On our Summer photoshoot, we did something extra fun: forced perspective! SHELL YES. We know it looks photoshopped, but you know us better than that! We don’t retouch our photos. (We haven’t since 2014. Period.)

Forced perspective is a fun photography technique used to create an optical illusion, mostly making people or objects looks bigger or smaller than they really are!

We had a lot of fun with this technique, and it can be done with as few or as many people as you want! Get creative, try it with different objects you find, use different backgrounds, and come up with new ways to see different things!


The first way to do this is to find something small you want to use in the foreground of your photo, and a friend to be in the background! On this shoot, we used things from the beach like seashells, beach toys, and sunglasses. But you can use anything! To make the object look bigger hold it closer to the camera. Then have a friend position themselves as far back as needed in order to make them appear smaller.

If you are using a really small object, you will have to have your camera very low to the ground. Zoom all the way out, the widest angle on your lens will help make the object bigger and the background smaller! Having the same light on the object and subject also helps, we did most of our forced perspective shots outside.

Think of fun ways to have the object and subject interact in the scene! Get creative… the possibilities are endless!


The second way to get this effect is to have your subject closer to the camera and have a large object be farther away in the background. You can have a friend standing in front of the camera and appear to be holding a boat in the background or seem to be as big as a building!

To create different sizes, adjust the distance from the camera to the subject and the subject to the background. Play around with different distances until you achieve your desired effect!

That’s it, Aerie fam! We want to see your photos, too. Make sure to tag us with #AerieREAL @Aerie.

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