You've just come back from a holiday, event, or trip, and you can't wait to share the cool photos you took! But what's this? Some of your shots seem a bit off — and an unwanted person is the culprit.
It happens to us all. Whether they're photobombers or just passersby in the wrong places at the wrong time, unwanted participants can ruin any photo.
The good news is that images aren't the permanent records they once were. Today's digital formats make it easy to remove people from pictures on your own and still get perfect results. This in-depth guide will explain how to get the job done in a few convenient ways.
Inspiring Ideas tor Removing People From Photos
Removing people from photos can be a creative way to rethink your art work. For instance, you might want to create a "people-free zone" and draw attention to the natural surroundings in an outdoor shot. This would be like giving your image a little breathing room, which can do wonders for its composition and visual appeal.
Sometimes, you only need to target one or two people. For example, you might have a group shot that would look better without that one friend who's always making goofy faces! This could be a smart move if you need to share the photo on a professional network or business site. It can also help make an image more centered for better visual balance.
Remember: removing someone from a photo doesn't necessarily mean you're trying to erase them from your life. A picture might just look better without an extra person messing up the balance. Eliminating people from the background and aiming for less cluttered shots can go a long way!
How to Remove People From Pictures the Easy Way
As we mentioned earlier, there's more than one way to edit someone out of a photo. While you could spend months mastering all the techniques, we've chosen to share the following picks based on their ease for beginners, price, and minimal time requirements. In other words, these aren't the only options, but they're some of the most accessible and convenient.
How to Crop Someone From a Photo
This method is the fastest. It also works pretty much the same way in a range of programs and tools. For instance, the default image editor apps found on most smartphones and computers include crop tools that are easy to work with.
So what's the catch with cropping? This method isn't always as clean as some other options — if people are close together, it might look awkward. Also, be aware that you'll change the shape of the picture. Here are the steps:
- Open the Photo: Launch the editing, app and open the photo you want to edit.
- Select the Crop Tool: Now, search for the crop tool icon. It usually looks like a square or rectangle. If your app supports tooltips, you might be able to hover over the tools until you find it. With some programs, you'll have to navigate to a menu.
- Adjust the Frame: Once you select the crop tool, click somewhere on the image. As you drag, you'll see a rectangular selection marquee appear — this is what will remain after you apply the crop. Drag the corners to include the people you want to keep. In some apps, you can also reposition the frame to fine-tune the composition or input the size manually as number values.
- Confirm the Crop: Once you're satisfied with the framing, tap the "Apply" or "Crop" button to trim the photo. The person you wanted to remove will be cropped out.
- Save or Export Your Work: Don't forget to save the edited image with the changes by choosing a "Save" or "Export" option. Make sure to save it with a new filename if you want to preserve the original photo.
That's it! The unwanted person is no longer a problem. Just be sure you use the updated version of the photo.
Ask for Help on Reddit
The internet is full of helpful people — if you know where to look. One good option is ther/PhotoshopRequest subreddit. Although you can post any kind of request involving Photoshop or photo editing in general, this is a well-known place to ask people to remove people from photos, so you'll usually get help fast.
To start, visit the site using the new version of Reddit. You'll also need an account that's at least 10 days old and at least 30 karma points — which you can get from posting and commenting elsewhere on Reddit.
After navigating to r/PhotoshopRequest, you'll see an option to create a post at the top of the page. Fill in the details of your request with a simple title, like "Please remove this random old man from my wedding photo." Be sure to clearly state which person should be removed!
Include the image you want edited in your post. If you've uploaded to another hosting site, you can also include a non-shortened URL link. Make sure your image is a high-quality one.
Finally, select a Flair from the options — this lets others know more about the request, like if you're going to pay for the work. Including a small tip in the $5-10 range can get your request filled faster.
After posting the request, check back periodically. People may have questions, so you'll need to answer them before they can get started. When someone thinks they have a good result, they'll submit a reply with their work for you to check out.
How to Remove People From Pictures With Photoshop
Photoshop includes a few different tools for removing people from photos. The key to remember is that you'll have to pay to use these options since Photoshop isn't free. Also, your skill and attention to detail are big factors — unless you’re just cropping, this type of photo editing can feel more like painting or drawing than anything else.
Using Crop to Remove People From Pictures With Photoshop
Consult the instructions for using the crop feature as above. The only real difference is that you get a few more features, like displaying an overlay grid or guidelines while cropping. You can also disable the "Delete cropped pixels" option to keep the cropped areas for further editing.
If cropping doesn't fit the bill, try one of the following options:
Use Content-Aware Fill
Content-aware fill is an AI-powered tool that fills in pixels based on the surrounding content in your image:
- Use the "Lasso Tool" or "Quick Selection Tool" to select the person you want to remove. If the person casts a visible shadow, don't forget to select it as well.
- Go to Edit > Content-Aware Fill.
- Choose your settings, and Photoshop will attempt to intelligently fill the selected area with content from the surrounding background.
Let's look at that last step in more detail. While messing with the fill dialog, you can do things like change the selection, modify the sampling area, and even rotate or change how the fill area manages colors. Tweaking these advanced settings will determine how the results look, so play around — and remember not to get frustrated if you don't get it perfect the first time!
There's one big issue to consider with content-aware fill. Like other Photoshop AI tools, it works locally. The algorithm that detects the colors and shapes to use for the replacement will run on your graphics card. If your computer isn't powerful enough, the process can take a while, especially with higher-resolution images.
Use the Remove Tool
If you want a bit more control than you get with the Content-Aware Fill tool, you can try the Remove tool instead.
