290+ Free Photo Overlays for Photographers

This post was originally published here. Reproduced with permission.

Adding an overlay to your photos will enhance any image, whether a portrait or a terrific sunset photo. Luckily, you don’t have to spend hours trying to recreate a particular overlay effect from scratch every time you want to edit a photo.

In this post, we’ve gathered over 290 free photo overlays that you can use in your photo-editing process and transform into works of art.

You might also like our collections of free Photoshop actions or free Lightroom presets.

Light Overlays (120 Overlays, Transparent PNG)

This resource pack has 120 different drag and drop light elements that will give all your images a custom feel. Included with this resource is a step by step tutorial that will walk you through the ins and outs of creating memorable images with these overlays.

Light Overlays Photography Effects

Light Leak Overlays (80 Overlays, JPG)

Adding light leaks to your images can give them a whole new meaning. With this resource you will gain access to 80 different ways to include light leaks in your photos.

Light Leak Overlays Photography Effects

Magic Photo Overlays (20 Overlays, JPG, Envato Elements)

This resource gives you 20 psychedelic photo overlays that will add some spice to all your images. Simply place the overlay over your image, set its mode to screen, and watch it transform your image in just a few clicks.

Magic Photo Overlays Photography Effects

Bokeh Photo Overlays (7 Overlays, Photoshop PSD)

The Bokeh effect can add a dramatic flair to any photo. Just add your image to the editor and apply the overlays to get the desired effect you want. You can easily hide or show the the bokeh layers until you have the perfect bokeh mix.

Bokeh Photo Overlays Photography Effects

Scratch Overlays (10 Overlays, Transparent PNG)

Use this collection of scratch overlays to spice up your photos with ease. By using this collection as an addition to any other collection, you will be making photo magic.

Scratch Overlays Photography Effects

Flare & Haze Texture Overlays (6 Overlays, JPG)

This flare and haze overlay pack is perfect for your next photographic business card design. This mockup is easy to use and comes with smart objects, so you can just drag and drop your image in.

Flare Haze Texture Overlays Photography Effects

Sunburst Overlays (30 Overlays, JPG, Envato Elements)

This overlay pack will give your photos a dynamic new look. With 30 different sunbursts to choose from, the ability to mix and match, as well as the ability to increase the intensity by duplicating layers; this is a perfect resource.

Sunburst Overlays Photography Effects

Golden Glitter Overlay (Photoshop PSD)

Add a little gold to your next photo with this overlay set. This effect is perfect for your portraits and landscapes shot outside with rich natural light. This collection is also compatible with light leaks, which creates a perfect feel for the photos.

Golden Glitter Overlay Photography Effects

Firefly Overlay (JPG)

Getting fireflies in your pictures is near impossible. That’s why this firefly overlay comes to save the day. Quick and easy to apply the effect, the finished look will look amazing.

Firefly Overlay Photography Effects

Vintage Photoshop Overlays (10 Overlays, Transparent PNG)

The easiest way to give your photos a realistic aged feel is to apply this vintage overlay. This pack comes with 10 different ways to delicately and lovingly age your precious photos.

Vintage Photoshop Overlays Photography Effects

Hand Painted Photo Mask Shapes (EPS, PNG & PSD, Envato Elements)

This collection offers 30 different hand painted acrylic photo masks. Each shape mask has been isolated to make it easy to mix and match masks until you find your perfect combination.

Hand Painted Photo Mask Shapes Photography Effects

Rain Effect Overlays (20 Overlays, JPG)

Getting caught in the rain is not always fun and romantic; but adding rain to spice up your fun and romantic photos can be. This pack includes 20 different ways to include rain to any of your photos.

Rain Effect Overlays Photography Effects

Distressed Overlays (10 Overlays, JPG)

Adding a distressed look to your photos can enhance the overall look and quality by giving it a robust retro feel. The pack includes 10 easy to use overlays that can be mixed and matched to get your desired result.

Distressed Overlays Photography Effects

Grunge Paint Texture Overlays (5 Overlays, JPG)

This overlay pack has 5 ways to instantly add a grunge painting feel to any of your photographs. Simply place the desired overlay over your image and then blend it until you have found your perfect look.

Grunge Paint Texture Overlays Photography Effects

Bokeh & Light Leaks Backgrounds (15 Backgrounds, JPG, Envato Elements)

Save time and money trying to create your own Bokeh or light leaks effects. This resource gives you 15 ways to blend in light leaks and apply a Bokeh effect effortlessly. Use it in design, photographs, 3D renders and as a background.

Bokeh Light Leaks Backgrounds Photography Effects

Fog Overlays (10 Overlays, JPG)

Applying a gentle fog to any of your images has never been easier than using any of these 10 overlays. Effortlessly enhance the natural fog or simply add it where there wasn’t any. Find your perfect balance and produce high quality images.

Fog Overlays Photography Effects

Various Grunge Paper Overlays (12 Overlays, JPG)

This assortment of grunge papers will be perfect for your next background. With 12 variations to choose from, all are set to a 1000×1000 size at 200 dpi. These will enhance any of your text projects.

Various Grunge Paper Overlays Photography Effects

Smoke Overlays (50 Overlays, Transparent PNG)

With this resource you will be able to add smoke to any of your dark and moody photographs giving them an air of mystery. With 10 different variations to choose from, it will be easy to customize each effect until you have found your perfect combination.

Smoke Overlays Photography Effects

Vintage Effect Resources (JPG & PSD, Envato Elements)

Save time and energy trying to recreate a vintage look by applying any of these 30 different overlays. Easily create black and whites or vintage paper and book textures to use on any photo.

Vintage Effect Resources Photography Effects

Sky Overlays

Getting the perfect outdoor image can be quite hard when everything is right except the sky. Choose from any of the sky overlays in this pack to give your photos a new meaning and life with just a few clicks.

Sky Overlays Photography Effects

Sunset Sky Overlays

Get the perfect sunset look for all your outdoor photos with this sunset sky overlay pack. Enhance any of your photos by applying these overlays to give your photos a breath of fresh air.

Sunset Sky Overlays Photography Effects

Lightning Overlays (10 Overlays, JPG)

Catching an actual lightning strike can be a near impossible task, but with this overlay pack you don’t have to wait for the next storm. Simply choose from these 10 different overlays and apply to your image to give them a striking new look.

Lightning Overlays Photography Effects


No matter what kind of photography you specialize in, a proper overlay can do wonders for your photos. This list has a range of artistic overlays for your photos so be sure to check them out and download them.

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