Touch-Up Tuesday: Head Swap!
I completely missed last week’s Touch-Up Tuesday, but I promised that I would share a “head-swapping” experience from my family portrait session with Sarah at Loving My Life. Trying to get a decent family picture where everyone is looking at the camera is not easy. However, you can fake it if you know how to seamlessly swap heads. 
I opted for having both parents looking at the camera (they’re even smiling)…I thought that Dustyn attempting to give his brother a kiss (I promise, he was kissing not biting) added character. However, Sarah is smiling in the shot on the left and her husband is smiling in the shot on the right. Thus…a head swap was needed.
IMG_7611 SOOC RS       IMG_7613 SOOC RS

Before you get started, you should have two similarly exposed and posed shots. I basically took the shots above in Adobe Camera Raw, made very quick adjustments and brought them into Photoshop Elements 7. It’s much easier to fully process the photos after the head swap. I’m essentially using the same technique I’ve used when replacing backgrounds.

With that said, I started with the photo on the left. I used the quick selection tool (circled – top left) to select much of Kenny’s upper half and the surround scenery. This way, we’re not only swapping the head, but also the background – seamless.
Head Swap 1
Once I made my selection, I clicked CTRL+J to move that selection into it’s own layer.
Head Swap 2
I had the photo on the right ready to go in the bin (at the bottom of Photoshop Elements). I used the move tool to drag and drop it right on top of the other photo. I then pulled the corners to align it with the other photo for a perfect fit.
Head Swap 3
I then clicked CTRL+G to group the top photo layer with the previous layer. This moved the new selection right into the space we previously chose to replace. You’ll then just use your healing tool to make sure that no obvious lines are showing (and if you look closely below, this is not a clean finish at all…I quickly recreated it last night just to show the basic technique).
Head Swap 4
From there, I processed normally using Pioneer Woman’s Boost Action (adjusted) and Everyday Elements’ Florida Action (also adjusted to my taste). So, what do you think? I think this is much easier than the PSE head swapping tool.
IMG_7611 RS
If you have questions, just let me know…otherwise, for more touch-ups, go to:
Photography love...