Photography tips – Creating a collage

This week’s theme was brought to you by Bunny.  She wanted to know how to create a collage.  Creating a collage of pictures isn’t really hard at all.  It is a little time consuming to get everything the right size, but overall you will find that it is pretty easy to do.

Here are the steps:

1.  Decide what size you want to make it.  For my example I chose to make it square.  To create a new document, just go to:  File->New and then choose the size.  I chose 10×10 with 300 resoluton, just in case I want to print it.  If you just want to have it for the web, all you need is 72 resolution.


2.  Decide what pictures and how many you want in your collage.  I don’t like it to be too cluttered so I try to keep it between 3-4 pictures.  Select your pictures and edit them.

3.  Now drag and drop your pictures onto the new canvas (hit the “v” button to drag the pictures).  You will most likely have to make them smaller to fit.  Put your cursor and click over one of the little boxes on the edge of the picture.  The top toolbar will then show width and height measurements, and you can make them smaller.  Make sure the measurements for height and width are the same % so the pictures are not skewed.


4.  After you have positioned  the pictures where you want them, choose the brush tool (hit the “b” key) and make it a square brush.  Choose the color you want with the color palette at the bottom of the side toolbar.  Make a new layer on top of the others.  Use the square brush around the outside to create a frame.  Hint:  Click in the corner, hold it down, hit shift, hold and then drag your cursor across.  This will make sure it is a straight line all the way across.  Do this around all the edges.  I used black around the edges, then I used a smaller brush on the inside with white.


If you have CS2/CS3 the inside edge is much easier.  Just double click on the layer, and a box will open.  Check the stroke box and click on it.  It will add a line on the inside, but the color may not be what you want.  Click on the box with the color and choose another.  You can also make the size larger.

5.  All done!  This was yesterday…hopefully this snow is the last snow. 😉


12 Replies to “Photography tips – Creating a collage”

  1. You are so good. When do you have the time to learn all this with kids and a job? I just have the kids (granted they are homeschooled) but When, girl When???? Anything that takes longer than just a few minutes in Photoshop and I’m frustrated. My attention span has definitely decreased since kids. Can I just send you all my stuff to Photoshop?? I’ll be your friend forever….pinkie swear!!! (giggle)

  2. I do not have Photoshop- YET! I am so amazed at all of the wonderful things you can do with it. Thank you for this lesson…I will participate this week, but with another slant on the theme since I do not have a photo editing program. Julie is right though, you are amazing…you find time to do it ALL! And still share with us. Thanks.

  3. i love the collage but CANNOT believe you are still getting snow. you probably don’t want to know that we just had a water fight to cool off after our park trip…it is, ahem…hot here today!

    see you thursday!

  4. This should be a fun one! I especially like the keyboard shortcuts you shared – now I have to go play in Elements and see if it works the same way there!!

  5. OK, love the collage, but i’m stuck on the step where you drag the pictures into the new document. i have elements, so maybe it’s different…or maybe i’m just lame (entirely possible). am i missing a step? i’ve opened all the photos and opened a new document, but i can’t seem to get the pics into the new doc…where did i go wrong?

  6. That’s correct, Megan. It is the same as textures where you drag the texture onto your picture. You usually have to have the picture you want to drag selected, and then you use your cursor and drag it onto the new document. Before doing it you need to have the move tool selected (the “v” key) in order for you to be able to move it.

    Christina, the shortcuts should work the same in Elements, but let me know if they don’t!

    Julie and Andi – Thanks so much! It is hard to find the time sometimes, which is why you don’t get picture tutorials too often. 😉

  7. Thank you, thank you for the tutorial! I will be putting it to use this week and I’m sure I’ll have something fun on Thursday!

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