How to Put a Person in a Photo in Photoshop Elements

How to Put a Person in a Photo in Photoshop Elements

  • ‘)” data-event=”social share” data-info=”Pinterest” aria-label=”Share on Pinterest”>
  • ‘)” data-event=”social share” data-info=”Reddit” aria-label=”Share on Reddit”>
  • ‘)” data-event=”social share” data-info=”Flipboard” aria-label=”Share on Flipboard”>


  • Matching Skin Tones in GIMP
  • How to Unblock Someone on Twitter
  • How to Rotate an Image in OpenOffice
  • How to Crop Out Someone’s Face in Photoshop
  • Upscaling Using GIMP

In Photoshop Elements, putting a person in a photo involves first digitally removing the person from her original photo, and then pasting her onto a new background image. The biggest challenge in this project is removing your subject from her original image with the use of Elements’ selection tools. Using manual selection tools will often result in a tell-tale border around the person without time and meticulous work. To instead have the person to blend seamlessly with her new background, use selection tools that feature smart image detection. One such tool is Photoshop Elements’ Magic Extractor.

Open the photo of the person you want to insert into a new background, then click the dashed rectangle on the Tools palette to run the Rectangular Marquee tool, a selection tool for rectangular image regions.

Click on the canvas near the person you want to cut out, then drag to form a selection rectangle that encloses the person and omits as much of his background as possible. Release the mouse to complete the selection region.

Click the Image menu’s “Magic Extractor” command, which will display a new screen with the Magic Extractor’s tools. One of these tools, the Foreground Brush, is already activated. Click the mouse on several different locations on the person, being careful not to let your mouse punter click anywhere beyond the person’s outline. The marks you make help Magic Extractor differentiate the person from her background.

Click on the Background Brush tool, whose icon near the Magic Extractor window’s left edge appears as yellow highlighter marker with a minus symbol on its right. Click several locations on the person’s background, just as you did the person.

Click the “Preview” button on the right side of the Magic Extractor window. Elements displays the person surrounded with a gray checkerboard pattern, which indicates transparency. The transparent areas indicate the background portions that Magic Extractor was able to delete.

Use the Foreground and Background brushes, followed by clicking the “Preview” button, to eliminate any background remaining around the person. Click “OK” to finalize the person’s selection region. Press “Ctrl-C” to copy the person to the clipboard.

Open the new background onto which you’d like to insert the cutout person, then press “Ctrl-V” to paste the person on the background.

Click the Image menu’s “Free Transform” tool. Drag one of the corner handles of the bounding box surrounding the person to size the person appropriately to the background. Click and drag inside the person’s bounding box to shift the person’s location. Press “Enter” when the person reaches the size and location you want. The person now appears as part of the second photo you opened.

Step 1: Cut out a person in Photoshop

Use a photo of the person you want to transport into the new photo.

Choose the object selection tool in newer versions of Photoshop. For older versions, use the quick selection to cut out the person.

Choose Select Subject at the top

You will see a selection around the person (CS6, make the selection with quick selection tool).

The Detailed Guide to Photoshop Someone into a Picture

This kind of edit is a lot faster to describe than it is to actually do, so let’s take a closer look at how it all works so that you can get back to Photoshop and finish your project.

Step 1: Prep Your Photos

The first step is to get your photos into the same Photoshop document.

To get started, open both of your photos in Photoshop. Switch to the model/subject photo, and hit Command + A (use Ctrl + A on a PC) to select all the pixels in the image.

Press Command + C (use Ctrl + C on PC) to copy them to the clipboard, then switch back to your main photo and press Command + V (again, use Ctrl + V on PC) to paste the pixels onto a new layer.

As you can see in the Layers panel, this places your model/subject photo over top of your main background image. You’re already on the way!

If you don’t want to mess around with keyboard shortcuts, there’s another way you can do this. Switch to your model/subject photo, right-click on the appropriate layer in the Layers panel, and click Duplicate Layer.

In the Destination section of the Duplicate Layer dialog box, select your main/background image and click OK.

No matter how you do it, the easy part is now over

Step 2: Hide The Unwanted Background

Now that you’ve got your two images together in the same Photoshop document, it’s time to get rid of all the unwanted parts of your model/subject photo so that the person actually looks like they belong in the main image.

