Collages are great for displaying your cherished photos in a way that tells a story. Whether you want to display a family or company event, show a sequence of events, or make a statement, collages can help you communicate a wide range of messages.
You don’t need experience in graphic design or photography, either. These five essential collage-making tips will show you easy ways to make any collection stand out with a professional sheen. Anyone can do it.
1. Use Shutterstock Editor Photo Collage Maker
Shutterstock Editor makes creative photo collages incredibly easy. Since it’s an entirely-online photo collage maker, you have access to Shutterstock’s galaxy-sized collection to find the perfect images to make your stories come to vivid life.
Navigate to Shutterstock Editor, click Get Started, and choose a template from the options there. To create your own custom size, go up to File and click New. Then choose Create custom size.
Now just use the search bar to find relevant imagery to use for your layout. To upload your own images, go up to File and click Upload images. Then you can drag them to the canvas, resize, and move them around. The live guides on the canvas will help you align them all, ensuring a clean layout that’s totally your own.
Select an image by clicking on it. Then you can resize them proportionally by click-dragging the corner handles. Click-drag from the center of the image to move it around on the canvas.
To crop an individual image in its frame, double-click the image, then adjust the frame edges. You can also move it around in the frame to adjust or highlight certain subjects, or just to fit in your layout.
To the change the color of the background, deselect everything by clicking somewhere in the black that surrounds the canvas. On the right side of the screen is a section at the bottom called Background. Click the colored dot, and choose from the palette or click Custom to create one you don’t see.
2. Filters Give Your Pics a Unified Mood
When you have a collage layout with photos from different occasions, the discrepancy in the lighting or color can sometimes be distracting. An easy way to unify the photos in your collage is to use filters. If you’ve uploaded to Instagram or Facebook, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
To the right of the canvas, when you select an image in your collage, you’ll see a section called Filters. Use this to cast a matching tone to your images. At 100% you can create a certain mood, according to which filter looks best for your purposes.
Try them out and remember this: some photos don’t need it, and you can use different filters in combination to make your photos match.
3. Add Engaging Text for a Personalized Message
Not satisfied with just a cool-looking way to arrange photos? No problem. Adding text is a great way to send a message. In this way you can use the collage as a starting point to build an ad or create a digital greeting card.
There are two ways to think about text on your collage: text going over the image, and making room for text so it doesn’t cover images.
Leaving a space between images for text makes it very clean, structured layout, and makes your message clear. Putting the text over your image(s) can be fun and also interactive with the images.
4. Use a Background Image for Depth
So open grid spaces aren’t your thing. No problem. Plenty of effective collages use a background image to fill the empty space. Foliage, patterns, and random abstract designs all work.
Use the same method of finding pics for layout, but click the image once to bring up placement options. Choose Add to Canvas to place it in the current canvas dimensions, and resize accordingly. Hit the Send to Back button under the Layer section to the right.
Likewise, you can choose an image, hit Replace Background, and have the current canvas resize to the image’s dimensions. This is a little more disruptive to an already existing layout, so if you hit this instead of Add to Canvas, just hit Command + Z to undo.
5. Use Shape Crops for Some Funky Options
This last tip can inject some quirky fun to a gridded layout. There are plenty of shapes to choose from in the Shape Crop menu. Double-click an image like you were going to crop it regularly, but the menu will come up on the right. Choose a shape from there and adjust accordingly.
A good tip here, and elsewhere in the above tips, is that you can make an image stand out by adding a Stroke to it. After applying a shape, hit Enter/Return to commit and revert to the regular menu. On the ride side menu, click the Stroke color dot and choose an available color or hit Custom to create your own.
You can do this on regular-shaped images too. Especially on busy backgrounds, it works to separate that image, or all the images, from it to let the info be more digestible.
Cover image via Mc 243, Monkey Business Images, Rawpixel.com, Mygate, Graphical_Bank, logo via Vasya Kobelev, and background via Ariadna Nevskaya.