘Teach | Learn | Share | Inspire’ and as a mobile photography community that sums them up perfectly. I am delighted to be a member and humbled to be selected as member of the week.

AMPt MEMBER OF THE WEEK: Paul ‘Skip’ Brown (IG: @phoneograph) Please go to Skip’s page to congratulate him. Every week we will highlight an AMPt member who not only shares outstanding images with us, but is also an engaged and supportive member of our website community. We will also feature them on our IG, EyeEm, Facebook and Pinterest profiles. Teach. Learn. Share. Inspire.


The post can be viewed at the AMPt web site and all are free to join.


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  1. Thanks Skip for sharing a bit of your self(ie) and this wonderful tutorial. I always enjoy reading your posts.

  2. tillie says:

    congratulations on your selection as AMPt member of the week! from the short time i’ve been following your site, you certainly match their mantra of teach, learn, share, inspire.

  3. Congratulations! You deserved it!

  4. Well deserved Skip. You always post great inspirational images and share your workflow selflessly. Well done.

    • Skip says:

      Thank you Craig. Really kind of you to say. I’ve been messing with my blog a lot tonight so really pleased you got your comment through. It’s been a wild ride.

  5. Dieter Gaebel says:

    Congratulations Paul! You deserved it so much. I love your fantastic tutorials – great work!

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