How to Add an Image to a Photo

by Daniel Ketchum

There are times when you might want to add an image or graphic from one document to a photo. For example, you might want to use the photo as the background for an ad or brochure to which you want to add a company logo or a cut-out of a person. The assistance of a graphics artist with access to an expensive and complex graphics program is unnecessary; using the freeware program GIMP, you can accomplish this task yourself.

Go to and download the most current version of GIMP. Then install it to your computer. A shortcut will appear on your desktop.

Load the images you want to use onto your computer hard drive, either by transferring them or scanning them in.

Click on the shortcut to open GIMP. Select "File" and click "Open." In the dialog that pops up browse to the images you loaded, hold down the "CTLR" key and open them both.

Go to the image you want to extract something from. Select the "Polygonal Selection" tool, and use it to draw an outline around the part of the image that you want to use. If there are sections that are not connected, hold down the "Shift" key, and select these as well.

Select "Edit" and click "Copy." Now go to the other image that will be used as the background. Select "Edit," and click "Paste as Layer."

Select the "Scale" tool from the toolbar. In the options on the left, lock the proportions to "Fixed." Then, use the mouse to resize the pasted-in image. Select the "Move" tool, and use it to position the image where you want it.

Select "File," and click "Save As." In the dialog, name the file, and save it as a high resolution JPEG.

Items you will need

About the Author

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.