How to Add People to Photos

How to Add People to Photos – Sometimes you can get near-perfect photos. However, there may be one person who isn’t in the photo and you really wish he was. Instead of trying to get everyone back in the same place for a re-shoot, you can add a person to the photo using a photo editing tool like Adobe Photoshop. If you follow these few steps, you can quickly add that person to your photo.

Inserting People into Photos

Choose the photo you want. When you want to add someone to a photo, make sure the photo of the absent person matches the group photo you want to add. For example, if you want to add your best friend to a photo of a group of friends at the beach, don’t choose a photo of the subject wearing a Christmas sweater. The result will look odd and people will know that the photo is engineered.

  • A photo with a simple and uncomplicated background would be the perfect choice. The more crowded the background, the more work you will have to do when deleting it later.
    The size of the subject photo you are adding must be as large or larger than the size of the group photo. If the size is small, then when you enlarge it, the photo will look broken. And your hard work of trying to make the subject look as if it’s real in a group photo, is going to fall apart.
    Also adjust the color tone and lighting. If in the group photo you are all at the beach, try to find a photo of the subject that is under the hot sun as well. If the color tone doesn’t match, you can indeed adjust it later, but of course it will be more difficult. [1]

Subject selection. You’ll need to open the subject photo to crop in Photoshop. Choose the lasso tool from the toolbar. Its icon, shaped like a lasso, is the third icon from the top in the side toolbar. Start selecting close to the sides of the body and, while pressing-and-holding the left mouse button, scroll around the subject’s body. Once all the bodies are selected, the lines you’ve drawn will continue, in the form of dotted lines that move around the edges you drew.

  • You don’t need to pay too much attention to precision, but make sure you don’t cut off any part of the subject’s body. The rest of the background that carries over can be removed later. [2] [3]

Copy and paste the subject body. Once the subject’s body is selected, you will need to copy the subject so you can paste it into the group photo. Click the Edit menu option at the top of the screen. From the drop-down menu, click Copy. Now you have to open the group photo. Once opened, click on the group photo, then again open the Edit menu above and select Paste from the drop-down menu. Doing so will paste the subject photo from its original image into the group image.

  • Instead of using the menu bar, you can also press-and-hold the Control key (or Command on a Mac), then press the C key. This method also copies the image. To paste, simply press-and-hold the Control (or Command) key and click V. [4] [5]

Resize the subject. Once the subject is in the group photo, you must resize it to fit the other people in the group. To do this, use the Free Transform tool . Make sure the subject layer is selected. To do this, you can open the Layer window , which is usually on the right side of your work area. Once the subject layer is selected, you can go into the Edit menu options and choose Free Transform . A box will appear outside the layer. Press-and-hold the Shift key, click the mouse on the corner of the box and drag the box inwards to zoom out on the subject. Shrink until the subject looks the same size as everyone else in the group photo.

  • Make sure you press-and-hold the Shift key. That way, the proportion of the subject in the photo will not change.
    As well as clicking the menu bar, you can also Control (or Command) click and the T key to use the Free Transform tool . [6] [7]

Remove the rest of the background. To make the subject look like it is actually in a group photo, you must remove the original background from around the subject. To do this, you will need the Eraser tool. Start by clicking on the subject layer in the layers window. Underneath the layers window, there is a gray rectangle with a white circle in the center, called the Layer Mask button. Click the button to isolate the photo from the other layers. Now, click on the Eraser tool on the left toolbar. This tool is in the center of the toolbar with a rectangular eraser icon. At the top of the screen, there is an Eraser option. Click the down arrow and change the brush size to around 60 or 70 pixels, by dragging the arrow or typing in your new size. Also change the hardness at the bottom of the menu to 0. You can now remove most of the background from your subject.

  • Erase the background as cleanly as possible, but don’t erase the body of the subject. The rest of the background clinging to the subject’s body can be removed with a smaller brush later.
    If the subject photo has a white or solid background, you can use the Magic Wand tool to isolate the background and remove it. Just click the Magic Wand tool, select the background color, then press Delete once to remove it. [8] [9]

Subject isolation. Once most of the background has been removed, you will need to remove all of the background in order to isolate the subject. In the Eraser option as above, change the brush size to around 20 to 30 pixels. You should also change the hardness to around 50. When you’re done deleting, zoom in on the photo by clicking the plus sign or changing the size percentage at the bottom of the window. Zoom in as close as possible, so you can see the edges of the subject’s body clearly. Remove background residue from the subject photo. [10] [11]

  • If you make a mistake or accidentally delete a body part of the subject, just click the Undo button under Edit on the menu bar.

Fitting Subjects to Photos

Move the layer. Once the subject’s photo is the same size as everyone in the group, isolate it. Then move the subject layer to the position you want. To do so, make sure the subject layer is selected first. Click the Move tool. It’s at the top of the toolbar, on the left side of the screen. Once clicked, grab the subject layer and press-and-hold the left mouse button while dragging the subject layer where you want it. [12]

Change lighting. Once the subject is the same size as everyone else in the group photo, you’ll need to adjust the colors. Select the subject layer, then click the icon next to the Mask button at the bottom of the layers screen, which is the icon with the dual-colored circle. Once you click on it, a menu screen will appear. Click the Curves option, which will open another dialog window, which is a rectangle with a diagonal line in the middle. Click on the line in the middle, that is, on the midpoint of the top half, and one more click on the midpoint of the bottom half. You can drag the line at the two points that appear. Here, you have to set the level. You can move the line up or down, increase or decrease the contrast of the light. Adjust the subject layer so that the lighting matches the group photo layer.

  • If there is little difference between the two layers, you can change the Brightness and Contrast from the Image menu bar . Just slide the line back and forth.
    A dialog box will appear when you try to create a Curves layer on the subject. When that dialog appears, press OK to create a Curves layer mask .
    You can also change the lighting of the original group photo. If you want to change it, click on the Background layer and select the same icon at the bottom of the screen, then follow the same steps as for the subject layer. Adjust until the lighting of both layers is the same. [13]

Adjust the color. Once the subject lighting is appropriate, you should make the subject’s skin hue look the same as the other people in the group photo. To do so, make sure the subject layer is selected first. Tap the same dual-colored circle at the bottom of the layers screen, and choose Hue/Saturation from the menu. From the screen, you can change Hue, Saturation, and Brightness. Hue will change the highlight and low light colors to different colors. Saturation will change the color concentration of the subject photo, making it lighter or grayer. While Brightness will change the overall brightness of the subject. You have to adjust it by sliding the arrows until the color of the subject photo matches the color of the group photo. [14] [15] [16]


  • You can use Photoshop CS, Elements, or any other type of Photoshop. If you don’t have Photoshop, you can use a free program like Gimp.


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