How to Make a Photo Collage

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Quick Photography Tip
A few seconds spent on composition can transform a dull picture into something magical

Making a digital photo collage is not as difficult as one might think. It's really very simple with most photo editing software. It just takes a little time and patience. Even basic photo editing software that normally come with the purchase of a digital camera or printer. A very good photo editing software is PhotoShop Elements and older versions of it, which are perfectly fine, often come included with a new digital camera, printer or scanner.

Photoshop Elements is the software I have used for my step by step guide, How to Make a Photo Collage.

The basic steps in making a collage are simple. The first step would be to open a blank document in your photo editing software. Your blank document should be the size you want your finished photo collage to be, example, 8x10 and of a resolution of 300 for good printing quality.

Next choose your pictures, keep it to about 10 pictures or less to begin with, till you are used to working with a lot of pictures so as not to be overwhelmed. Open them and drag them into your blank document.

Next resize the pictures as necessary. A tip, hold down the shift key as you drag from a corner to resize the picture, holding the shift key will keep the proportions of the picture so as not to distort the image. You can resize back bigger or smaller as needed as you work to decide the layout o the photo collage. Move the pictures around to see what looks letter where, try to create some balance, perhaps choose a focal picture to place in the middle and be larger than the others. But the focus does not have to always be in the middle, see what works best with the pictures you are using.

Now comes the most difficult part, the blending. For this we use the eraser tool. Choose your eraser tool and the size you want based on the size of your pictures. You want a blurred edge eraser for better blending. Erase the hard edge on each picture first then one by one, blend into each other, resizing the pictures where necessary. This is not something that can be taught, you have to just jump in and try it, if you make a mistake you can always delete the layer of that picture and open the picture again and drag it back in and try again. Use the step backward tool as well to undo any mistakes when you can.

You've made a photo collage, time to look around and make any final touches and adjustments. Save your document as a PSD, the default Photoshop Elements file type and then save it again as a jpeg so you can print and/or share it. Keep the PSD file in order to make any changes to your photo collage as you cannot change or adjust the jpeg file, it is just a copy.

See, was that so hard? For an illustrated step-by-step guide you can print and use to help you along the way please visit my website.

About the Author

Barbara Ryan operates Cherish Collages, a business dedicated to creating unique personal keepsakes and gifts from digital or scanned photos. Blog:

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