- Find the Remove Tool in the Band-Aid section of the left-hand toolbar — but don't enable it just yet.
- Adjust your brush size in the options bar. Make it big enough to cover the person you want to remove without needing to do too much busy work.
- With that, you're all set to activate the Remove Tool. Start brushing over the object you'd like to see disappear. It's OK if the outline doesn't precisely match as long as the person is completely covered — Remove actually works best if your selection goes beyond the boundaries of the thing you're eliminating!
With this tool, there are a couple of interesting options that change the workflow. If you disable "Remove after each stroke", you'll get to paint out the whole target area before applying the effect. You can also use the "Sample All Layers" option to take fill data from all visible layers if you're working with a multi-layer document.
One good tip is to begin by going around the object's edges and then finish up by filling in the entire center — try to do it in one smooth motion. Alternatively, you can just use the brush to paint out a loop that Photoshop will close automatically. Once again, don't forget about the object's shadow if it’s visible.
Use the Clone Stamp Tool
Photoshop's Clone Stamp tool lets you copy/clone areas from one part of the image to another:
- Select the "Clone Stamp Tool" from the toolbox.
- Alt-click on an area of the image that you want to use as a source.
- Carefully paint over the person you want to remove. Photoshop will clone the selected source to cover them.
Whether this method works depends on a few factors. For one thing, you have to pick an appropriate area to clone — otherwise, you'll just end up creating something that looks oddly out of place.
Also, the clone stamp tool works like painting, so your choice of brush matters. Try starting with a low opacity to see how things look.
Finally, it's a good idea to use a soft brush with a feathered edge and build things up so that the transition looks natural. After tackling the large spaces, decrease the brush size to cover the edges with more precision.
Use a Layer Mask
This technique involves masking, or using another layer to hide certain parts of the ones below. It works best when you want to remove someone from an image with a solid background.
This might not be the best option when your photo includes people standing close together though. You’ll need to ensure the image is separated into layers and that there’s a complete background on a layer below the person you’re eliminating.
- Duplicate the image layer with the person you want to remove.
- Create a layer mask on the duplicate layer by adding a mask in the layer panel.
- Use a soft brush to paint over the person with black on the layer mask. This will make them invisible.
- Adjust the mask as needed for a seamless blend with the background.
Free Apps to Remove People From Pictures
Don’t want to pay to remove people from your photos? Try some of these free options:
TouchRetouch is a versatile photo editing app available on both Android and iOS devices. Like Photoshop, it includes Lasso and Clone Stamp tools for removing unwanted elements from your photos. Unfortunately, some users say the app's design is tricky to figure out. TouchRetouch also lacks some of the extensive editing options you'd find elsewhere.
YouCam Perfect is a photo editing app made for enhancing portraits and storing them in the cloud. Unfortunately, some premium features, like saving HD photos, are locked behind a paywall. This app is also more oriented towards cosmetic retouching than object removal.
PhotoDirector is a powerful photo editing app. Features like blur effects and access to stock images make it a great choice for quick edits. Be aware, however, that the AI integration can sometimes produce less-than-desirable edits.
FixThePhoto is a professional photo retouching service with a speedy turnaround. The retouching happens manually, resulting in more natural-looking photos without relying on AI. However, FixThePhoto is only available on iOS, and payment is required once the free trial period ends.
Google Magic Eraser
Google Magic Eraser is a convenient tool that suggests items or people to erase from your photos. However, it requires a subscription to access, and only those with a Google account can utilize this feature.
Lightleap offers both Android and iOS versions. It includes a Heal tool and provides both free and premium versions. The app also guides you through the editing process, which can be especially helpful for beginners. Sadly, many of the more advanced features have been cut from the free version.
ImageWith.ai is a completely free photo editing tool accessible via the web, making it suitable for use on any device. The app uses the power of cloud-based AI to enhance and manipulate your photos.
ImageWith.ai also features a simple design that's easy to use. Whether you're a professional or an amateur photographer, it’s a valuable addition to your photo editing toolkit.
How to Remove People From Pictures Using ImageWith.ai
We've explored several methods, but you may have noticed something. The options listed thus far all demand extensive effort, computing power, or monthly subscription fees.
Don't give up yet, however, because there's a way to harness AI to remove unwanted people from your photos for free. The best part? With ImageWith.ai, you can do it online without spending a ton of money on equipment or time training.
Begin by visiting ImageWith.ai's Clearoff tool. Simply drag and drop your image into the designated box. Or you can click the Upload Image button to browse for the file locally.
The Clearoff tool will start working immediately. You'll see your image in the editor panel along with some selectable options at the bottom:
Draw Mode: With Draw Mode, Clearoff will let you create a selection to remove, tweaking the brush size as needed for a smoother process.
Tap Mode: This quick and easy option lets you get everything done in one step by clicking or tapping on the person you want to remove. The Clearoff algorithm then detects the person and replaces them with a suitable background to fit seamlessly with the nearby surroundings.
At any point, you can click "Revert" to return to your original image or compare the preview results to the original. When you're satisfied, click "Download" to save your edited photo.
So what have we learned? Well, if you've been paying attention, you now know how to remove people from photos using a variety of tools. But that’s not all.
You might have also observed that certain workflows — particularly the ones involving Photoshop — aren't exactly easy. In addition to requiring a lot of fine-tuning, these options are highly dependent on your skills. There's a reason why people pay photo editors big money, and getting things just right can take time and effort.
If you'd rather jump straight to the results, try ImageWith.ai's Clearoff tool. It's the easiest way to start editing photos for free, no matter whether you have a lot of skill or are just getting started. Why not dive in headfirst?