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How to Add People to a Photo with Adobe Photoshop Elements

Updated on March 21, 2013

Adobe Systems Inc. has released different photo editing programs, which allow you to do image manipulation in number of ways. Photoshop CS (Version 3 and above) and Photoshop Elements are two similar kinds of photo editing programs. If you are already using any version of Photoshop CS, there is no need to switch to Photoshop Elements. However, if you are a beginner, you will find Photoshop Elements handy compared to different versions of Photoshop CS.

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Photoshop CS6 Vs Photoshop Elements 11

Photoshop CS6 is designed to suit the needs of professional designers and photographers, where as Photoshop Elements 11 is for amateurs. Photoshop Elements 10/11 is the limited version of Photoshop CS6. The tools in both of these programs are same but in Elements, there are few options. Furthermore, there is a huge price between these photo-editing programs. Photoshop CS6 cost approximately $700, whereas Photoshop Elements 11 cost around $80. Unless you are a professional, there is no need to pay big money for Photoshop CS6. As a hobbyist and home user, you will find Photoshop Elements 11 very useful.

Photoshop Elements has many photo editing tools, which allow you to give amazing effects to your photo instantly. You can create Photo Book, Greeting Card, Photo Calendar, Photo Collage, CD/DVD Jacket, CD/DVD label etc. just with few clicks. There are many options for merging photo such as Group Shot, Face, Scene Cleaner, Style Match etc. You can even lose weight in the photo with few clicks. You can edit your photos in Guided Edit or Quick Fix Mode. Photoshop Elements also comes with Online Photo and Video sharing option. These features are not available in Photoshop CS6.

Add People to a Photo with Photoshop Elements

Adding people to a photo with Adobe Photoshop Elements is quite similar to Merging Photos in Photoshop. Here is a step-by-step guide for beginners to add people to a photo with Adobe Photoshop Elements.


Open the photo you want to add to another photo.

Select Quick Selection tool. Make the brush size smaller then the object you want to copy to another photo. Drag selection tool over the object.

Hold Alt (on PC)/Option (on Mac) to subtract from the selection. You can also click subtract selection tool or add selection tool on the menu ribbon.

If you are not satisfied with the selection, you can click Lasso tool, select either add to selection or subtract from selection on the menu ribbon. With lasso tool, select the edges of the object. Add selection allows you to add left out area of your object, subtract from selection will deduct the over selected area.


When the object you want to copy is selected, click Refine Edge. You can also go to Select menu and click Refine Edge.

You have five options for the background of the object. Choose one that suits with the tone of your selection.

Play with the Smooth, Feather and Contract/Expand sliders until you get a perfect selection. Contract/Expand will increase/decrease the area of selection. Hit OK.


Copy the selection to a new layer. (Ctrl/Command J). Select the new layer and copy the object.

Open the picture where you want to add your photo.

Paste the object. Press V to activate Move tool.

Click and drag the edge to resize the photo, and click and drag from inside to set the photo to the right place. Click Check mark, or hit Enter/Return.


Go the Enhance menu. Select Adjust Lighting to adjust brightness/contrast. When you select Adjust Color, you have multiple options such as Adjust Hue/Saturation, Adjust Color Curves, Adjust Skin Tone Color, Color Variations etc. Play with these presets until your object blends with the photo.

You can also go to Layer – Layer Style and play with the options to bend your object with the photo.

You can give final touch to your photo by using Blur, Dodge or Burn tool. Blur the edge if it is not blending with the photo, use Dodge or Blur to adjust highlights and shadow.

If you are satisfied with the photo, merge the layers.

Add People to a Photo with Adobe Photoshop Elements
Add People to a Photo with Adobe Photoshop Elements | Source


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    • redfive profile image

      Levy Tate 4 years ago from California, USA

      Great tutorial :) I've done this a few times, and it's always tricky to make the final image look natural -- gotta be careful with scaling, etc!

      Thanks for writing this! Voted up.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Pixelretouch, thanks for the suggestion. This Photoshop tutorial is for the beginners and just to give an idea how to add people to a Photo. I will consider your suggestion. Thanks

    • pixelretouche profile image

      Pixel Retouche 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Vinaya,

      I suggest it is better if you complete the editing of the image by adjusting the brightness because it looks unreal.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      Hello Peggy,

      Photographs, especially the portrait photography, has become very unreal these days. I have met many people who want to alter their looks in the pictures. However, I also believe image manipulation is very important for glamor industry. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Vinaya,

      One thing is for certain. You are an expert at using photo manipulation techniques. Can photos be believed for what they truly are? Hardly! My husband and I have only had one professional photo taken of us and that was some years ago. The photographer wanted to know if we wanted our wrinkles to disappear. We said "no." We wanted the photo to look like us...not some younger version. Ha! Voted up, useful and interesting. Perhaps someday I will take time to learn all of this from the hubs you have written.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal






      Always Exploring





      Thank you all for sincerely following my Photoshop tutorials.

      Thanks for always appreciating my works.

      Have a great weekend.


    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      My son uses this program and does it so easily. I think that I may be able to follow your directions and make this a good challenge. Technology is wonderful. Thanks for the information.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I am going to try this. I am learning a few things but this would really be fun. Thanks!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Thanks for sharing your knowledge in this area. Very interesting indeed!

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so much for another great share Vinaya;vote up and saved.


    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You are so helpful, now i have got to get started working with this program. I downloaded it but have not tried anything. Thank you again...

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      An excellent hub Vinaya. You make a very good turor. Thank you for showing us in such an easy way.

      Voting UP and more

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I never knew how to add people to a photo now I will definitely find the approach much easier.

    • Angelme566 profile image

      Angelme566 5 years ago

      Where this idea coming from ? My why i don't have any idea about this , only now after reading this wonderful hub .

      Your models are so beautiful !! Voted up !

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 5 years ago from Illinois

      Great hub!! You are incredibly talented. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      Thanks you Vin.. you're gonna make a pro out of me yet :)