11 AI Image Editing Tricks to Elevate Your Visuals 

Advanced AI technology is revolutionizing the graphic design landscape, providing powerful tools and features to make photo editing more manageable and efficient. AI image editing can shift your visual content creation process in multiple ways.

Using some of the most advanced, popular, and user-friendly AI photo tools, you can automate and simplify various aspects of your image editing workflow while enhancing your results and expanding your creative boundaries, all without any special skills needed.  

www.canva.com magic edit
Magically add to your image with Canvas Magic Edit

Today, we share 11 AI image editing tricks to help you elevate your visual content in just a few clicks and get you started with generative AI and AI photo apps. 

Let’s go!

Brief Overview: Why Adopting an AI Photo Editor Will Change Your Life

Using an AI photo editor makes a lot of sense, no matter what your creative needs and design skills are. Here is a quick list of the ways in which this kind of application is a game-changer for visual content creation and graphic design:

  • If your creativity is often met with budget or time limitations – Using an AI-powered photo editor will allow you to edit a photo to look exactly how you envision just using your computer and in very little time.
  • If you lack design skills – The most efficient of traditional photo editing software apps have a considerably steep learning curve, but an AI photo editor is user-friendly, you can create visuals intuitively and without having to develop complex skills.
  • If you want to optimize your workflow – Even if you're a seasoned photo editor, there are a lot of tasks that consume your time, and AI editing features can take care of instantaneously and with pretty much identical results while still giving you creative control, freeing you up to do more inspiring, art-related work.

If you want to learn the basics of image editing with both AI and traditional digital tools, our starter guide on how to edit photos is ideal for you!

BONUS TRICK: Image Upscaling

Often times you don't really need to change a lot in a photo except for the image quality – like you have blurry images that would be perfect for your design if they looked sharp, or you have the ideal photo, but it's just too small for your intended use.

example image upscaler stockphoto > 11 AI Image Editing Tricks to Elevate Your Visuals 
Stockphotos.com Image Upscaler

In this case, the power of artificial intelligence applied to image enhancement is the perfect solution. Many tools can improve low-quality images and resize them to bigger and smaller dimensions without losing definition. They are called image upscalers and the ones that use various AI techniques to automate the whole process. They save time and give you high-quality photos in seconds!

How to Upscale an Image with AI

It couldn't be easier!

  • Open the chosen image upscaler tool in your browser
  • Upload the photo you wish to enhance or enlarge
  • Select the desired new resolution or size, and hit the Go button

That's it! Your image will be automatically improved and the new, higher-resolution version will be ready to download and use.

#1. Zoom Out 

Do you have a photo that could use a larger frame? Do you wish to “zoom out” of a picture for a better composition? AI makes that possible. 

getimg.ai outpainting > 11 AI Image Editing Tricks to Elevate Your Visuals 
Getimg.ai Outpainting feature

You can get generative AI technology to automatically analyze the image’s pixel content and “outpaint” or fill in a bigger frame with new pixels whose content matches the original seamlessly, converting it into a larger scene. 

This is great for making a more immersive and dynamic image, creating more negative space for your copy, or simply exploring different composition ideas. 

Pro Tip: Ensure to maintain the image’s aspect ratio as much as possible to avoid losing quality. 

Tools to Zoom Out: 
Adobe Firefly’s Generative Fill on Photoshop and Adobe Express
Canva Magic Edit (only available for Canva Pro users) – See a Canva Pro pricing breakdown to see if it's suitable for you!
Shutterstock Generate’s Design Assistant –coming soon. 

How to Zoom Out: 

All tools with this “intelligent fill” feature operate similarly: 

  • You upload the image you wish to edit
  • You select the canvas size you want to fill (be it on panel controls or with a drag-and-drop tool) 
  • You click on the generative AI feature –maybe it opens a text field for you to type in the instruction to fill the canvas with a matching background scene, or perhaps a “zoom-out” preset button is available. 

Yes, it’s that simple! 

#2. Remove Unwanted Objects 

How annoying is it when you find the perfect picture for your design, except for that unwanted element that ruins an otherwise ideal composition? 

canva magic eraser > 11 AI Image Editing Tricks to Elevate Your Visuals 
Canva Magic Eraser

Removing an object from a photo layout has been possible for a while, but it used to require considerable image editing skills and access to pro-level software tools. Thankfully, AI image editing tools have simplified it to a fundamental and quick task by automatically deleting selected objects from your image without leaving a trace. 

