How to Put Two Pictures Together: A Step-by-Step Guide

Putting two pictures together can be a daunting task for anyone who has never done it before. Whether you’re trying to create a before and after image, showcase a transformation, or make a comparison, combining two photos requires a certain level of skill and knowledge. With the rise of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, people are constantly looking for ways to improve their photo editing skills and create stunning visuals. In fact, according to Statista, there were 1.8 billion photos uploaded daily on social media platforms in 2020. This shows just how important it is to have basic photo editing skills in today’s digital world. In this guide, we’ll show you step-by-step how to put two pictures together using various photo editing software and devices.


Combining two pictures to create a single image is an essential skill for anyone interested in photography or graphic design. Whether you want to show the transformation of a landscape, capture a before and after shot of your home renovation, or simply create a fun comparison image, knowing how to put two pictures together can be a useful tool in your creative arsenal.

Fortunately, editing images and combining them has never been easier, thanks to the availability of photo editing software and apps on smartphones and tablets. This means that you don’t need to be a professional graphic designer or have access to expensive equipment to create stunning images.

In this post, we will take a detailed look at the step-by-step process of combining two pictures using various photo editing tools. We’ll explore the different reasons why you might want to combine two pictures, and provide you with valuable insights and tips to help you achieve the desired result.

So, whether you want to combine two photos on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about putting two pictures together.

Why Combine Two Pictures?

Combining two pictures may seem like a simple task, but the possibilities it offers are endless. By merging two images, you can create a before-and-after image that demonstrates a transformation, showcase a comparison between two objects or people, or highlight the impact of a project or renovation.

One of the most popular uses for combining two pictures is creating a before-and-after image. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, you could merge two photos of yourself or your client side by side to show the physical transformation from before starting a workout regime to after. This technique is also useful for home renovation projects, where you can combine a picture of a room before and after remodelling to show the transformation.

Combining two pictures can also be a powerful tool for making comparisons. For instance, let’s say you’re creating a brochure for a hotel chain. You could use merged pictures to showcase the difference between standard rooms and suites. The same technique could be applied to show the contrast between different products, services, or any other items you want to compare side by side.

Finally, merging two pictures can be an excellent way to demonstrate the impact of a project a company has completed. For example, an architect could merge pictures of a building before and after renovation to exhibit their work and how it transformed the space.

In conclusion, combining two pictures allows you to create compelling visuals that showcase transformations, comparisons, and project impacts. Whether for personal or professional use, the technique is a valuable tool in the world of photography and design.

Tools You Need

Photo Editing Software

Photo editing software is an essential tool for anyone looking to put two pictures together, whether you want to create a before and after image, showcase a transformation, or make a comparison. There are many options available, both paid and free, that offer a range of features and capabilities to suit your needs. Here we take a closer look at four popular photo editing software options: Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Canva, and Pixlr.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most widely used photo editing software programs in the world. It has a range of powerful tools and features that allow users to create professional-level designs and edits. Photoshop is ideal for those who need advanced editing capabilities, such as creating complex masks, retouching images, or adjusting color and exposure levels. However, it also has a steep learning curve and may not be suitable for beginners who are just starting out with photo editing.


GIMP is a free and open-source photo editing software that offers many of the same features as Adobe Photoshop. It has a friendly user interface and a large community of developers who contribute plugins and extensions to further enhance its capabilities. Although it lacks some of the more advanced features found in Photoshop, GIMP is a great option for those on a budget or who don’t need all the bells and whistles of a professional-level software.


Canva is a web-based graphic design platform that makes it easy to create custom images, graphics, and designs. While it’s not a traditional photo editing software, it does have several features that make it a good option for combining two pictures, such as templates, drag-and-drop functionality, and simple photo editing tools. Canva is an excellent choice for those who want to quickly create eye-catching images without having to learn complicated software.


Pixlr is a free online photo editor that provides a range of features and tools for editing images. It’s a great option for those who want to combine two pictures with ease, as it includes features such as layering, resizing, cropping, and color adjustment. Pixlr also has the added benefit of being available on both desktop and mobile devices, making it a versatile option for those who need to edit photos on the go.

In conclusion, when it comes to photo editing software, there are many options available to suit your needs and budget. Whether you choose Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Canva, or Pixlr, each offers its own unique set of features and capabilities to help you create stunning images that showcase your photos in the best possible way.

Computer, Smartphone, or Tablet

When it comes to combining two pictures, you have a variety of devices at your disposal. The most popular ones include computers, laptops, smartphones, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. However, each device has its own strengths and limitations that you should consider before choosing which one to use.

Computers and Laptops

Computers and laptops are the go-to devices for many professionals who need to edit images frequently. They offer powerful hardware and software that can handle complex photo editing tasks with ease. For example, Adobe Photoshop is widely considered the industry standard for image editing and manipulation. It offers advanced features such as layers, masks, filters, and more.

Laptops are also portable, making them a good option if you need to work on the go. However, they require a power source and may be too heavy and bulky to carry around all day.