It’s possible to simply use the Eraser tool to remove all the unwanted parts of your model/subject background, but this approach is out-of-date and has a few drawbacks.

The biggest problem is that you’ll be unable to make adjustments or refinements later on since the Eraser tool permanently deletes pixel data.

The modern method uses a non-destructive editing technique called layer masking to hide all the unwanted parts of your image instead of actually deleting them.

This makes it much easier to create your mask in the first place since you don’t have to constantly use the Undo command, and you can always tweak your layer mask if you notice any issues with your edit in the future.

In case you’re not already familiar with layer masks, a layer mask is actually an invisible layer linked to your pixel layer that tells Photoshop which parts of the layer to hide and which to show.

Wherever you paint white pixels on your layer mask, the corresponding parts of your pixel layer will be visible, while painting black pixels marks the area as transparent.

Grayscale tones allow you to create soft edges and smooth transitions, depending on the brightness value of the pixels.

There are plenty of ways to create a layer mask by hand, but Adobe has recently added the Select and Mask workspace to Photoshop in order to streamline the whole process a little bit.

Masks and selections actually work very similarly on a technical level, so it makes sense to combine the two processes in one handy workspace.

To launch Select and Mask, make sure that your model/subject layer is selected in the Layers panel, then open the Select menu and click Select and Mask. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Command + Option + R (use Ctrl + Alt + R if you’re using Photoshop on a PC).

The Select and Mask workspace layout is fairly simple, and similar to the overall Photoshop layout you’re familiar with: tools are on the left side, your main image is in the center, and your options and settings are available along the top and to the right.

You’ll create a selection within the Select and Mask workspace but set the output setting to create a layer mask instead of a selection once you’re ready (more on that later!).

You may want to start by clicking the Select Subject button at the top of the workspace. It uses Photoshop’s machine-learning abilities to automatically create a selection around the main subject of your image – or at least, what Photoshop thinks is the main subject!

It doesn’t always work properly, but it can be a quick and easy way to start so it’s worth a try.

To refine your selection, use the Quick Selection Tool and the Brush tool. Simply clicking with one of these tools will add to your existing selection, but you can hold down the Option / Alt key to subtract from your existing selection.

You can also use the + and buttons in the Options bar at the top of the workspace, but the keyboard shortcut is much faster.

I won’t lie to you: this can be a very painstaking process, depending on the exact contents of your image, so be prepared to spend a fair amount of time working on this step. Masking hair is especially difficult, so you might want to try the Refine Hair button at the top of the workspace.

Once you’re happy with the results of your selection, locate the Output Settings section on the right side of the workspace. Change the Output To option to Layer Mask and click OK.

Photoshop will exit the Select and Mask workspace and create a new layer mask using the selection you’ve just made, which you can confirm by checking the Layers panel.

Your unwanted background should now be invisible, and your subject should look a bit more like they belong in the main photo – but there’s still more to be done.

Note: if your mask isn’t perfect, you can still edit it. Click the layer mask in the Layers window to select it, and use the Brush tool to paint white, black, or gray pixels onto your layer mask to show or hide any part of the image that didn’t get masked properly.

Step 3: Image Matching

Once your masking is finished, it’s time to start adjusting your transplanted subject so that they actually look like they are part of the main photo.

This step can often be the hardest of all, and it can require quite a lot of adjustments to complete in a realistic manner. I also recommend that you duplicate your model/subject layer and then hide it so that you’ve got a backup copy complete with your painstakingly-created layer mask.

First and foremost, press Command + T to enter Free Transform mode (use Ctrl + T on PC), and then scale and reposition your transplanted subject so that they fit naturally into the main image background (or unnaturally, if that’s what you want!).

Next, adjust brightness and color. You can use a Curves adjustment layer to tweak brightness, and use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to adjust the colors.

Alternatively, you can also try using the Match Color tool, although it can be a bit complex to use so my colleague Cara has written up a guide on how to match colors in Photoshop.

Last but not least, check for variations in the noise levels between your two layers. Use the Add Noise filter or the Reduce Noise filter as needed to get a realistic-looking balance between the two.

Because every photo is different, you’ll have to make the final decisions about how to adjust your subject so they look as natural as possible in their newfound background image. It can be difficult to get right, but it’s extremely satisfying when you finally do!