What AI Tools erase unwanted objects
Adobe Photoshop’s Object Removal & Generative Fill 
Canva Magic Eraser 
Luminar Neo
Shutterstock Generate Design Assistant (coming soon)

How to Remove Unwanted Elements from Your Visuals: 

Most AI photo apps that have a removal function work like this: 

  • Select the unwanted object: these tools tend to have great awareness so that you can click on an object, and they automatically identify its edges, 
  • If necessary, fine-tune the object selection manually
  • Click on the AI assisting feature: depending on the app, it might have an auto-removal button or give you a text field to type in the command.

Tell me if that isn’t indeed easier and faster than ever!

#3. Add Objects to Your Photos

Adding an object or graphic to an existing image isn’t a novelty. Product photos, adverts, and other creative projects have exploited this trick for a long time. It took time and skill to smoothly insert an object into a photo in a way that looks natural. It also required having the isolated object on one side and the destination image on the other. 

photoshop generative fill add object > 11 AI Image Editing Tricks to Elevate Your Visuals 
Adobe Photoshop Generative Fill

Thanks to generative AI that is no longer the case. Several AI image generation tools let you simply insert any object you can imagine into your picture just by typing up what that object is. Much faster and with a much more captivating and attractive outcome. 

Which Tools Can Add AI-Generated Objects into Photos
Photoshop Generative Fill – Powered by Adobe Firefly, adding AI-generated elements is one of the core benefits of this feature
Shutterstock Generate – The Dall-E-based AI image generator from Shutterstock will soon be able to integrate into Creative Flow tools and let you insert AI-created objects into photos
Canva Magic Edit & Text-to-Image – The design platform’s AI image generation tool introduced object addition via AI a while ago
Getimg.ai – its AI editor does it all

How to Insert Objects into Pictures

This is a quick overview of how to get this done with most AI image editing tools: 

  • Upload your photo 
  • Select the area in the photo where you want the new object to be added 
  • Open the generative AI feature, and type a concise text description of the element you want to insert 
  • The tool will synthetically create an object that matches your description and display it right where you selected 

While it might take a few attempts and corrections until you get the new object to look just like what you wanted –for example, it’s essential to match the lighting and perspective of the new element to the rest of the image– it’s certainly a much quicker and effortless process than ever before. 

#4. Change Image Background

Changing an image's background can completely transform its mood and feel, creating a new atmosphere for your visuals. It’s a great way to repurpose photos and spice up your designs, as well as to improve images with busy backgrounds and add contrast to the main subjects.

stockphotos.com bg remover > 11 AI Image Editing Tricks to Elevate Your Visuals 
Stockphotos.com BG Remover

Thanks to AI technology, altering an image's background is simpler than ever before, even if you have no design skills! AI photo editor apps automatically detect the background in your photo and can erase it in one swift move.

Which AI Apps Can Remove and Replace Background
Stockphotos.com BG Remover (remove backgrounds with a single click!) 
Adobe Express & Adobe Photoshop (AI-powered features)
Canva Background Remover (available on Canva Pro only) 
Shutterstock Create (part of Shutterstock Creative Flow, free with your Shutterstock subscription)
Picsart Removing Tool
Luminar Neo AI removal

How to Change an Image’s Background

More or less all AI image editors do this the same way: 

  • Upload the image you wish to modify
  • Erase the background automatically: some tools have a “remove background” button, while others let you select the background and then give the command to remove it. Our recommended apps do this precisely, but some allow you to fine-tune the result as well
  • Here you can be creative: use generative AI to create an entirely new background via a text prompt, or simply select a preset background, or even import a background from another image you have

You’ll have created a new image in minutes with those three simple steps.

#5. Change Facial Expressions 

The magic of AI image editing and generative AI combined makes it possible to transform a person’s facial expression in a photo in a natural-looking way. 

It isn’t really magic, though. It’s more about advanced AI algorithms that analyze the original expression on a face in an image. Then the software applies learned patterns from thousands of other faces to adjust the target expression accordingly.

adobe generative fill sample > 11 AI Image Editing Tricks to Elevate Your Visuals 
Adobe Firefly Generative Fill Inpaint

This means you can now completely alter the emotions a picture elicits without needing to reshoot it and expand your visuals’ range quickly and affordably. Imagine making the model look happier about using your product or modifying a stock photo with a neutral feeling to one that expresses fury. A total win!

AI Tools You Can Use to Change Facial Expressions in Photos

How to Change a Person’s Expression in Photos with AI

As advanced as this edit is, the AI technology takes care of it entirely: 

  • Upload the photo you want to edit 
  • Select the face of the person whose expression you wish to modify 
  • Launch the generative AI feature and type in your instruction to change the expression to anything you want (happy, smiling, sad, frowning, etc..) 

