PFRE is the original online resource for real estate and interior photographers. Since 2006, it has been a community hub where like-minded professionals from around the world gather to share information with a common goal of improving their work and advancing their business. With thousands of articles, covering hundreds of topics, PFRE offers the most robust collection of educational material in our field. The history of real estate photography has been documented within these pages.
All Articles


Image banner for the November 2023 PFRE Photographer of the Month Winner Javier Sotomayor, with a featured image of his winning photo titled "Open"

Congratulations to Javier Sotomayor, November 2023 PFRE Photographer of the Month! The theme this month was "Open." Javier Sotomayor - Entry #879 Dave Koch - Entry #877 Peter Wingfield - Entry #874 Here's what Javier has to say: Hello First of all I wa ...



For over a decade, photographers from around the world have participated in PFRE’s monthly photography contests, culminating in the year-end crowning of PFRE’s Photographer of the Year. With a new theme each month and commentary offered by some of the finest real estate & interior photographers anywhere, these contests offer a fun, competitive environment with rich learning opportunities. 

Contest Rules


View / Submit


View Archive


PFRE prides itself on the depth and breadth of the information and professional development resources it makes available to our community. Our goal is to help real estate and interior photographers be successful while bringing the community together and elevating the industry as a whole.

Conference News

No items found

How to Make a Signature in Photoshop

Published: 17/10/2023

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Whether you want to print your real estate photos or post them online, adding a digital signature is the best way to brand and set them apart. In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a free digital signature watermark in Photoshop to add signatures to your photos, digital documents, and emails.

How to Make a Signature in Photoshop

To create a digital signature in Photoshop, draw the signature on a piece of paper, take a picture or scan your signature, then import the image into Photoshop. Enhance the contrast, clean up the photograph, and make the selection to resize the sign.

Person practicing their signature on a piece of paper

Knowing how to make a legal signature in Photoshop can help you add a watermark to your real estate images and prevent inappropriate usage. Dive into the tutorial process of converting your written signature logo and keeping a handy digital signature to stamp on paper. 

Step 1: Design Your Signature

Draw or write the signature on white paper using a Sharpie or a textured pen. It is advisable to draw several signatures on different pieces of paper and pick the most appealing one. Make sure not to use paper with any form of texture.

A name, Vester Zhang written digitally

Step 2: Scan or Take a Photo of the Signature

If you don't have a scanner, take a clear photo of the handwritten signature using your camera or phone. 

I advise using a camera flash to help improve the contrast. Place the camera directly above the signature page. 

Step 3: Transfer the Photo to Your Computer 

If you take a photo with your DSLR, you can easily upload the image to the computer by using a memory card reader.

  1. If you don’t have a card reader, you can connect the camera to the computer with a USB cable.
  2. To transfer the photo from your camera to the computer, connect the camera to the computer using a USB cable and then turn it on.

Choose Download to transfer the photograph to your computer.

Paper filled with signature successfully transferred on Photoshop

Step 4: Import the Image in Adobe Photoshop

Open Photoshop. Drag your image from the desktop or file explorer and drop it into the Photoshop interface. 

Choose the signature image and then click Open. Drag the layer onto the button at the bottom right to duplicate. 

Use the Crop tool and drag around the signature. Press Delete on your keyboard to remove the rest of the picture.

A white rectangle with a digitally written name, Vester Zhang on Photoshop

Step 5: Use the Magic Wand Tool to Remove the Background

If there are unnecessary background details, click on the Magic Wand on the sidebar or press W to launch it to create a transparent background on the file.

Press the Shift key and click on the area where you want to remove the background.

A white rectangle with a digitally written name, Vester Zhang on Photoshop with the magic wand tool open on the left corner

Step 6: Enhance the Contrast 

You can make the process more precise and faster by ensuring you're only working with white and black pixels.

A pop up window of the contrast with input levels
  1. Navigate to the Channel panel by clicking on Windows and choosing Channels.
  2. Duplicate the Channel by clicking and dragging it to the new channel icon. This will keep the original image while copying the digital signature to a new layer.
  3. Open the Levels with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + L (Windows) or Command + L (Mac).
  4. Bring down the Highlights slider and up the Shadows until you fill a white or transparent background and a completely black signature.
  5. Click OK to confirm. 
  6. Click the eyeball next to the background layer. The signature now has its own layer,  with the background completely removed.

Step 7: Clean the Image 

Next, clean the image using the Dodge and Burn tools

A white rectangle with a digitally written name, Vester Zhang on Photoshop with the Dodge tool opened on the left corner
  1. With the exposure set to 100, paint the regions you want to lighten using the Dodge tool.
  2. Use the same procedure with the Burn tool to darken the regions you want. 
  3. You can also pick the Brush panel, set the foreground color to white, and then paint over the regions around the signature to make them white. Click on the black triangle on the left-hand side and pull that.
Person using a drawing table to edit a signature in Photoshop

Step 8: Make the Selection for the Signature Layer 

Select your black signature to extract it from the white background. Hold on the Control key (Windows) or the Command key (Mac), and then select the thumbnail of the channel layer. 

Use the Lasso tool to make a selection around the entire signature. Click around the areas you want to remove. Double-click within the shape when it's complete to connect the selection automatically.

A Photoshop window with the Vester Zhang on the background while the Image tab is open highlighting the Adjustments and Insert options

Navigate back to the layers on the right side of the screen, choose your signature photo, and add a new layer mask. Next, you need to invert the mask. Navigate to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and click on Invert.

Step 9: Change the Signature's Size 

To resize the photo, navigate to Image and choose Canvas. Adjust the height and width using the left bracket key. 

A Photoshop window with the Vester Zhang on the background with the Image tab open highlighting the Canvas Size option

Step 10: Brighten the Signature 

Particularly if you used a narrower pen design, consider brightening the digital signature to blend well with your bright real estate photos. 

Navigate to Filter and then choose Camera Raw Filter. For example, bring the Blacks down and up the Whites

A Photoshop window with the Vester Zhang on the background with the Filter tab open highlighting the Camera Raw Filter option

Step 11: Save the Digital Signature as a Brush 

Navigate to the Edit menu and choose Define Brush Preset.

Specify the name of this new brush and then click OK to confirm. Save it as a PNG file due to its high resolution and compatibility with most websites and software.

Now, you can resize, blend, or position the digital signature layer on your files or other paper documents.

A Photoshop window with the Vester Zhang on the background with the Edit tab open highlighting the Define Brush Preset option

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Remove a Signature From a Photograph in Photoshop?

Yes, removing a signature or a watermark from a photograph in Photoshop is possible. Use the Magic Wand to make a selection of the watermark and then cut it out. You can then use the Content-Aware Fill feature to compensate for the lost pixels.

How Big Should My Photoshop Signature Brush Be?

The best size for a signature brush in Photoshop ranges from 70 to 100 pixels in height and 300 to 400 pixels in width. Aside from changing the size of the brushes, you may adjust the texture.

What Is the Purpose and Worth of Making a Digital Signature?

You need to make a digital signature to easily put your sign on online documents or graphic design elements. Creating a digital signature logo is worth it because it saves time signing papers while keeping your signature neat and professional.


Whether you want to brand your real estate photos or add a watermark to prevent inappropriate usage, you can create a custom signature in Photoshop. I hope this tutorial has made it easy to make a free personal signature in Photoshop that matches your handwritten signature.


Rela Logo
CS6 PSE Logo
HD Photo Hub Logo
FullFrame Logo

Learning Topics