Combining elements from multiple photographs into one image allows you to create something new and unexpected. In this quick tutorial, learn how visual artist Temi Coker combines two photos in Adobe Photoshop to create an image that stretches the imagination.

What you'll need

This sample file has Adobe Stock images 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.

Prep your images

Start by dragging the image of the betta fish into the Photoshop document as a new layer on top of the image of the model.

Photo of African American woman’s profile against a medium blue background with a smaller bettafish.psd thumbnail being added

Adjust the position

Using the transform options, rotate and position the fish the way you want. Next, right-click on the fish and select Warp to manipulate it further.

Photo of bettafish with Transform tool guides visible over the model, right-click menu shows Warp option selected

Reveal the face

Select the fish layer and click on the Layer Mask icon to create a mask. Coker used the Brush tool with black selected to allow areas of the model’s face to show through.

Model has bettafish placed on head with a Layer Mask applied hiding the fish around the model’s eyes, ears, and nose

Repeat the steps

Drag the betta fish again to add another layer; then follow the previous steps to position the additional fins to create flowing “hair” on the model. Coker alternated turning layers on and off to edit in isolation; you can experiment the same way or view the composition in its entirety.

Left side shows model with 2 bettafish layers, one is a hidden layer; the right shows both visible with middle one rotated

Keep your imagination flowing

Experiment with unlikely pairings to create striking new compositions.

Tall skyscrapers in a city extend to the sky with a big billboard in the middle displaying final composite photo


Note: Project files included with this tutorial are for practice purposes only.

With Adobe Stock, you have access to more than 100 million high-quality, royalty-free images including photos, graphics, videos, and templates to jump-start your creative projects. Try Adobe Stock and get 10 free images.


Digital artist and photographer: Temi Coker

Adobe Stock contributor: ryanking999

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