Cameta 101: How to Create a Photo Collage

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Photo collages are popping up all over social media these days. They’re used by fitness enthusiasts who want to show workouts and healthy food they eat, travel vloggers who want to show their favorite vacation spots, DIY bloggers who want to display their best projects, etc. There are apps on your phone to use, but editing pictures on your phone can be a little hard to view.

Luckily, there is a really helpful free site on the web for your desktop, canva.com, that lets your creative juices flow. There are templates to create a plethora of collages; plus you can put shapes and text into the design to really drive home an idea. This article will give you a step-by-step tutorial to show you how to create a beautiful collage for free.

1. Make an account with Canva

It’s quick, easy and painless. There is an option to pay for an account to have more usability, but the free account is totally fine to start with. You have access to collages, shapes, text and a lot more with the free account!

2. Canva dashboard

Now you are in the dashboard, and you can have some artistic fun. Click on “Create a design”. A bunch of options will pop up for social media, banner images, print outs, etc.

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Click on “Instagram Post” or whatever option best suits your design.

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Click on top right to rename your project.

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3. Now it’s time to choose a collage

Click on “Elements” then click on “Grids.”

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There are a bunch to choose from so pick the one that you like the best.

4. Let’s add pictures

Go to “Uploads.” (I blurred out my pictures because I have some portraits of people that I don’t have rights to use for this.)

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Choose pictures on your desktop that you want in your collage. If you don’t have any, then download them from your Facebook or Instagram page. If you just want to practice with free pictures from Canva then search for a topic and download some pictures.

Drag and drop pictures into the grid. Double click on the image to move it, and press enter when you like the location.

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Add the rest until you have a collage of your favorite pictures. If you are happy with it just like this, then go to Step 7. If you want to add a shape with some text, then keep going. We’re almost there.

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5. Add a shape

Maybe you want this to be an important campaign or a call to action. Shapes and text will stress your point and it’s fun to play around with color and layouts to go along with your pictures. Go to “Elements” and click on “Shapes.”

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For this I chose a circle, but you can pick whatever you like. Drag the circles on the edge of your shape to change the size. Also, click on the top left square to change the color. Choosing the right color is pretty interesting because different colors evoke a certain emotion from people. If you’re nerdy like me then I recommend researching color psychology (here’s a good site to get you started). If that doesn’t interest you, don’t worry, just pick a color that matches something in your images or pick a neutral color.

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6. Add some text to tell a message

Click on “Text” and “Add heading.”

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Click on the words “Add heading” and type your text. Choose the font size, style and color that you like the best. It’s fun to experiment with different styles and colors so give it a try and see what looks good. Move the text around so it’s aligned.  You can always go back to the shape to change the size. It takes a little finesse, but you’ll know when it’s right.

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7. You’re all done

Now, save and download the file. Upload it to your social media accounts.

If you want to upload it to Instagram, you have two options.

  • E-mail it to yourself and open it with your smartphone app to upload it.
  • Download Gramblr, a free program that lets you upload to Instagram from your desktop.

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I hope this helps, and gives you some ideas for photo collages. They’re a lot of fun to design, and I much prefer to work on designs on a desktop rather than a phone. Computers have larger screens, and Canva has a lot more options than any app that I have found. So start creating some photo collages!

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