Just by doing that, you’ll usually see results in less than a minute. Of course, it might take a few attempts to get the exact expression you want and a proper natural look. 

#6. Modify Age, Gender, Ethnicity

Another excellent way AI image editing lets you tweak photos is by changing how the people portrayed look. 

This goes beyond making someone’s hair shorter or turning their serious expression into a smile: you can now make people look younger or older, make someone look more masculine or feminine, or make them look a different ethnicity, among other changes. 

This is especially handy to make photos more inclusive and ensure they’re in tune with your target audience. However, it should go without saying that some of these concepts are sensitive matters in today’s society, and such alterations should always be handled with responsibility and coming from an ethical and respectful intention. 

Additionally, you can use this kind of edit to improve portraits: brightening eyes, smoothing out skin, etc.

Apps that Can Alter People’s Looks

How to Change a Person’s Appearance in an Image

Once you import the image you want to edit into the chosen tool, it's a lot simpler than you could imagine: 

  • Select the subject(s) you wish to alter
  • Open the generative AI editing function 
  • Select the desired alteration (aging/de-aging, etc.) or Input the text prompt instructing the tool to perform such alteration.

You will soon see the modified version of your subjects, and you can go back and forth as much as you wish until they look just as you envisioned.

#7. Modify Specific Visual Elements

Sometimes it’s not the subject you’d like to alter but just one particular item related to them. 

Say, for example, you have a portrait of a woman wearing a blouse, but you’d like her to wear a turtleneck instead. Or you have an image of a red sportscar you love if only it were black. 

adobe firefly modiify object > 11 AI Image Editing Tricks to Elevate Your Visuals 
Adobe Firefly Generative Fill

Well, generative AI editing can now make that happen. Allowing you to customize your pictures to a tee fast and cost-effectively without learning any new skills. Amazing.

Tools that Can Edit Single Objects in a Photo
Adobe Firefly and its power feature in Photoshop, Generative Fill
Canva Magic Edit
Shutterstock Generate (soon)

How to Edit an Object Within an Image 

The process might vary from one app to the next, but in general lines, this is what you do: 

  • Select the object you want to edit or the area in the image where the new version of it needs to be
  • Launch the generative AI assistant and describe what you want to see – for example, “brown turtleneck” or “black matte paint finish.”
  • See if the result adjusts to your liking, and modify it via text prompt or other image editing functions as necessary 

#8. Anonymize People

If you are unaware, using photos of people without their express consent can bring you a lot of legal trouble, even more so if you’re using them commercially. And then, there are cases in which, even if you have model releases signed, it might be better not to use photos of real people anyway – such is the case of sensitive topics, where not every person might be ok with having their persona associated with said topic. 

generated.photos anonymizer sample > 11 AI Image Editing Tricks to Elevate Your Visuals 
Sample of face anonymization from Generated.Photos

Enter AI image generation and their innovative solution: fake people photos. You can now create images of realistic-looking people who don’t really exist in the world and therefore are perfectly safe to use in any design. 

Even better, some AI image editing apps now have photo effects that let you anonymize a person in an image by replacing their likeness with a fake, AI-generated one. Sounds futuristic, doesn’t it? 

Tools to Create Fake People Photos

How to Create a Fake Person Photo Using AI

First of all, there are lots of AI image generators capable of generating fake people portraits. And you can even license fake, AI-generated human portraits that are already created and ready to use. 

But to replace the features of an existing person with a fake version, you have to: 

  • Select the person in the photo
  • Hit the “anonymizing” button or write a text prompt to replace the face/body with a new one. 
  • Verify if the results are satisfactory. 

It’s important to note here that human faces and body parts (such as hands) remain one of the hardest things for AI image generators to create, and there is still a considerable margin for error, with unnatural lighting or colors, misshaped eyes or fingers, etc. So you might need extra time to ensure the final result is up to standards. 

#9. Blend Images 

Until recently, merging two (or more) images in a seamless and natural way was reserved for the professional image artist using top-level software tools. Well, not anymore! 

AI image editors can now help you merge images to create a new, unique composition with little to no effort on your part. From composing family photos despite everyone being in different parts of the country to putting together an ad picture displaying all your products, the usefulness of this trick is endless.  

Software Capable of Merging Images Automatically
Photoshop Generative Fill – This is one of the feature’s specialties 
Canva Magic Edit

How to Merge Photos with AI Technology

The easiest way to do this is by taking advantage of AI’s “content awareness” to match the pixels of all the images seamlessly: 

  • Put the pictures side by side on your canvas 
  • Select the empty area between them 
  • Start the AI editing feature and instruct it to fill in the gap by integrating both images in the same frame 

Pro Tip: You can fine-tune the results if needed. Color correction, lighting adjustments and more tweaks can help the final photo look as if it had always been that way.

