How To: Add a Person Into a Picture
You don't know anything about photo editing until you've learned how to add a random person to a picture.

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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.

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.

How to Photoshop a Person Into a Picture 1

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.

How to Photoshop a Person Into a Picture 2

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.

How to Photoshop a Person Into a Picture 3

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.

How to Photoshop a Person Into a Picture 4

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.

How to Photoshop a Person Into a Picture 5

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.

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  1. that lady is creepy looking…

  2. i use the wand more than the lasso tool, but both work well. Thanks for the tips!

    • Kenny Austin
      Kevin Austin (

      Both are great tools that are good for pulling out specific elements of an image, and It comes down to what you are more comfortable with and what the background of the image allows you to do. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I really need help dont know much but trying to give a gift to someone .I have an old photo of her mother looking in to a mirror I would lik to add her friend like if she was the reflexion in the mirrow .How or can this be done OMG been trying to find help dont know were to start .please can you help me ?

  4. Kenny Austin
    Kevin Austin (


    Great question, that sounds like a really cool gift! Unfortunately, the best answer for the exact effect you are looking for would be a whole article in itself! For time’s sake, I would say your best shot would be to simply search for “adding mirror reflection in Photoshop” in Google to find a step by step tutorial. You also can check out our article on How To: Merge Two Photos in Photoshop for some basic tips on bringing those two photos together.

    Hope that helps. Good luck!