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How to Swap Faces and Expressions in Photoshop

Home Photoshop

Changing a subject’s face or expression from one image to the next isn’t as difficult as beginners think it will be. Here’s a quick tutorial on exactly how you do it.

When I first started out in photography, like most people trying to make money in the profession, I did some weddings. I still do the occasional wedding, but it’s not something I’ve ever actively sought out. As any wedding photographer will tell you, there are a lot of challenges you may not expect when shooting someone’s big day. Directing crowds of people who, for the most part, know each other and are drinking alcohol all day, is difficult. Adjusting to the ever-changing weather and light can be awkward. Keeping everybody happy — particularly when most people don’t like their photo taken — can wear you out. But there was one I ought to have guessed, but didn’t: group shots.

The technique in this video isn’t necessarily aimed at any particularly type of portraiture, but I can tell you with certainty where I used it. Groups shots for weddings are a nightmare. You’ll often end up with a great shot that’s hampered by something. The typical offender is someone with their eyes closed or pulling an unusual expression as they bellow to someone out of frame. Time after time I would take the best group shot, then I would take the best shot of the offender(s), and I would swap the faces for the perfect shot. It is a technique certainly worth mastering. It may be easier than beginners thought, but it has more depth to it that many more experienced photographers might realize.

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