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Adding A Vignette to Photos:A Photoshop (and Elements) Tutorial

Good morning everyone! Last week, I shared with all of you MY workflow when it comes to getting my pictures ready to scrap! I tied almost all of my previous tutorials together to show you HOW I finish a photo. The only thing I had left that I haven’t already written a tutorial on is how to add a vignette to a photo! I LOVE vignettes! In fact, I probably add one to every single photo that I work with in some form or fashion. Sometimes the picture requires a heavy vignette, most of the time, however, it just needs a little something to darken the edges of the photos and draw the eye inward to the main subject!
This tutorial works in both the full version of  Photoshop and Photoshop Elements! So let’s get started!

Begin by opening the photo that you want to add the vignette! Go to File>Open and locate the picture on your computer. Click Open.

I am going to be using this picture of my daughter, Leah, who will be starting her senior year in high school in just a few short weeks, so we took these photos for her Senior photo shoot just this past week.

Next, duplicate the layer by pressing CTRL+J on the keyboard. The photo on the workstation will look the same, but you will see two of the photos in the layer palette.

Make sure that the top layer is highlighted in the layers palette. Change the blending mode of the top layer to Multiply by clicking on the arrow and selecting Multiply in the fly out menu.

The picture will get very dark…don’t worry, it is supposed to be that way!

Select the rectangular marquee tool (keyboard shortcut M) and change the settings on the option bar to reflect the ones I have in the picture below.

Make sure that the Feather is set at 0 px.  Draw a rectangle on your photo by clicking the mouse on the upper left hand corner and dragging the mouse to the lower right hand corner.

Next,  we need to soften the vignette and give it a rounded appearance so that it won’t look so harsh on the photo. With the Marquee Tool still selected, change the settings in the Options bar to reflect those below.

Now, draw a rectangle INSIDE the outer rectangle we just drew,  allowing about 1/2″ on each side. Since we already set the feather to 200 PX, once you draw the rectangle and release the mouse, it will look like the photo below. If you set your workstation to show the rulers, (View>Rulers) it will be easier to be more accurate when drawing the inner rectangle. Everything between the two rectangles will be the vignette.

In order to remove the multiply layer from the inner rectangle, we need to add a layers mask. Locate the Layers Mask  icon at the bottom of the layers palette (or top if in Photoshop Elements) and click on the icon. This will add the layers mask and will remove the dark multiply layer from the inner rectangular area. Set the opacity of the layer to around 60% for a soft vignette or 75% for a little heavier vignette.

If the darkened edge is too close to your subject, click on the paintbrush tool,  set the foreground color to black, make sure that the layers mask is selected in your layers palette and paint over the areas that are too dark on your photo.

When you are all finished, you will be left with a soft vignette that will help draw your eye into your photo and make your subject the STAR of the photo!


Photo with Vignette

Heavy Vignette


You can see that the vignette is just enough to warm up the edges and soften the photo! You don’t need much…just enough to make the edges a little darker!

You now have a complete tutorial on how to make your photos shine for your scrapbook pages! Hpe you find it useful when working with your pictures!

Have a great week and happy scrapping!


comments +

  1. jg says:

    great tutorial. thanks for sharing it.

  2. […] Adding A Vignette to Photos:A Photoshop (and Elements) Tutorial – 1 freebie(s)? […]

  3. tajicat says:

    Thanks so much! 🙂

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I'm Mye De Leon

I'm a mom with a desire to give the best for her family and turned a lettering hobby into a multi6-figure business. These days, I eat strategy for breakfast and turn other businesses into successful empires.

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I'm Mye


My business is to help your business generate more revenue so you can be who you want to be.

I'm Mye


My business is to help your business generate more revenue so you can be who you want to be.