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Placing people onto solid color background


New Member
My A Cappella group and I just recently took photos for our cover. There are 6 of us. We each took separate photos in front of a white wall with studio lights and everything. It's my job to put all of the 6 pictures together to make it look like we took the picture as a group, but I'm having so much trouble with it. No matter how many different shadows, lighting techniques, etc I try, it is just so beyond obvious that we were just plopped onto the background. If anyone could help me, it would be GREATLY appreciated, I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong or how to fix this!! If anyone would like to help, I can gladly supply the 6 individual images.

Here is the best that I have come up with:
Last edited:
Hello and welcome to PSG.

My first piece of advice would be to get the group together for some GROUP photos, this will look much more natural.

If that's not a possibility, then your going to have to re-visit some basic lighting principles.

Example 1:

If we have a group that are evenly lit from the front........
Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 8.30.21 AM.png

Then the shadows would appear more like this (more or less) with the shadows
fading the further away from the light source. This is exaggerated......
Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 8.35.24 AM.png

Example 2:

However, if the subjects are not evenly lit from the front and have a prominent source coming from one direction....
Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 8.14.08 AM.png

Then the grouped image would have to reflect the lighting in the shadows.....
Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 8.21.12 AM.png

You need to adjust your shadows according to the lighting of your image, perhaps more like example 1.
Lower the opacity of your shadows.
Just to add to what Sam has mentioned....

Depending on the individual's distance from the wall behind them, the shadow may be larger - the further they are, the larger the shadow.

If the original pictures taken show their shadows behind them , use it to base how large the shadow's are and as a gauge of how dark it is. Recreate the shadows individually and grouped as a set behind the layered images. In this way you can control the darkness or slightly re-position the shadow set.

Maybe it's just me... but I kinda like the faded shadow areas on both sides which from what I see in your work extends behind them like a sort of added background effect.....
All great advice above and i agree totally, BUT you could go another direction with it.
Something like this (done quickly just to give an alternative idea without shadows and all that).