How to Remove Background from Photo: A Definitive Step-by-step Guide to Perfect Back Scenes

Meet the Enemy: Poor Backgrounds

Often, when we take photos we don't think for too long about the way we intend to use these pictures in the future. We just see a perfect shot and take it, that's it. But eventually a portrait made in a hurry turns out to be absolutely inappropriate for a certain application. Surely, a photo for a family album is fine as it is, but, say, a job application resume has more strict requirements to what a portrait should look like.

One of the most common things spoiling a photo is improper background. Inappropriate backstage, casual objects or people, or just a background that doesn’t look presentable – all of this is unacceptable on a serious portrait photograph. So, how to remove background from a photo?

remove background from photo

Step 1: Get PhotoScissors

Usually, when you hear "photo retouching" you think about software like PhotoShop, LightRoom and other professional and, to be honest, very hard to understand or work with solutions. Surely, if you already know how to remove a background from pictures using such products, you don’t need any step-by-steps. But what if you are like the rest 90% of computer users? Should you start learning complex graphical editors, mastering Magic Wand tools and messing with color masks?

Things got much simpler since PhotoScissors has been released. This tool acts like literal scissors cutting out unnecessary parts of the image, and is almost as easy to work with. So, here is your first step: download PhotoScissors here.

Step 2: Cut the Silhouette on the Image

Unlike many photo editors, PhotoScissors provides a simple way to identify which areas on the picture you would like to keep, and which ones (the background) you prefer to remove. The in-app two-color marker is a tool to mark these parts of the photo.

The green marker denotes foreground areas; the red marker is for background. So, all you need to do is put few rough strokes with your mouse and mark foreground and background areas. The result is displayed immediately in the right window. Here is how it looks:

Cut out background from image

Step 3: Refining the Cutout Area

Note, that you don't need to fill the entire background or foreground areas, the program automatically determines the required selection based on your very rough indication. However, for such elements like hairs, fingers, or non-contrast objects, you may need to refine your selection with a more precise marker.

In this case, simply set the size of the marker to a lower value and add some more accurate strokes to add some area to either the background or the foreground.

Refining the Cutout Area
Refining the Cutout Area

Note: make sure you stay within the lines of the object you want to cut out. If you mark an area outside of the foreground with a green marker, a part of the background can be cut out as well, or vice versa.

Step 4: Enjoy the Result!

PhotoScissors applies results instantly. This means, as soon as you are satisfied with the final result, you can immediately save it as a PNG (transparency supported) or JPEG (no transparency) image. Other picture formats are supported too.

Background removed!

With PhotoScissors in literally 30 seconds you can remove background from photos and make them more suitable for official use.


Watch the software in action: how to remove background from photo in literally less than minute.