Smartphones are becoming increasingly popular as photo editing tools. They offer convenience, portability, and advanced camera technology that allows you to take high-quality photos on the go. Many smartphones also come with built-in photo editing apps or allow you to download third-party apps from app stores.

For example, the iPhone’s native photo editing app offers basic editing functions such as cropping, resizing, and adjusting brightness and contrast. You can also download apps like Lightroom, Snapseed, and VSCO to access more advanced features and presets.


Tablets are a hybrid between computers and smartphones. They offer a larger screen than smartphones but are more portable than laptops. Tablets can be a good option if you want to work on the go but find smartphones too small for photo editing tasks.

For example, the iPad Pro offers a range of photo editing apps such as Affinity Photo, Pixelmator, and Procreate. These apps offer advanced features such as layer masking, curves adjustments, and retouching tools, making them ideal for professional photo editing.

In conclusion, the device you choose for combining two pictures depends on your specific needs and preferences. Computers and laptops offer powerful hardware and software but lack portability. Smartphones are convenient and portable but may have limited functionality compared to computers. Tablets offer a balance between the two, making them a good option if you need to work on the go.

Step-by-Step Guide to Combining Two Pictures

Step 1: Open Photo Editing Software

Step 1: Open Photo Editing Software

Before you can start combining two pictures, you need to have a photo editing software installed on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. There are many different options available, each with their own features and benefits, but some of the most popular choices include Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Canva, and Pixlr.

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most well-known and widely used photo editing tools on the market today. It offers a wide range of features and capabilities, including advanced color correction, layer-based editing, and support for various file formats and output sizes. While it may be a bit more expensive than some other options, it’s definitely worth the investment for those who need professional-level editing tools.

GIMP, on the other hand, is a free and open-source alternative to Photoshop that offers many of the same features and capabilities. It’s a great choice for those who want powerful editing tools without having to pay a lot of money. Plus, since it’s open-source, there’s a large community of developers and users who are constantly working to improve and enhance the software.

Canva is a popular web-based design tool that’s great for creating graphics, social media posts, and other visual content. While it may not have all the advanced editing features of Photoshop or GIMP, it’s very user-friendly and intuitive, making it a great choice for beginners.

Finally, Pixlr is another web-based photo editor that offers both free and paid versions. It’s a good middle-ground between Canva and the more advanced editing tools like Photoshop and GIMP, offering a wide range of features and capabilities while still being easy to use and accessible to beginners.

Whichever photo editing software you choose, make sure to take some time to explore its features and capabilities before diving into combining your two pictures. This will help you get the best results possible and create a final image that truly showcases your creativity and skill.

Step 2: Choose Two Photos

Step 2: Choose Two Photos

Choosing the right photos is crucial when combining two images. To create a compelling comparison, you must select two images that are relevant to each other and highlight the transformation or difference you want to showcase. Here are some tips for choosing the perfect photos:

Before Photo

The “before” photo should be the original or older version of the image. It represents the starting point of your comparison and sets the context for the change or difference. It’s essential to choose an image that clearly shows what you’re trying to convey in your comparison. For example, if you’re creating a before-and-after weight loss comparison, choose a photo that shows the person at their heaviest.

After Photo

The “after” photo should be the newer version of the image that shows the transformation or difference you want to highlight. This photo should have a significant contrast with the before photo and clearly demonstrate the change you’re trying to show. Continuing with the weight loss example, the after photo should show the same person after achieving their desired weight loss goal.

Comparison Photos

If you’re not trying to show a transformation but instead illustrate a comparison between two subjects, you may need to choose two photos that are similar in nature yet still different enough to highlight the comparison. For example, if you’re comparing two products, you might choose two images that showcase the products’ differences side-by-side.

In conclusion, selecting the right photos is crucial when it comes to combining two images. Consider the message you want to convey, select images that highlight that message, and ensure that they have a significant contrast to make your comparison stand out.

Step 3: Create a New Document

Step 3: Create a New Document

After you have selected the two photos that you want to combine, it is time to create a new document. This step is essential as it provides the foundation for your photo editing work. Here’s how you can do it:

Set the Canvas Size

The canvas size refers to the dimensions of your new document, which will depend on the size and orientation of your photos. If both photos are of the same size and orientation, you can set the canvas size to match them. However, if the photos are different sizes or orientations, you will need to decide on a common size and orientation for your new document.

Most photo editing software allows you to set the canvas size when creating a new document. You can choose from preset sizes or enter your own custom dimensions. Keep in mind that larger canvases will result in larger file sizes and may take longer to process.

Choose the Background Color

Once you have set the canvas size, you can choose the background color for your new document. The background color will be visible around the edges of your photos and can affect the overall look of your final image.

Some photo editing software programs default to a white background, while others allow you to choose from a range of colors or even use a transparent background. Consider the color scheme of your photos and the purpose of your final image when selecting a background color.

