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Tips & Tricks

An Easy Way To Swap Heads In Photoshop | Aaron Nace

By Kishore Sawh on December 27th 2014


It may come across a little strange so some, but swapping heads in Photoshop can be a lifesaver, and is done with more frequency than you might imagine.

Here’s one scenario where you may benefit from this: You’re shooting a a rapid sequence of images of a single person or group, and in one image the pose is perfect, and in another image the face is perfect, and if only you could mend the scene to by bringing the two best parts together…

If you’re shooting in quick succession, the likelihood is that most of the other qualities of the image will be very similar, from pose, to exposure, and background, so swapping the heads becomes easier. But even if that’s not the case, it’s still possible, and Aaron Nace will show you just how to go about it to end up with a natural looking result, and it’s not very difficult.


Essentially, you’ll select the two images you want to use, and drag the one with the correct head onto the other. Then, you’ll make a selection around the head which includes some surrounding area, and duplicate it onto a new layer. Through a short series of actions like changing opacity of the new layer, and the use of easy layer masks, you’ll generally be able to easily paint over the image to reveal what you want.

[REWIND: Smart Objects & Linked Objects – What They Are, Do, And How To Use Them]



As always, if you are a fan of Aaron’s teachings (and who isn’t?), be sure to check back here for updates, and follow along with Aaron on YouTube and Phlearn. You should also consider becoming quickly adept at Photoshop with the Phlearn Photoshop 101 & 201 sets as they are extremely comprehensive, and will have you quickly doing things with Photoshop you may have otherwise thought too complex, or didn’t even know you could do.

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar

    Love the article

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  2. Clare Havill

    Great video from Phlearn

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  3. Peter Nord

    Comes in handy. With a group of 20 or so guaranteed there’s always someone looking at the birds.

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  4. Scott Inveen

    Am I missing something? Was there a lesson somewhere in this article?

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  5. David Hall

    I love Joel’s work. I have studied many of his video’s and love to incorporate his style of composites in my own work.

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  6. robert s

    Have used PS to transplant body parts from one photo to the others. mostly family formals. today I just make sure to take more pics, the more people there are.

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