Twins Photo Shoot

One of the things that I always keep an eye out for are reflections. They can be in windows, mirrors or puddles. This time I had the opportunity to work with another kind of mirroring. I recently got in touch with Stoyana Alexandrova and her twin sister Iliana who was visiting Cambridge this past week. We met up at Darwin College for a photo shoot.

Stoyana had asked me what they should wear so I had suggested that they bring two outfits: one where they looked the same, and one where they looked the opposite. My plan was to both play on the fact that they looked the same, and the good twin/bad twin. To prepare I had googled twin photos online, which mostly turned up baby photos. Not much help there, however, there were a few photos that gave some inspiration. I ended up sketching out a few ideas that we could use as a starting point. In the end there were only a couple of photos that were based on those sketches, but they helped us get started. The first set of shots was mostly about everyone getting to know each other and figuring out what worked.

Here are some of the photos we took, enjoy!

This photo was shot on one of Darwin’s small islands. We were walking around to see what might work for our photo shoot. There were two patches of light and a nice path, plus a bench that I later nuked in Photoshop after a suggestion from my friend Malin. Here I had asked Stoyana and Iliana to stand in the two patches of light. You can click on the image for a high res version.
Meet Stoyana, the Cambridge based twin. Here we were shooting against the sun. I initially wanted to focus on the tattoo on her back, however, wide angle lenses and people close-ups do not mix very well, so I decided to do a closer crop.
Iliana, the New York based twin. Here I was also shooting against the sun. I remember making a mental note to convert the photo to black and white because of the red car in the background, but it seems I forgot.
The idea here was to have each twin cover half her face with hair. I like the shot, but looking at it now it might have benefited from being more symmetric. I added a bit of hair in the top left and right corners, and removed a hand at the bottom. This simplified the photo. It is a bit dark, will see if I can get time to re-edit it slightly brighter.



Even the behind-the-scenes shots look gorgeous from this photo shoot. For the final shot, see the last photo of this post.
A little bit of Bulgarian dancing.


When shooting with a big aperture you get tiny depth of field. To get both of them in focus I took two photos and used Photoshop’s align layers and auto-blend functions to merge the two. What I should have done was to just stop down the aperture a bit to increase the depth of field.
Between shots: Stoyana, Agata and Iliana – practically triplets!
Nikos and Stoyana.


This was not staged. There is an entire sequence with Iliana’s reaction.


This was one of the early shots we did. I had showed them the old forced perspective photo I had done with Ellese and Diana, suggesting we do something similar. I removed a building and a few people in the background, and darkened parts of the photo to put the focus on the twins.

This was a lot of fun and I already have a new idea for another virtual twin photo shoot. But that is for another day.

– Johannes

Written by:

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.