Tips for Removing Ugly Objects from a Photo

If you’re an aspiring photographer looking for tips for removing ugly objects from a photo, then you are going to want to continue reading.

There are a few different ways that you can go about removing ugly objects from your photos. I will start with the most simple way to do this.

Physically Remove from Frame

Yes, I mean move your feet and physically move the object out of the area that you are photographing. Often times, when I arrive at a bridal suite, the first thing I do is take a look at the room. Typically, there’s food, drinks, shoes, makeup, towels, and so many other things scattered around the room. I will let one of the bridesmaids know that I am moving all of the stuff into one area if anyone is looking for anything. This way, when I am taking photos, the background is clean and it saves me time editing the objects out of each photo in post-processing.

If it’s out on location somewhere, if it can be moved… I will move it. I’ve gone so far as to have an entire family help me move a picnic table out of our way in order to get the best light for their session.

In this next photo, there are so many things I wish I would have noticed. I find when we start to run behind and are rushing to get out the door to arrive to the ceremony on time, I get blinders on which is what happened here.

I got down low so that some of the clutter up top was removed but looking back, I should have moved the rug right out of the way. Also there is a sneaker on the right hand side of the image, and the chair and cords on the left all could have been moved. Hopefully, next time I will be more aware of the surroundings even when we are in a pinch.

All About Angles

If there is something in the background or foreground of a photo that you are trying to capture, and it’s not something that you can physically lift and move, then you may want to try coming at it from another angle.

An example may be a large rock that is an eye-sore. Instead of having to remove the rock from every single photo in post production, you can try moving around. This could mean you move from left to right to see if you’re able to remove it from the background or maybe you have to get really low or really high in order to block it out from the frame.

Shoot Throughs

I use this technique ALL. THE. TIME. If there is clutter or something not so attractive in the way of a gorgeous photo, I will move my lens halfway behind an object to block whatever it is that I don’t like and then still have a beautiful photo. If you have no clue what I’m talking about… here are a few photos that demonstrate what I mean.

removing ugly objects from your photos
removing ugly objects from your photo

Use Your Subjects

In the example above about the picnic table, had I not been able to move it all together, I could have asked the family to stand in front of it because there were enough of them that they could have blocked it. This would typically be used for a smaller object, like a fire hydrant or garbage can in the distance.


This would be my last resort. I say this because all of the other options take SO much less time than editing each photo and removing the ugly objects using Photoshop or Lightroom. I’m not going to go into a tutorial on how to do that using each application but if you are looking to do that and need some guidance, then please reach out to me by email here.

If you found this helpful, I have so many other great resources for you! One that I think you will really enjoy is 5 Tips for Shooting Portrait Sessions in Crowded Places.

You can also grab my FREE manual mode cheatsheet here. Print it off and keep it in your camera bag with you!!

If you are looking to learn more about your camera, how to take a perfectly exposed photo and edit like a pro using Lightroom, my online course The Photographer Formula – A Beginner’s Guide, is open for enrolment and I would LOVE to help you achieve your goals 🙂 Learn more here!