A photo collage is a fun and interesting way for you to display your photos online. They also make awesome desktop wallpapers and they look great sitting on a shelf in your home when they’ve been printed and displayed in a beautiful picture frame.
We are going to explore one method create a photo collage using free websites. There are many such websites on the Internet, all you need to do is choose one that you like, learn how it works, and start creating all the collages you want for free.
It really isn’t very difficult and most people can figure it out in 30 minutes or less. That’s nothing! And before you know it you’ll be having a great time with your digital photos.
Transfer Digital Photos from Your Camera to Your Computer
The first step to take when you make a collage online is to get your photographs out of your digital camera and/or camera phone and onto your computer so they can be uploaded to a photo collage website.
Your digital camera usually has a companion USB cable that came with it in the box when you first bought it. All you have to do is connect your camera and the computer together using the USB cable, and the photo software that also came with your camera will give you access to the memory card in your camera with your pictures are stored.
Your camera photo software will give you the option of copying your digital photos to the hard drive on your computer, or you can simply drag and drop your pictures from one folder on your camera memory card to a folder on your desktop hard drive.
To get photos from your camera phone you can simply eMail them from your phone to your desktop or cloud eMail address (such as Yahoo and Gmail), as attachments. Then access your eMail account, open and download the attachment to save them to your hard drive.
Decide Which Photo Website You Want to Use
There are many websites on the Internet that support great picture collage making capabilities. Each website works a little differently, but generally speaking they’re very easy to use so figuring them out won’t be a problem, even for a novice.
Just hop over to your favorite search engine and search for “photo collage website” and you’ll get tens of thousands of hits.
For the purpose of this demonstration, we’re going to use a free website called PicMonkey.com for our collage that’s very user friendly. It has everything you need to create your first photo collage. If you want more advanced tools to create more sophisticated images, you can always upgrade to a “royal” paid membership and have a ball.
Find the Link That Says “Create a Collage” and Click It
This step is pretty much self-explanatory. When you’re ready to get started just find the link that says “Create a Collage,” and hover your mouse over the link. You’ll be presented with a drop-down arrow which gives you the choice of uploading photos from the desktop or from a dropbox. Select “Computer” and a dialog will open that that’s you browse to the folder that contains your pictures.
Upload Your Photos from Your Computer to the Website
To transfer your photos from your desktop computer to the website find the “Open Photos” button so you can browse to the photos on your machine and upload them to the site. Now all you have to do is double click on each photo you want included in your collage until you’re done.
Obviously, good quality photos make a better quality collage, so do your best to use good ones. Generally the higher resolution the image is, the better it might be. 72 dpi should be the minimum for any photo size used in the collage.
If you need to add a picture to your photo collage that you don’t have, especially of a design element or a common thing (like the seashell in the sand above), you can also buy a stock photo for a very reasonable price. A couple favorites for me is Dreamstime, Bigstock, 123RF, or Canstock. All of these you can purchase one or two images if that’s all you want.
Choose Your Layout
To create your picture collage online you need to choose a layout. You can select from one of the preset layouts or templates, or you can design one of your own. It’s a simple point and click process so there’s nothing to fear.
Don’t back yourself into a corner with a deadline of this project. It should be an enjoyable process, and have the freedom of time to experiment with different looks and effects to see what style you like best.
Drag Uploaded Photos into Your Layout
Now you’re ready to have some fun! Drag the photos that you just uploaded to the site into the layout that you chose. You can try dropping your photos into different boxes on the layout to create a different look for your collage. You can also resize and reshape the boxes to accommodate your images and make the collage more interesting.
You can also play around with the collage by adding color swatches or experimenting with various background colors for the borders between images. Take your time and be creative with your photos. Try turning the images different angles. The photo collage does not have to be symmetrical, sometimes asymmetrical lends itself to a more artistic flare.
Consider points that make your images the focal point and add a ‘wow’ factor to them, versus getting so busy that it actually detracts from your photos.
Save Your Collage
Once you’ve gotten your collage to look exactly the way you want, click the “Save” button to save your file to your desktop. Once it’s been saved, you can then click the “Edit” button to open the online editor and add text, overlays, and more. Go ahead, let your creative juices flow and have a blast perfecting your new masterpiece.
Share Your Collage
Now you’re done! You’re ready to share your collage with the world. And it’s simple, just click the “Share” button to see a list of social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and more, from which you can choose. Select one or all of them and fire off your collage to your friends and family. There’s also an eMail option for you can simply eMail your collage to anyone you want as an attachment.
If you don’t want to make your photo collage in an online platform, you could also make one using various software programs, such as Photoshop Elements. It has a steeper learning curve, more than our intent to delve into here is, but amazing photo collages can be built, then uploaded to a photo processing lab to order professional prints, or simply printed from your home printer.
Picture collages can be true works of art. Whether you decide to create a photo collage online, or make one hardcopy from a software format, photo collages are both fun to make, and an interesting way to reminisce, and a joy to anyone you share them with!
Until next time,
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