How to Turn a Photo into a Silhouette

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You find a deeper appreciation for photos when you discover just how much more you can do with them beyond taking them for the original memory they created in the first place.

Meaning, we all love to look back photos and smile, but how often do you get to do so? So, when you’re able to “stretch” the use of your photos for use on other projects, you tend to develop a greater appreciation.

Today, we will go through how to easily convert your photos into silhouettes, either black silhouettes on white backgrounds, vice versa, or different colors altogether.


Of course, silhouettes work best when the viewer can still recognize the photo even without seeing physical traits or the specifics you’d normally be able to pick up on from a fully-detailed photo.

How to Create a Silhouette

1. Add Your Photo

The first step is to of course, place your photo on your canvas. If you’d like to upload your own photo for use, go to “Uploads” and then click “Upload media” to select and upload your photo. Once uploaded, simply click the photo or drag it into the canvas workspace.

2. Remove the Background

Next, select your photo and then go to “Effects” and click “Background Remover.” This will “instantly” remove the background from your photo. Once completed, you should only see your main photo subject.

Sometimes the background remover will fail to remove bits and pieces connected to the main subject (say, a leash on a dog). If this is the case, you will see the option to “Erase,” which you can click and erase any straggling photo parts. On the flip side, if something was removed by mistake, click “Restore” to do the same.

3. Add Duotone

Once your background is removed from the photo, go back to “Effects” and click “Cherry” in the “Duotone” section. (Don’t worry, this is simply a means to get to the black/white silhouette.)

Once you do so, you should also see an icon appear on the cherry duotone—click it in order to make adjustments to the highlights and shadows. Click “Highlights” and then move the color picker to black. Then, click “Shadows” and also move to black. Click “Apply.”

Once finished, you should now see that your main photo subject is completely black, like this:

If this was your end goal, congrats! If you’d like to keep going, here are some quick and easy things you can do with your newly created silhouette

Add a Shadow

If you’d like to add a shadow to your silhouette, select your photo and then make a copy of it. Select one copy of the photo and then go to the transparency icon towards the top right of the screen. Slide the adjuster to the left to decrease the transparency. You should see the selected image lighten to gray (if black is still your preferred color).

Now, just move the lighter copy of the photo behind the black copy, and place it where you’d like.

Add Silhouette to a Photo

You can also add the silhouette back into your original photo. All you have to do is create a new page with the original photo, and then copy and paste in the silhouette.

To have some fun, you can go back to “Duotone” again in “Effects” and then instead of changing “Shadows” to black, you can choose a different color…or a few!

You can also “cut out” another main subject with the background remover, and then layer everything on top of each other for something like this:

And with that, you should be all set! If you’d rather learn from a video, you can do so below. I welcome any questions or comments, so please feel free to get in touch here or on social media. Best of luck!

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