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How to Make a Collage in Photoshop Easily

January 24

15 min. to read

How to make photo collages in Photoshop quickly? Have you already chosen your favorite photos and want to combine them into one, but don't know how? This article will tell you how to make simple pictures into vivid works of art.

A collage is a possibility to tell your story the way you want it to be told. It's a great method for family photo shoots, event photos, websites, and so on. You need to choose a program and beautiful photos, then figure out what tools will help make your story brighter. 

Now let's learn how to create nice collages. In the past, this would have required a lot of effort and knowledge. But in the modern world, it is enough to use one app to edit any photo. And today Photoshop will help you in creating your story. So, once you've chosen a program, it's time to choose beautiful general photo shots that show the entire scene, and a few detailed photos that show texture and personalities. 

Congratulations, you are ready to create! 

Simple steps on how to create photo collages in Photoshop

Below are a few simple steps to help you know how to make your first collage. 

Step 1: Select the theme of your project.

This is the stage where you lay the foundation for your future project.

  • Decide on the theme of your collage. 
  • Choose medium, wide and large images, with different orientations, but preferably the same color and shape, it helps to look at your result from different perspectives.
  • Аt this stage, choose about 6-10 pictures, some of which will go into your final layout. 
  • It's time to start the Photoshop program and open selected photos there.

Remember that your goal is to show the theme you want, filling it with emotions, colors, and details, but everything must look harmonious. This is the secret of how to create a collage in Photoshop that will look great.

Step 2: Resize Your Photos

Now we have to decide on the size of the photos. In this case, it all depends on how you present them in the future. For example, if you are going to put them on social networks, then need to make them smaller. If you want to print them in the future, then make them larger. 

It is important to decide on the resolution right now and set it for your photos.

So far it doesn't look that complicated, so let's continue making a collage in Photoshop

Step 3: Create a New File in Photoshop

And now we go to the menu and see the panel “New Document”. We can use the preset or the finished collage templates and we can create a new document. It is very important to create a document with the right resolution, which should be slightly larger than the one you want to end up with.

Step 4: Add Your Photos to Your New File

Navigate to one of the open photos, and use the Marquee tool to select all of them (or press CTRL+A). Enter the combination to copy and paste. Press CTRL+C to copy. Go to a new document and press CTRL+V to paste the selection. This will copy the photo into the new document on a separate layer. 

Or you can open their folder and drag and drop them onto your document canvas. This way allows you to automatically convert them to Photoshop smart objects and it will maintain the integrity of the image quality while you resize it.

Depending on the size and resolution of the image, you may need to adjust them. To do this, press Edit, and then Free Transform. Use the corner node and, while holding down the Shift key, set the size so that you can move the image comfortably in the new document.

If you want to clone something, cut something, or fix something, right-click on the desired layer and choose "Rasterize Layer".

Before resizing and importing photos, it's best to finish editing them first and then continue making a collage with Photoshop.

To make it easier to see the photos you're placing, hide the ones you haven't placed yet.

As you add each new layer to the layout, include it.

Step 5: Create a collage layout

After you've added all the photos you want to make a collage of, it's time to arrange them!
Move the images around until you feel that this arrangement best conveys your story. 

To change the position of the photos, you can select the Move tool, then click and drag the photos to the desired location. 

After creating several collages, you'll develop your layer style. Many professionals prefer to create symmetry in the layout or make it look like a puzzle. As they say, each story has different needs.

Step 6: Add image spacing

When the layout is ready and the photos are adjusted to the right size, you can create a thin white line between them to add visual space. This step is optional, and the width and height of the dividing lines depend on your preference.

To do this, select each photo and drag it with the mouse until a white space appears. Or, you can double-click each image in the Layers panel. The Layer Style menu opens, where you can choose a blending option, for example, stroke, and in the window that opens, adjust the size, position, opacity, and color.

Step 7: Layer combining

Once your collage is ready and the photos are separated the way you want, it's time to merge all the layers. And guess what the easiest thing in the whole Photoshop collages tutorial is this, just press Ctrl+Shift+E and on to the next step.

