How a Photographer Photoshopped Herself Into Her Family Portrait


A photographer revealed how she perfectly photoshopped herself into her family portrait after the battery on her remote trigger died at the worst moment during a shoot.

Photographer Lyssi Johnson amazed the internet when she showed exactly how she transformed a chaotic family photoshoot with small children into a picture-perfect portrait.

@lyssijphotography Photoshop editing Adding myself to a family photo with photoshop #beginnerphotography #photographysmallbusiness #photographybusiness #photographyposes #familyphotographyposes #familyposeideas #poseideas #posesideas #familyphotography #familyphotographer #photoshopper #photoshoptimelapse #photoshoptipstricks #photographertiktok #photographersoftiktok #tiktokphotographer #photographertiktok #photoshopmagic #photoshoptricks #photoshopedit ♬ Made You Look – Meghan Trainor

Johnson, who specializes in small family photography, tells PetaPixel that her family was at the location of their annual photo shoot when she realized that she had forgotten to check the battery on her remote trigger before she left the hotel.

The photographer, from northern Utah, says: “We go on a little extended family vacation every year and my mom always wants to do family pictures while we are there.”

“If you’ve ever tried taking your own family photos with little kids, you know how tricky this can be. We all get to the chosen location and I had my tripod and remote settings set up on my camera.

“And then when I tried to test the remote, the battery was dead.”

Johnson considered using the timer on her camera instead. But the photographer, who is an expert in Photoshop, decided it would be easier and better if she edited herself into the image — especially as it involved a photo shoot with young children.

First attempt
Second Attempt
Final Photoshopped picture

“I could have just used the timer on the camera,” she explains. “However I’ve found that if I plan for where I am going to stand and then take a couple of good pictures of everyone in the group, I can get most of the kids to look at me at one time while I’m standing at the camera.”

“Then I can take a photo of me in the spot that I prepped for either using the timer or having someone else from the group take it.”

“Once I got the two good photos I can just place myself right where I need to go,” she adds. “I’ve done this so many times, I really don’t even bat an eye anymore!”

Johnson, says the entire editing process took her just 30 minutes in Photoshop.

The photographer, who always asks permission from clients before editing their pictures, has become well-known on TikTok for her talent in Photoshop.

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“I notice the smallest things, some things that really don’t matter,” Johnson explains. “But my eyes can’t unsee it, so then I photoshop it.”

“It’s also made me lazy while I’m out shooting a session,” she adds.

“For example, if someone left a jacket or purse or water bottle in the background, I’ll notice that it’s there.”

“But instead of moving it, I tell myself ‘I can just take that out in photoshop.'”

Johnson previously worked as a dental assistant. But after having her first child in 2017, she decided to take the leap and turn her photography hobby into a business.

She says her Photoshop skills have helped her photography business to flourish amid competition.

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“I am thrilled with the business I have created,” Johnson says. “It’s grown so much in these last 5 years.”

She adds “I have found that a lot of photographers do not offer Photoshop, and that has made me stand out from the very large group of photographers that are in Utah.”

“When I have a client book a photo session with me, and if I notice something while editing their session that needs to be ‘photoshopped,’ I do not charge them any extra.”

“So, head swaps which are very common when taking family photos with little kids, zits removed, flyaway hair, people from the background, really anything — I take care of that.”

“My clients are paying me for the best, and I want to give them my best. If I can do it, why not?”

More of Johnson’s work can be seen on Instagram and TikTok.

Image credits: All photos by Lyssi J Photography