Superimpose a photo within a photo. Photo inception?
This quick tutorial will walk you through the steps to mockup any photo within a photo of a frame. This technique uses basic clipping masks, layer styles and adjustment layers to achieve the effect.
Open the photo of a frame with Photoshop.
Select the Pen Tool and in the top bar choose Shape from the dropdown. Then carefully draw a shape around the inside edge of the frame. Most frames are rectangle like this one, but this technique will also work with other shape frames.
Place the other photo into the document above the shape we just drew. Adjust the photo using the handles so that it roughly covers the area inside of the frame. Then confirm placement.
Make sure the photo layer is above the shape layer and right click on it, then choose Create Clipping Mask.
Double click on the shape layer to open the Layer Style panel, choose Inner Shadow and enter Opacity 100%, Distance 4, Choke 0 and Size 12.
This should make the frame appear to be above the photo, and look more realistic. Adjust the Inner Shadow if necessary.
Select the Background layer, then hold down Alt key and click the shape layer to make a selection.
Copy the selection (CMD+C) and paste (CMD+V) on a new layer above all the other layers.
Desaturate the layer by using Image > Adjustments > Desturate.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels... and adjust the shadow output so that only some small specs of white remain visible against the black background.
Set the Blending Mode of the top layer to Screen and Opacity 50%. This effect is very subtle but it makes the result look more realistic.
Now this last part is completely optional, but we are also going to change the color of the frame to make it Gold. Select the Pen Tool again and this time choose Path from the dropdown. Carefully draw around the silver part of the frame.
Select the path and create a new Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. In the Properties panel click Colorize and enter Hue 34, Saturation 20 and Lightness 0.
Click the icon at the top of the Properties panel to switch to Masks and enter 1.0 px Feather. This will blur the edges of the mask slightly.
Select the path again and create a new Levels Adjustment Layer this time. Enter 12, 1.06 and 216 for the output values.
Switch over to the Masks section of the Properties panel again and enter 1.0 px Feather.
Here is the final result. We have superimposed a photo within a photo and even changed the color of the frame to suit our specific needs. The purpose of this tutorial was to teach you a fool-proof technique for adding photos to frames, with a few tweaks this can be used on almost any photo frame and photo.