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How to Add a Colored Background to a Portrait

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Add a splash of color to your photos by replacing the background. Learn how to quickly add a colored background to any portrait in Photoshop!

Skills You Will Learn

  • Magic Wand
  • Pen Tool
  • Retouching
  • Tone

How to Cut Out the Subject

When cutting a subject out of their background, there are different techniques based on the complexity of the background. If the subject is photographed on a simple Background similar to the image in this tutorial, simple Selection Tools like the Magic Wand Tool will work well.

For complex Backgrounds, we recommend using the Pen Tool.

Click Here for a Tutorial on the Pen Tool!

After making a rough selection of the subject in a photo, use the “Select and MaskTool to refine the edge of the selection.

Add a Splash of Color to the Background

Once the subject is cut out from the Background, the possibilites are endless. From here, you can add another photo as the Background of a photo, or a simple colored background to simulate a studio photo.

To create a colored background, go to ‘Layer – New Fill Layer‘ and choose a Color. Place this layer below the layer with the subject and the new Color will appear behind the subject.

To add a bit of realism, add a Vigentte to the borders of the photo. Go to ‘Layer – New Adjustment LayerHue/Saturation‘ to create a Hue/Saturation. Lower the Lightness and Saturation then use the eliptical Marquee Selection Tool to create a selection around the center of the image and fill the selection with black. To make the Vignette more realistic, add a Gaussian Blur to the Layer Mask.

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Reviews

  1. 5 out of 5

    I am soooo excited about this tutorial! I actually did it and am proud of myself for following along. Instructions were clear and I couldn’t be more pleased that I have learned a new tool in PS! Thank you so much Aron.

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