Published on October 30, 2022

Automatically select and mask people

In this blog I’ll show you how to automatically select and mask people in Adobe Lightroom (Classic). Using this masking method will definitely speed up your workflow if you’re often editing portraits!

Rather watch the video with instructions? Click here or scroll down to the end of this page.

You can download the photo I used here.

Step 1: Mask people

Open the photo you want to edit and select masking. If there are people in your photo, Lightroom will detect the people. If you can’t find this feature, you need to update Lightroom first.

If you hover over the persons, you’ll see what area will be selected.


Click on the person you want to mask. You can then mask the entire person, but you can also just mask certain parts of that person.

To add another person to your mask, select ‘add people‘. Select all the people that you want to mask and click ‘continue‘.

select people

Then select the area(s) you want to mask and click ‘create mask‘. Lightroom will now create the mask for you.

create mask

Step 2: Adjust mask

If Lightroom masked everthing correctly, you can skip this step.

If you select ‘show overlay‘ (or press O) you’ll see what areas are masked. It might happen that some areas aren’t masked properly. If you look at the image below, you’ll see that the woman’s hand and her upper arm aren’t fully masked. To fix that, select ‘add‘ and pick a tool. I use the brush tool and I brush over these areas to add them to the mask.

The area around the woman’s feet isn’t masked properly either. To remove something from your mask, select ‘subtract‘ and pick a tool again.

adjust mask

When your mask looks good, you can edit the masked area!

Step 3: Create new mask

To create a new mask, select ‘create new mask‘. You can also use another method to mask, but if you want to select and mask other (parts of the) people, use ‘select people‘ again.

mask people

You can now select and mask the people the same way you did before.

And that’s how you automatically select and mask people in Adobe Lightroom! Lightroom also offers a new way to mask objects. Read this article for more information.

Want to learn more about editing in Lightroom? Check out my other blogs or take a look at my YouTube Channel.

Follow me on Facebook to stay updated! You can find the video with instructions below.

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