Transfer makeup

Experiment with different styles using Makeup Transfer and share a new look. Photoshop Express lets you transfer makeup within your image in just one tap.

Drag the slider to view the before and after image

To transfer makeup, do the following:

Open the image in the Retouch workflow.

Select from one of the various makeup presets available.

Tap Refine Lips to refine the final output if required.

Learn how to Photoshop a picture

Photoshopping a picture isn’t just about adjusting its colors and exposure, removing noise, cropping it to a custom size, and adding filters. It’s much more than that. Photoshop is software that allows users to go pixel-deep with their editing. This means that you can actually select a single pixel in an image and edit it if you want. With that level of control, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Photoshop allows you to insert someone into a completely different photo in a few easy steps.

If, however, you’re here just for a good photo editing software without all these super advanced features, then we suggest you give the user-friendly and capable Luminar a try first.

Luminar 3 – Time Does Matter
The fastest way to make your photos stand out Complex photo editing made easy with
AI powered tools

  • Accent AI 2.0
  • AI Sky Enhancer
  • More than 70 Instant Looks
  • Quickly erase unwanted objects
  • Denoise
  • Sharpening
  • And – More

  1. Open a photo of the person you want to add, then swipe up to see the photo details.
  2. Tap a face under People, then tap Add Name.
  3. Enter the person’s name or select it from the list.
  4. Tap Next, then tap Done.
  1. Open the iPhone’s Photos app.
  2. Tap “Albums” in the row of tabs at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Scroll down to the section titled “People & Places.” Open the “People” album.
  4. Open a picture of the person you want to add.

Check out these simple guidelines on how to add a person to a photo in Photoshop CC and you’ll be able to achieve the result in a quick way. This tutorial contains a lot of useful information that will come even if you are interested in other compositional tricks with images.

1. Find Your Images

Select two photos. Pay attention to such aspects as lighting, perspective, angles, and resolution. All these things must be similar in two images if you want to get the most natural result.

If two photos look completely different and incompatible, you should look for other matching shots. This is an important thing to keep in mind since the slightest differences can destroy the whole image.

Tip: It’s easier to cut out figures from photos with a clean background.

2. Duplicate the Background Layer

Use the Cmd + J (for Mac)/Ctrl + J (for Windows) shortcut to duplicate the background layer.

3. Make a Selection

Define which subject you want to extract. Use the Quick Selection tool to do this. Simply start clicking on the person you want to select. You’ll see marching ants appear.

You do not need to be too accurate when you Photoshop someone into a picture at this stage. We’ll refine the selection in the next steps. The main thing is to make sure that all parts of the body are selected.

4. Create a Layer Mask

Create a layer mask by pressing the “Add Layer Mask” button at the bottom of the Layers panel. The selected part of the photo will remain visible.

  • Find out more about how to mask in Photoshop.

5. Refine the Selection

Press “”. A red mask will appear to check the accuracy of the mask’s edges.

Use the Brush Tool to adjust the mask’s border. Brush allows you to work with the picture more accurately and get rid of extra bits or add missing ones.

You shouldn’t rush. Work carefully and only when everything is ready click “” – the mask will disappear.

6. Transfer the Mask to a New Picture

Drag the mask layer to the photo where you want Photoshop person into.

7. Resize the Extracted Person

The size and the position of a person must fit into the picture which you add it to. The Free Transform tool will come in handy at this stage. Click “Free Transform” in the Edit menu.

You can also use the combination Cmd/Ctrl + T. You will see a box on the outside of the layer. Drag the corner of the box to resize the subject. Make sure that the proportions of the figure aren’t distorted. Hold the Shift key to control it. Reduce the size until the figure matches the picture.

8. Create Shadows

To make the picture appear more natural you can adjust lights and shadows using Curves. Mind, that you need to place the Curves layer under the mask layer.

If necessary, add light using Curves. Make sure to place the Curves layer above the layer with the person.

9. Adjust Colors

If the lighting in two photos is inconsistent, you also need to work with the exposure and colors of the inserted subject. They should not break the color harmony of a new picture.

Adjust exposure, lighting, contrast, white balance, blue and red levels. Performing all these manipulations you will end up with a natural-looking picture.

Tip: Check that only the necessary layer is changed. Hold down Alt/Option and select the layer.

10. Done! Enjoy the Result

That’s all! Now you know how to Photoshop someone into a picture. Of course, you need to spend some time to hone your skills, so don’t be discouraged if your first works are a bit unrealistic.