#10. Create Image Variations

What to do when you wish to explore different composition ideas for your photo, but you don’t have a series of shots from the same photoshoot and can’t find similar pictures readily available? 

shutterstock generate image variations > 11 AI Image Editing Tricks to Elevate Your Visuals 
Shutterstock Generate image variations from a single text prompt

A while ago, the answer would’ve been, “Bad luck, move on.” But today, you can simply use an AI image editor to produce multiple variations from the same photo in the blink of an eye. 

Image variations allow for expanding your creative options and finding the perfect perspective and composition for every concept. Not bad. 

How to Create Image Variations

This one is one of the easiest tricks to perform! 

  • Upload your image to the AI image editor 
  • Select the feature to create variations 
  • Explore the results and pick one, or continue to create variations based on it. 

See? Super simple!

#11. Generate New Images

This is visual AI tech’s battle horse, for sure. The ability to create entirely new images, from scratch, just by typing in a description of what you want to see. 

The creative opportunities are apparent: you can have an image of the Saharan desert even if you never left the US or a picture of a surrealistic animal you made up. The cost and time savings are also self-explanatory. 

AI generated cat photo > 11 AI Image Editing Tricks to Elevate Your Visuals 
Sample of an image generated with Canva Text-to-Image App

So, why isn’t this trick higher up on our list? So far, AI-generated images aren’t standing on solid legal ground regarding copyright and commercial use. For this reason alone, it’s best to be careful and use AI-generated visuals conservatively. 

Best AI Image Generators
There is a world of free and paid AI image generators, but our favorites are: 
Shutterstock Generate
Adobe Firefly 
Canva Text-to-Image 

How to Generate Images with AI 

Generating synthetic images is deadly simple! 

  • Open your favorite AI image generator. 
  • Write your vision in the text field – Try to be as descriptive, detailed, and unambiguous as possible: the better the prompt, the better the results. 
  • Hit the “Generate” button.

That’s it! Most AI image-generating tools create batches of four images based on one prompt –image variations!– that you can check and select the best one. Some also offer the possibility to apply filters or presets, rewrite prompts to improve results or edit your chosen picture further.

FAQs About AI Image Editing 

Let’s now address the most asked questions about editing images with AI. 

What is an AI Photo Editor? 

AI photo editors use machine learning algorithms and neural network technology to analyze an image and perform edits on them automatically. They essentially let you edit images like a professional, but faster and regardless of your skill level.

What is the Best AI Image Generator?

This answer is split: In terms of image results, apps like Midjourney, Getimg.ai, or Stable Diffusion are among the best performing. However, these tools training process is potentially problematic regarding copyright and other intellectual property rights, making the images created with them equally dubious.
Tools like Shutterstock Generate or Adobe Firefly are much safer, as they are trained with cleaner datasets, and their resulting images are a bit more ethical, copyright-wise.

Is There an AI to Edit Photos?

Yes, AI-based photo editing tools have been a thing for a while now. Adobe Photoshop includes features from Adobe Sensei's AI tech, and then there is software like Luminar Neo or Topaz Labs' Photo AI, which are entirely built on AI.
In 2023 we are also getting generative AI photo editors.

Is There a Free AI Photo Editor?

Yes. Several AI-powered photo editors are free to use, or at least have a free version. From DALL-E 2 and Stable Diffusion to Adobe Firefly and Canva Text-to-Image, there are lots of options to explore. Here you can see a list of the best free AI image generators and image editors.

AI Photo Editing Can Truly Elevate Your Visuals 

Our list of 11 quick and simple yet game-changing tricks to use AI image editing is only the start in a world of creative possibilities that AI photo tools offer to make better and more compelling visuals without adding time, money, or effort to the design process. 

Using AI image editors in these ways, you’ll be able to create graphics that are not only visually stunning but also highly engaging. So why wait? Start experimenting with these AI image editing tricks today and take your content to the next level!

Ivanna Attié
Ivanna Attié

I am Content Manager, Researcher, and Author in StockPhotoSecrets.com and Stock Photo Press and its many stock media-oriented publications. I am a passionate communicator with a love for visual imagery and an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge. Lucky enough to enter the wonderful world of stock photography working side-by-side with experienced experts, I am happy to share my research, insights, and advice about image licensing, stock photography offers, and the stock media industry with everyone in the creative community. My background is in Communication and Journalism, and I also love literature and performing arts.

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