How to Crop Out Someone's Face in Photoshop

By Paul Kemp

Adobe Photoshop has become the worldwide standard for digital image manipulation and enhancement. One of the fundamental things people want to do is crop their photos and move elements of them to another photo or remove them altogether. The process can require some dedication and patience, but anything can be cropped out of a photo in Photoshop and replaced or filled in to the liking of the user.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Adobe Photoshop software
  • Digital Image

Cropping a Face in Photoshop

Step 1

Initialize Adobe Photoshop and select the "Open" option under the "File" control panel. Locate and select the image you wish to crop.

Step 2

Select the "Zoom Tool" from the tool panel and drag a zoom marquee around the face you wish to crop out.

Step 3

Select the "Pen Tool" from the tool panel and create anchor points all the way around the face you wish to crop out. There should be an anchor point on the ends of each curve in the face. Close the path by selecting the first anchor point while the cursor has a small circle next to it.

Step 4

Right-click on the "Pen Tool" until the fly-down menu appears, and select the "Add Anchor Point" tool. Click on the middle of each path created by the Pen tool to create the necessary contour points. Click "Command +" ("Control +" in Windows) and drag each point out until it fits the curve of the face.

Step 5

Right-click on the face and select "Make Selection." A crawling dashed line will appear around the selected area.

Step 6

Press "Delete" to remove the face from the image, or select "Edit -> Copy" in order to copy it for use in another image. If copying, open your new image and select "Edit -> Paste." The face will appear in the new image and can be transformed as desired in the new file.

Tips & Warnings

  • The "Magnetic Lasso Tool" can be easier than the "Pen Tool" for selecting the facial area, but it is usually less precise.
  • If you are cropping the face completely out of a photo and wish to fill it in as though the person were never in it, it is advisable to use a photo with a simple, continuous background such as the sky or a horizon. This way the Clone Stamp can be used to fill in the space where the face was without the change being noticeable. Photos with complex backgrounds will require use of the Paint Tool or more complex image replacement options to fill in the empty space.

References & Resources