picture this

Okay, if there’s one thing that I think many of you have come to know about me (I’m not talking about my weird ways folks) is that I like clean lines. For me, I like having my photos be the center of attention, so that’s why I love grouping photos together collage-style or storyboard-style.

However, the downside to creating collage-style photos for most people is the tedious task of knowing exactly the size you need, cropping the photo you want to the exact size, oh–but wait–it’s not the same dpi?, oh crud I have to resize it to what now?, ohhh but I don’t like the way it’s cropped now and need to recrop it again… Believe me you, I was in this boat way too many times until I discovered Clipping Masks, thanks to the beautiful Miss Jessica Sprague.

Oh the sweet joy!

I think I done died and gone to Photoshop heaven.

So when I got a request to make photo collage templates, I immediately thought, I like this girl! ;) But the purpose behind her asking was because she wanted to be able to print out several different photos in various sizes as an 8×10 so it could be easily trimmed to place on a page. Many collage/storyboards you can find have white space. I love that too, but this is a great way to maximize your photo paper.

That brings me to today’s kit: Picture This.

Price: $7

As you can see, there are some–what I like to call–vanilla and chocolate templates. Vanilla is simpler and more uniform while Chocolate is a little more flavorful in its design.
All templates are in 8×10 .PSD format, but could be resized–even rotated to landscape–as needed.

Here’s how it works.
(applies to both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements)
Pull up a template. If you’ll notice in the Layers palette (bottom left) there are Layers for each square with the size of each square included (sizes coordinate with the 8×10).

Next, open a photo and place it onto your template. The way I like to do this is first I make sure I’m on the photo (look at the tabs across the top).  Next, I click on the photo and while holding down the mouse, drag it up to the Template tab and release the mouse. Notice how my photo went to the top of all the layers.

If you’re using PSE, you can also click on your photo down in Project Bin at the bottom and drag it up to the template that’s on screen.

Next, in the Layers palette, move the photo just above the layer or shape where you want the photo. In this example, I wanted this photo in the 5×7 spot, which is Layer 1: 5×7. Once you move the photo layer into its position, press down the Alt key and hover your mouse between the two layers–like you see here. The mouse changes from the pointer and looks something like a bumble bee (okay, so that’s what I think it looks like).

Now click your mouse and voila the photo now uses that 5×7 rectangle as a window of sorts or a frame opening, if you will. Everything under that 5×7 rectangle is hidden.

Let’s do it again with another photo. Open the photo and move it onto your template.

In the Layers palette, move the photo layer just above the square layer where you want it. In this example, I’m putting it in the space under the first photo, which is Layer 5: 5×3. Hover your mouse between the two layers and click. As you can see with my photo, it’s really big still, so all you have to do is resize it and move it anywhere you want and it stays all in that little “window”.

After resizing and moving my photo, it now looks like this:

Keep repeating this for all the photos you’ll need and it will end up looking like this. (I almost added the words “sunrise | sunset” over the top. Couldn’t get the song out of my head. :) Some great shots Zach has taken of morning and evening DC.) Take a look at the Layers palette and you’ll see how all the rectangles and the photos are clipped together.

If you need to “unclip” them, just hover over the two layers again, click your mouse and they will return to two regular layers again.

Final result? A lovely compilation of photos to use as one printed image or to cut easily and put on a page.

Is this not the most glorious thing for creating collages? No more guessing and planning sizes? Oy! That was such a pain! Can’t tell you just now long that would always take me. Now? It’s a piece of cake! Which also goes good with “chocolate and vanilla” ice cream. ;)

And on a completely unrelated note, I just thought I’d do a quick shout out for my Jordy-girl who made the sophomore softball team last night! Go Jordan!

2017-02-07T18:29:04+00:00March 2nd, 2011|photo templates, photography, tips and tricks|9 Comments


  1. Jan March 4, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Way to go Jordan! I loved watching my daughter play softball during her teen and high school years. Her team even went and played in a tournament in Hawaii and won the whole thing! Great memories. I can't believe Zach is ready to come home… I bet he was a fanatastic missionary.

  2. cindysoul March 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Kerri THANK YOU so much for designing these!!! They're exactly what I imagined! Now, I have 20,000 vacation photos to start printing! LOL!
    Ps…I like you too! :0) Cindy

  3. Kerri March 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Yay Cindy! Glad you can get started now. :)

  4. Kathy March 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Wow! If only I had Photoshop:( It is on my list of things to wish for…just at this point it's going to remain a wish. Still I have something even more wonderful to look forward to when I finally am able to purchase it. Love the photos and Jordan you Go girl!

  5. Kerri March 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Hey Kathy! Since the files work with both PS and PS Elements, if you want to play around with Photoshop Elements, you can download the trial version from adobe.com. You can use it for 30 days. In fact, that's what I did just to make sure the files worked there. ;)

    And Elements is much cheaper than Photoshop. I think you can usually find it for as little as $79 and many times it comes for free with the printers or other programs that you buy.

    Maybe that might help? ;)

  6. Michele H. March 13, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Hi Kerri! Just wanted to say thanks for designing these! This is perfect for a few projects that I want to create! Just bought them:)

  7. Lulu May 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Just bought this, and hoping I can figure it out.. I'm a bit photoshop challenged sometimes.. lol :)

  8. Katrina H December 6, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I just used one of your templates for the first time. I love them! Thanks for making it so easy!

  9. […] then click your mouse, so that it now looks like this. (For more details on using Masks, refer to THIS POST.) The “love this” title is on its own layer and can be removed as well. It’s […]

Leave A Comment