Surreal Portrait Compositing in Photoshop with Natalia Seth


Natalia Seth is a creative force of nature. With over 200,000 followers on Instagram, people all around the world are inspired by her colorful and imaginative images. Follow along as she guides you through creating four of her most popular self-portraits in Photoshop.

Learn how to combine multiple images, retouch portraits, apply creative coloring, and get valuable insight into her success on one of the most popular social media platforms.


  • 21 Sample Images
  • 14 Photoshop LUTs
  • 2 Lightroom Presets
  • 1 Photoshop Action


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 | Introduction
  • 01 - What You Will Learn
Chapter 2 | Meet the Instructor
  • 01 - Interview with Natalia Seth
Chapter 3 | Tropical Resort
  • 01 - Cleaning Up the Background
  • 02 - Adding the Bird
  • 03 - Dodge & Burn
  • 04 - Coloring
Chapter 4 | Unraveling Strings
  • 01 - Extending & Lightening the Background
  • 02 - Retouching
  • 03 - Drawing the Strings
  • 04 - Coloring
Chapter 5 | Paint Splash
  • 01 - Extending the Background & Removing Distractions
  • 02 - Retouching
  • 03 - Converting to Black & White
  • 04 - Retouching the Hand & the Background
  • 05 - Coloring the Eye
  • 06 - Adding Paint Splashes
Chapter 6 | Garden Girl
  • 01 - Lightroom RAW Processing & Liquify Hair
  • 02 - Retouching
  • 03 - Adding the Frog
  • 04 - Adding Flowers
  • 05 - Adding Leaves
  • 06 - Adding Dragonflies
  • 07 - Coloring & Finishing

Magic & Imagination



Color & Compositing

Natalia is known for making impossible scenes full of color and energy. You’ll see her creative process end-to-end, from realistically combining multiple photos together, to her approach for applying stylistic color.

Blend Images in Photoshop

Combining images is some of the most fun you can have in Photoshop. We break down the principles of blending multiple images, from creating realistic scale and perspective to matching highlights and shadows. See the entire process from cutout to finished composite.

Color Toning

Learn how to color an image using a combination of LUTs and Lightroom Presets to dial in a look perfect for any photo. Follow along as Natalia demonstrates her coloring process, applying multiple layers of color and experimenting until she finds a combination that fits the mood of an image.



Tips & Techniques

Learn how to make quick and accurate cutouts, apply subtle dodging & burning, and combine multiple images realistically into the same scene. This tutorial covers a lot of ground and will have you feeling like a Photoshop pro in no time.

Portrait Retouching

You only need yourself and a camera to start making great images. See how Natalia pulls together surreal self-portraits using easy-to-find props and some Photoshop knowhow. Learn how to quickly combine photos and master the fundamentals of portrait retouching like blemish removal and dodging &a burning.

Surreal Composites

Animals. Paint splashes. Impossible objects. If you can imagine it, Photoshop can make it a reality. Learn how to combine multiple images to create unforgettable scenes. Natalia breaks down her techniques for cutting out objects and placing them realistically into a new background.

Colors that Pop



Style & Color

Learn how to use color creatively to bring simple self-portraits to life.


Photoshop LUTs

LUTs (or Color Lookup Tables) are advanced color presets in Photoshop. We include 14 custom looks fine-tuned by Natalia that can be used on their own or combined to create colors that pop. Use these LUTs on your own photos and use them as a base to create your own unique style.

Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets

In addition to LUTs, we include custom Lightroom Presets designed by Natalia to help you get the best possible color out of your RAW images. And you can speed up your retouching workflow with our custom Dodge & Burn Photoshop Action, perfect for adding shape and definition to the subject of a photo.

Creative Photoshop Ideas

We all hit a creative wall from time to time. Seeing how someone else pulls together their fantastic ideas can help. Hear how Natalia comes up with her concepts and how she brings it all together through both photography and post-production in Photoshop. x


Instagram Influencer

If you’re a visual artist, Instagram is the perfect place to share your work with the world. Natalia gives valuable advice for building, maintaining, and interacting with an audience on one of the most popular social media platforms.

Create Original Content

As a social media influencer, you constantly need new content to share with your followers. Hear how Natalia keeps herself motivated and see her process for coming up with fresh ideas. Once you’ve completed this tutorial, grab your camera and start creating.

Networking & Engagement

How do you connect with other Instagram personalities? How do grow and manage a large community of followers? Learn how a successful Instagram star manages their time and how they build and maintain connections through comments, stories, and DMs.

Course Instructor

Natalia Seth

Photographer – Class Instructor – @escapingyouth

Natalia Seth is an 18-year old self-taught photographer whose creations are inspired by her dreams. Her imaginative photos feature a rainbow of colors, unexpected objects, oversized bananas, and… really, anything in an out-of-the-ordinary and whimsical manner. Her surrealistic composites transport the viewer to unconventional worlds.

|View More Classes by Natalia Seth


  1. That was so fun. And i just love Natalia’s work !

  2. I have a Windows computer. I was going to edit my other review, but it isn’t showing yet. IF you have a Windows computer and didn’t change any of the installation paths, try using this path to locate your LUTs folder. C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019\Presets\3DLUTs

  3. I am really enjoying Natalia’s instructions. I can’t figure out where to put the LUTs on my Windows computer. And no, buying an apple is not an option! 😀 Great job and I am learning a lot!

    Aaron Nace – PHLEARN Founder
    Hello Teresa, please see our LUT Quick Install Guide for detailed instructions on installing LUTS. We also have install videos available on our LUTs. If you need further assistance, please message us using the contact button at the top of the page. Thanks!
  4. Thank you! Very creative and inspiring. I appreciate the attention to detail and looking forward to playing with some ideas.

  5. This was such a fun bunch of tutorials to follow along with. Natalia’s abundance of creativity shows through in each composite worked through. Her great sense of humour and clear instructions help to make following along captivating. It was great to see another talented tutor sharing their workflow. Great work Natalia!

  6. Thanks Natalia for some great stuff. Color Splash was great

  7. Thank you Natalia. One more good training section at Phlearn.com!

  8. So happy to see this tutorials!!!….Thank you Nathalie & Aaron!!!….

  9. Thank you sooo much for a fantastic new & different creative approach to Surreal. It’s brand new in my world and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve seen of Natalia’s work. My suggestion is simply to give the broad overview of the edits required (assume Intermediate to Advanced Users), rather than labouring under the actual work being done. I like that the structure of the recording allows one to jump to ‘next’ (short lunch breaks, etc.) – but all in all, WELL DONE to the Phlearn Team and Natalia : really appreciate and, totally inspired!

  10. OMG you guys! This was so much fun to watch. Natalia, you are adorbs. Both of you keep up the good work. You can tell that you were her teacher Aaron. Same way you’ve taught all of us. Unparalleled talent, both of you!

  11. I love you guys!!!

  12. thanks Natalia!

  13. I love photo compositing tutorials. Maybe in the future you can bring Erik Johansson in your studio 🙂

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