In conclusion, creating a new document is an important step in combining two photos. Setting the canvas size and choosing the background color are crucial to creating a cohesive final image. Remember to consider the size, orientation, and color scheme of your photos when making these decisions.

Step 4: Drag and Drop Photos

Step 4: Drag and Drop Photos

Now that you have chosen your two photos and created a new document, it’s time to place them on the canvas. Most photo editing software allows you to simply drag and drop images onto the canvas.

Once you have placed your photos on the canvas, you may need to adjust the layer order. This is especially important if you want one photo to appear on top of the other.

To adjust the layer order, simply click on the layer you want to move in the Layers panel and drag it up or down until it is in the desired position. You can also use keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl + [ (to move the layer down) or Ctrl + ] (to move the layer up).

Keep in mind that the layer order can affect the final outcome of your combined photo. Experiment with different layer orders to see which arrangement works best for your specific project.

By placing your photos on the canvas and adjusting the layer order, you are one step closer to creating a stunning comparison image. In the next step, we will look at how to resize and adjust your photos to achieve the perfect composition.

Step 5: Resize and Adjust Photos

Step 5: Resize and Adjust Photos

After dragging and dropping your two photos onto the canvas, you may notice that they don’t quite fit together perfectly. This is where resizing and adjusting comes in handy.

Crop the Photos

The first thing you might want to do is crop your photos. This means removing any unwanted areas around the edges of the photos. For example, if you have a landscape photo and a portrait photo, you may need to crop one or both of them so that they match up better. Most photo editing software has a crop tool that makes this easy to do.

Transform the Photos

If your two photos are different sizes or orientations, you’ll need to transform one or both of them so that they match up better. This could involve rotating one of the photos, flipping it horizontally or vertically, or scaling it up or down. Again, most photo editing software has tools that make this easy to do.

Change the Opacity

Another way to make your two photos blend together better is to adjust their opacity. This means making one or both of the photos more or less transparent. For example, if you have a before photo and an after photo, you might want to make the after photo more transparent so that the changes are easier to see. Or, you might want to make the before photo more transparent so that the after photo stands out more.

Add Text or Graphics

Finally, you may want to add text or graphics to your combined image. This could include labels, captions, arrows, or other symbols. You can use the text or drawing tools in your photo editing software to add these elements. Just be careful not to overdo it – too much text or too many graphics can make your image look cluttered and hard to read.

By following these tips for resizing and adjusting your photos, you can create a seamless and professional-looking combined image that effectively communicates your message.

Step 6: Save the Final Image

Step 6: Save the Final Image

Once you’ve combined your two pictures and made all the necessary adjustments, it’s time to save your final image. Here are a few things to consider when saving your image:

Save as JPEG

JPEG is a commonly used format for images that contain a lot of detail or color variation. When you save your image as a JPEG, you’ll have the option to adjust the quality level. Higher quality levels result in larger file sizes, while lower quality levels may result in a loss of detail. Consider the intended use of your image when determining the appropriate quality level.

Export as PNG

PNG is another popular image format that supports transparency and is often used for web graphics. Unlike JPEG, PNG is a lossless format, which means there is no loss of detail when the image is saved. However, PNG files can be larger than JPEG files, so consider the intended use of your image when deciding on a format.

Compress the File Size

If you need to reduce the file size of your image, you can compress it. This reduces the amount of data in the file, resulting in a smaller file size. Most photo editing software includes a compression feature, but be careful not to compress too much, as this can result in a loss of detail or clarity.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to save your final image in the appropriate format and size for its intended use. Whether you’re creating a before-and-after comparison or showcasing a transformation, your image will be ready to share with the world.


When it comes to creating a comparison image, combining photos is a crucial step that requires some degree of photo editing. In this article, we have discussed in detail the tools required to combine two pictures and the step-by-step guide to follow when doing so. Combining photos can be useful for various purposes, such as showcasing a transformation or making a before-and-after comparison.

One of the most significant advantages of combining photos is that it allows you to create a more comprehensive representation of a particular subject. For instance, if you’re a fitness trainer, you could use this technique to demonstrate the difference between a client’s initial physique and their current one after training with you. This method helps to paint a clearer picture of your progress and the effectiveness of your training program.

Additionally, combining photos is an excellent way of highlighting subtle differences between images, such as color changes, size comparisons, or even a change in scenery. It can also be used to tell a story by presenting images in a sequence, emphasizing the relationship between them and the message being conveyed.

In conclusion, combining photos through photo editing is a valuable skill to have, whether you are an amateur photographer, graphic designer or social media manager. By following the steps outlined here, you can quickly put two pictures together and create a compelling comparison image that effectively showcases your subject.
Combining two pictures may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and the right approach, it can be a fun and creative way to tell a story, showcase a transformation, or make a comparison. By using photo editing software on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, you can easily create a before and after image that will amaze your friends or clients. Remember to follow the step-by-step guide we have provided, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and styles. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a casual user, putting two pictures together is a valuable skill that can enhance your creativity and expand your horizons. So go ahead and give it a try – who knows what amazing things you’ll create!

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