Learn how to bring new photos into a composite.


Download a sample file to practice with. This sample file includes Adobe Stock assets you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file.

What you learned: Add photos into a composite

Add a photo

Add a photo by using either of these methods:

  • Drag a photo file from a Mac Finder or Windows Explorer window onto an open document in Photoshop.
  • Go to Photoshop’s File menu and choose Place > Embedded.

With either method, the new photo appears in the document inside a bounding box.

Size and place the photo

  • Click and drag one of the small square handles on the bounding box if you want to change the size of the new photo. This transforms the photo without distorting its proportions.
  • Click inside the bounding box and drag if you want to move the new photo.
  • Press Enter or Return on the keyboard, or click outside the bounding box, to finish placing the photo in the composite. The photo is added on a new layer as a Smart Object.

Why Smart Objects are useful for compositing

A Smart Object is a special feature that preserves the original quality of a photo no matter how many times it is resized. This flexibility makes Smart Objects especially useful for compositing.

Save your work

  • Save the composite in .PSD or .TIFF format to retain the layers and Smart Objects.

Adobe Stock contributors: Chuck Place, batechenkoff, Subbotina Anna

Presenter: Seán Duggan