The history of emojis dates back all the way into the 90's, but Apple radically advanced emoji development in 2018 with the release of the memoji, allowing users to make themselves in emoji form and customize their mini images to look just like them.

But the old-fashioned emoji is still much more common, from simple photo memes to internet privacy measures. Creators may want to add an emoji sticker or overlay to their pictures or photos from the internet.

Tl;dr: Get started right away with this emoji overlay template.

In this article, I'll explain how to add emojis to your pictures in using a free website called Kapwing. Here's how:

  1. Upload photo
  2. Add & position your emojis
  3. Process & download

Step 1: Upload Photo

Adding emojis to your pictures is simple to do. Get started on Kapwing's Studio and upload the photo background that you want to use. On mobile phones or tablets, you can choose the photo from your camera roll. On a computer, you can drag and drop the file to upload it.

upload screenshot
Use the "Click to Upload" area to import your photo

Alternatively, you can use one of Kapwing's existing templates to add emojis on your photo. Use this smiley emoji template to use one of the below overlays or this heart emoji template to put heart layers around your photo.

Emoji template screenshot

Once your photo is uploaded, resize your image to the right dimensions. Make a 9:16 photo for Instagram Stories or TikTok, 1:1 for IG posts or profile pictures, and 16:9 for YouTube or Twitter.

Step 2: Add & position your emojis

Once you have a photo uploaded to Kapwing's Studio, it's time to add or edit the emoji you're using. To add an emoji, just choose "Images" from the top toolbar and select the "Emojis" tab. Scroll through the full menu of Apple emojis, and select one to add to your project.

Emoji import modal in Kapwing
Emoji import modal in Kapwing

When you add an emoji to the photo, you can drag and resize the emoji to place it where you want on the photo. You can move the photo layer forward or backward and duplicate it if you want to have that emoji multiple times.

Edit layer on photo in Kapwing

Often, people want to share their outfit, their pet, or their meal on social media without showing their face, to remain anonymous online. To do this, drag the photo, its corners, and its rotate button of your emoji to position it over your face. Depending on the emoji you use, it functions as a built-in caption, as well.

With Kapwing, you can add as many emoji layers as you want. Use the "duplicate" button to copy a sticker layer multiple times.

Step 3: Process & download

Once you've made your emoji picture, click "Publish" in the upper right-hand corner. Kapwing will automatically work its magic and your emoji picture will be ready to download in no time! When your picture is finished processing, click “Download” from the right side of the screen.

final download page kapwing

Kapwing's free photo editor is modern and intuitive, so you should be able to make emojied images quickly. Use the hashtag #kapwing whenever you share your content on social media to get an extra like and follow from us! And be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page to get updates about new features and tutorials to help you make the most out of Kapwing.


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