How to Put a Background Into a Photo

by Owen E. Richason IV

If you have a photo of someone or something and want to change the background, you can do so with a digital photography software suite. The picture doesn't have to be digital itself -- you can scan a paper photo and save it as an electronic copy on your computer's hard drive, then edit the photo in an image editing software suite. It's a simple matter of creating a collage image and saving it to print or upload to the Internet.

Step 1

Open your photo editing software suite, such as Photoshop or Microsoft Digital Photo Editor.

Step 2

Open a copy of the file of the photo you want to add a background to, then open the editing tool. Select the hand/mouse editor tool and "trace" or "cut out" the subject in the image. Save the photo with a different file name.

Step 3

Open a copy of the background image you'd like to insert behind the subject image in the other picture. Open the "collage" feature, then open the edited subject image and "drop" it onto the background. Position it by dragging it with your mouse until it is in the right place.

Save the collage with a different file name. The subject image of the original photo will now have the background of your choosing.


  • For specifics on inserting a background, read the "Help" feature in your photo editing software suite.


  • "Photoshop CS5 For Dummies"; Peter Bauer; 2010
  • "Digital Photography: Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks"; Rob Sheppard; 2010

About the Author

Owen Richason grew up working in his family's small contracting business. He later became an outplacement consultant, then a retail business consultant. Richason is a former personal finance and business writer for "Tampa Bay Business and Financier." He now writes for various publications, websites and blogs.

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