Transferring to Scene Image

Now you have your selection active around your subject and you have to copy it to the next image.

Click on Edit > Copy and then go to the next image and go to Edit > Paste.

You can also press Ctrl + C then go to the next image and press Ctrl + V to do this.

Presently we’ll resize and mess with our removed figure to track down the right fit. You can play with size to give a feeling of profundity as well in the event that you wish (like we have here).

You should see that the refinements we added to our determination in the first picture bring about a spotless extraction of fine hair strands, which helps cause the last picture to look more natural.

Resize your extracted image in whichever way you see fit so it looks in place with people in the new image.

Creating Shadows If Needed

To help make the extracted figure appear even more natural, we’ll add shadows under the feet.

Now you have to make a new layer for shadows and name it Shadow.

Using the Brush tool (B) with black (or a dark brown) selected, paint onto where the shadows should appear naturally.

Remember to set the brush hardness to zero (see next step) for a softer look.

Change the Shadow layer’s Blending Mode to Overlay.

If your shadow is not intense and you want to intensify the shadow make a copy of the Shadow layer to intensify the shadow.

Reduce the opacity of duplicate of the ‘Shadow’ layer to make it look more regular. Play around with the shadow until it looks right.



Have fun and easily edit, retouch, collage, and combine photos for high-quality pictures. Create photos that will help you stand out on social media with powerful one-touch transformations. Tap into your creativity on the go with Photoshop Express–the fast and easy photo editor–used by millions.

Photoshop Express delivers a full selection of free photo effects and editing features. Personalise your experiences with borders and text, enhance colour and imagery, create picture collages, make quick fixes and enhance your share-worthy moments.

Innovative multi-object selection bringing selective editing to the next level.

Transfer makeup from a wide selection of beauty templates onto your own image.

• Work on a single part of an image while the rest remains untouched with Selective Editing.
• Easily remove or replace the background of your image with automatic and smart cutouts.
• Combine photos to creatively transform your image.
• Achieve your dream aesthetic with our Looks filters: Charm, Matte, Black & White, Portrait, Duo Tone, and more.
• Enhance your photo with new Overlays, including light-leaks, bokeh, and raindrops.
• Remove any unwanted elements from your photos to create share-ready photos with Advanced Healing.
• Explore Colour Temperature, Vibrance and other effects with an easy adjustment slider.
• Remove fog with Dehaze for clear, detail-rich scenery.

• Adjust the angle of your head or facial orientation.
• Remove blemishes and smooth skin for a flawless finish.
• Transform your selfie into a caricature with fun sliders.
• Retouch your face with sliders that recognise face shape and features.

• Create fun and unique photo collages by adding ready-to-use backgrounds, gradients and layouts.
• Use the Style Transfer feature to easily apply the same look and feel across all the images in your collage.
• Highlight colour themes with the Pop-Colour Tool.
• Unleash creativity with the scrapbook feature or photo collage maker.

• Customise stickers, memes and captions.
• Add fun text to your photos with a wide array of fonts, colours and opacity controls.
• Bring your photos to the next level with photo colour matching borders or unique custom frames.
• Fine-tune text placement with pan, zoom and rotate settings.
• Add watermarks easily by adding custom text or logos.

• Crop, straighten, rotate, and flip your photos.
• Use Auto-Fix options for one-touch adjustments to Contrast, Exposure, and White Balance.
• Reopen closed eyes to create the perfect shot.
• Add emphasis on your subject with simple vignettes.

• Shift focus to blend backgrounds with Radial Blur.
• Enhance imagery with the Full Blur features.

• Smooth out graininess or Reduce Colour Noise.
• Sharpen details to make your photos look their best.

• Fix crooked images with Auto Settings.
• Correct distorted camera angles with the Transform Tool.

Photoshop Express now includes all the best tools from Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Fix including liquefy, smart cut outs and layers, face-aware liquefy, and more. Adobe’s best-in-class healing technology recognises facial features for a smooth but realistic finish.

• You can now save your detailed, high-contrast images in the PNG file format. This is ideal for digital photographs and images with transparent backgrounds that can be layered over other images.

Photoshop Express is brought to you by Adobe, proud makers of the Photoshop family.

Article Rating
Link to main publication