I have a low-quality photo that was taken with a phone. I cut around the photo with the lasso tool and put it on a carpet background, but nothing is natural when the cut photo is placed.

I have blurred some parts of the photo to make it more natural. I do not think my photo is very attractive so should I add some toys to have a more attractive photo or should I retake the photo? If I retake the photo what are some ways to get the photo and background to work together?

Baby on carpet

  • 2
    That is one incredibly tiny baby.
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 19:44

2 Answers 2


Take a photo of the baby on a carpet, if at all possible.

If you decide you can't re-take the photo of the baby, reconsider the compositing choices being made here.

Think about how close you need to be to a carpet to see that much detail. If I'm using the carpet as a reference for the size of this baby, I would say it's smaller than the size of my hand.

Also be aware that the baby's head is turned and the mask graphic does not reflect this. The nose ridge on the mask should be distorted to fit the baby's face; a grid warp tool (GIMP / Paint.NET) may be able to do that.

The back of the baby seems to be darker than the baby's torso, but the lighting on the carpet doesn't match. Likewise, the shading on the mask is much too intense for the light diffuse shading on the baby, or the even-toned shading of the carpet. Consider selecting props that match the lighting on the baby.

It looks like the picture of the baby was taken with a white light or indirect sunlight. The carpet picture appears to be under a yellowish light, and the mask is under an incredibly intense light. The intensities (and colors) of all these light sources should be homogeneous (or close enough to stave off suspension of disbelief).

3-D Artifacts
One of the most important cues for proximity is shading. There aren't any discernible shadows around the baby that tell an observer that this baby is physically touching the carpet. Faking these shadows believably is a difficult endeavor because it must conform to the bumpy surface of the carpet. I implore you to re-take the photo of the baby.

Other Considerations
The edges of the mask seems much sharper than the baby's face, so it appears that the mask is 'floating' in front of the baby's face.

It may be beneficial to look up compositing or the aspects of design associated with photography to gain a better understanding of what people think and perceive when viewing art.

  • One cheap option for shadows (which yes, will not correspond to the carpet) is to use the Long Shadow as with docs.gimp.org/2.10/en_US/gimp-filter-long-shadow.html. If you use the carpet texture to distort the shadow, you can probably get something that may not look photo-realistic, but looks vaguely plausible. Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 18:08

It is not unclear. Sorry, the baby is cute, but a bad photo is a bad photo. (But there is a chance the original photo of the baby is not bad at all)

The only way to make a photo "profesional" is taking it correctly in the first time (and that takes time and practice)

Sorry about this, but do not do that to the photo... Special compositing effects needs too a lot of practice to do, and you now have two problems. 1) Making a good photo. 2) Making a good composition.

Take the original photo and ask on this site: http://photo.stackexchange.com how to improve your photographing skills.

If you still want to go to this path take a look at this: How to manipulate a hand?

But you really need to pay atention to proportion and color grading.

  • 1
    My understanding photo manipulation isn't in scope for Photography.
    – user9447
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 14:03

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