Step 8: Adjust the Background Layer Color

It’s the final stage, and now you look at the result of your successful installation. But if not, there are a couple more options you can change.

Click on the layer with the background image and try changing the color or adding a gradient. The background should enhance your photos.

Step 9: Save your new collage

And now the most important and the last step. You've done a good job and now you need to preserve the fruits of your labors. To do this, go to the menu, select "File", and then select "Save As".In the new window, select the location, file name, and file format JPEG and save. Finally, select the desired image quality.

Congratulations! Your Photoshop photo collage is ready. Keep up the good work!

How to customize photos collages in Photoshop

Now you have the most beautiful collage of your whole life, but maybe is there anything else you could add? What else can you decorate your collage with? You can read about it in this section.

  • You can change the background of your collage from white to any color or even a photo
  • You can add text with an interesting script or different shapes and add them to your idea.
  • Also, try changing the frame of your collage.
  • Give the photo a vintage look or add a neon light or a snowstorm. Combine different effects.
  • Try playing with the gradient.
  • You can add bright splashes or just shimmer to your photos.
  • Add a matte finish and your photos will take on a new appeal.
  • You can also accentuate the bright colors, to enhance the contrast.
  • Some effects help put blobs or bubbles on the surface, making the photo unique
  • Adding glow will add some magic to the overall picture to make a collage in Photoshop.
  • Also, if you want to add a cute caricature, this is also possible to do in Photoshop
  • Love oil paintings and want to implement such an effect? It's realistic to do it quickly and beautifully.

You can try each of these effects. You can use as many as you want in one collage, as long as you like the result.

Quick and easy collage in Luminar Neo

Now you know how to create collages in Photoshop. Let's take a look at a great alternative that makes things a lot easier.

Luminar Neo is software based on artificial intelligence. The program is regularly updated and each time it becomes more convenient and efficient to work with.

One of the main distinctive features of the Luminar Neo program is the possibility to work with layers and masks directly in the raw converter interface. This allows you to achieve the desired results without resorting to the help of other programs or plug-ins. 

In addition, thanks to the principles of non-destructive processing, all edits can be corrected at any time.

So now you are familiar with this program, it's time to try to make a collage in it.

  1. Select a base. This will be the background of your future collage.
  2. Decide on additional photos that will complement your base, but remember and follow the rule of colors and shapes.
  3. Use the Overlay option and glue your photos to the main background.
  4. Take advantage of the tools presented in Luminar Neo, namely you can clear the sky, add highlights to the photo, and improve facial or body features. Let your imagination run wild. 
  5. When you are satisfied with your collage, just save it in the right file format.

So, if you want to quickly and efficiently process a photo for your personal archive or social networks, if you want to make your photo perfect, without unnecessary details, or if you want to try different effects, this app will help you do it. Luminar Neo will help any creative person make their goals come true.

And some final words about how to make collages in Photoshop

After reading this article to the end, you are able to understand that collage is a manifestation of your imagination and the capabilities of your program. All the tools you need are in your hands and it's up to you how the final result of your work will look like. A collage can be very simple or it can have a lot of details. The first time it may take a long time, but over time, when you gain experience, you will make them very quickly. And let's not forget that programs are constantly being updated and there is always something new and interesting. So choose the application in which you want to work, choose images for the future collage, stock up on time and begin your magic.

How to Make a Collage in Photoshop Easily  | Skylum How-to(2)

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Written by

Valeria Zharanova

Portrait photographer

Valeria Zharanova is a photographer who loves portrait photo shooting. She has been working with people for three years, and her photos are regularly published in a local photography magazine. Valeria knows everything about how to choose the right lighting, what camera settings are needed, and how to make the model feel comfortable. She incredibly enjoys capturing people's real emotions. Valeria gets her inspiration from nature: when she is in the forest or near the sea she relaxes and comes up with new ideas.

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How to Make a Collage in Photoshop Easily  | Skylum How-to(14)