Double-exposures on film, by Hayden Williams
"A good double exposure takes a lot of thought and composition."
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Hayden Williams, I'm 22 and from Frederick, Maryland. I'm currently in University, about to graduate with a degree in Biochemistry.
How long have you been taking analog photographs, and how did it start?
I've been taking analog photos for about 2 and a half years. I saw a Canon AE-1 at a thrift store for 25 dollars. It came with a really cool camera strap, and I thought that even if the camera didn't work, it's a pretty cool strap so it's worth the gamble. The camera, of course, worked and I've been playing with it ever since.
When did you discover the multiple-exposure technique and how was your first shot?
I saw some examples of multiple exposures online, via insta or flickr. I thought they were pretty cool, but felt like everyone was doing the same shots and not really exploring anything beyond girl portrait silhouette filled in with trees. I thought I could make stuff that nobody had done before, so I googled how to multi-expose on an AE-1. My first shots were pretty chaotic.
Do you double-expose each frame or shoot the hole film, rewind it and shoot again?
I do frame-by-frame. Rewinding the whole roll is just praying for good luck.
What do you shoot first: the background or the main subject?
The order doesn't matter, the light is additive and will result in the same picture regardless.
Do you self develop or get a lab to process your film?
I self-develop when I shoot frequently. In the winter, when it takes me around two months to finish a roll of film, I send it out to be developed because it's more economical.
What's your favorite camera for double-exposures?
I've only really tried it with the AE-1. I've been looking into getting a nikon f2/f3 since they have a multi-exposure button. But they're a little too expensive for my taste.
Do you have a tip or technique that other film photographers should try?
A good double exposure takes a lot of thought and composition. If you want consistently good doubles, you have to shoot them frame by frame!
You can find Hayden Williams here: