A new, complementary technique based on Photo Emission Electron Microscopy (PEEM) is demonstrated. In contrast to PEEM, the sample is placed on a transparent substrate and is illuminated from the back side while electrons are collected from the other (front) side. In this paper, the working principle of this technique, coined back-illuminated PEEM (BIPEEM), is described. In BIPEEM, the electron intensity is strongly thickness-dependent. This dependence can be described by a simple model which contains the optical attenuation length and the electron mean free path. Electrons forming an image in BIPEEM hence carry information of the inner part of the sample, as well as of the surface, as we demonstrate experimentally.