My company had a team event and we have several group photos (with 10-20 people in them). Some colleagues were not there so now I have a task to take their individual photos and to insert them into the group photos (i.e. to replace some of existing people's faces with those ones). What would be the best way to do it? How to take the individual photos, what should I pay attention to, what's the best way to make light and colors same as in the original photos...?

  • \$\begingroup\$ For me this question is likely to be answered with opinions rather than facts and citations. It should be updated so it will lead to fact-based answers. Maybe you should ask for possible way, not the best way. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28, 2022 at 7:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ No offense, but replacing faces in a photo and also make it look good and realistic, is not an easy job. If you have to ask how to do it, I honestly doubt that you are the right person for the job. \$\endgroup\$
    – jarnbjo
    Oct 28, 2022 at 9:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ You need to define "best"; the most time-efficient way is to pay a professional to do it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Oct 28, 2022 at 10:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would echo jarnbjo's comment, but I'd also come at it from a slightly different angle... Who is asking you to do this? I think your employer has assigned a difficult/unreasonable task to you. What's the need for the edited photo? If it really must be done, the task should be given to an experienced person - likely outsourced. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Oct 28, 2022 at 11:31

1 Answer 1


This assumes you have at least basic photography & Photoshop skills, and access to the same or at least ball-park similar quality camera to that the master shot was done on. If we're talking about phone photos, all bets are off.

To get the best start, you want to be in the same location with the same lighting as the original photo. Stand the replacements in the same places as those they're replacing, keep the camera at the same distance & direction as the master shot [set focus by re-framing, if necessary]. Same lens isn't vital, but will save resizing later.

This will give you basic matching for lighting & perspective. Perspective is even more important than lighting. If you can't match light you might be able to airbrush. If you can't match perspective it won't work.

If you can shoot tethered, set up an arrangement whereby you can quickly flip between the master shot & the proposed replacement.

If the background on the master shot was anything other than plain, then add in a plain backdrop for the new shots, to make cutting the subjects easier.

This doesn't mean you have no hill to climb, but it does make the slope shallower.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Not an easy task, but yes, making photos for the purpose of photoshopping them is infinitely better that trying to shoehorn a random shot. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Oct 28, 2022 at 11:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xenoid - yup, I do this type of thing as a bit of a hobby; for essentially family-only consumption, by taking famous or ludicrous scenes, characters or settings & placing myself & my partner into them so we look a part of the story. It's something I'm not great at, but have a decent grasp on how to accomplish these days. …which reminds me… nearly time to do this year's, for the family calendar ;)) \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 28, 2022 at 12:41

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