Adding a person to a photo with Photoshop is one of the typical tricks you can learn if you want to take your image editing skills a step further. You can create complex photo collages, original graphics, or simply make a boring photo more interesting.
Step 1. Choosing the images.
You should choose a high-quality photo with good contrast, clear contours, and a clean background. This will make it easier to detach the person from the original background. You can do it with any photo, but it may take you longer. Open both photos in Photoshop and go to the one you want to detach from the original background.
Step 2. Selecting the person.
In the toolbar, select the Magnetic Lasso tool. The default settings might work fine, but depending on the image, you may need to change the width, frequency, and contrast.
Start tracing around the figure with the lasso. Zoom in and out (CTRL+/CTRL on Windows, Command+/Command on Mac). If you make a mistake, just hit backspace to delete the last anchors. Don’t worry about being precise; you can make adjustments later.
Step 3. Refining the selection.
When you are done tracing, you can refine the figure’s edge (Select>Refine Edge). With the help of the preview, move the various controls and smooth out rough edges.
Step 4. Merging the photos.
Inverse the selection (Selection>Inverse) and hit backspace to delete the current background. Then right click on the person layer in the layer palette and choose Duplicate. In the drop-down menu, set the background photo as the destination.
Step 5. Final touches.
If the photos are very different and you want them to blend nicely, you’ll have to adjust the pasted layer so it doesn’t look out of place against the background.
Fit the photo of the person into the new one with the transform tools (Edit>Transform). Use Levels and Curves to match tones and lighting. Refine with the Dodge and Burn tools to make the final image look natural.
Blending compatible photos.
Photoshopping a person into a photo may seem like something only a professional photographer can do, but if you follow the steps above, you’ll see it’s actually really easy. Keep in mind the two images you want to merge should be compatible so the end result is clean.
Images by Faestock and ForestGirlStock . Edited in Photoshop CS5.