Some of my favorite templates are the ones with LOTS of photos, and the photo spots are right up against each other. Multi-Mini Templates is an example of this style.
There are no shadows between the photos, almost as if they are a single layer. These designs are modern and photo-centric, and they are ... maybe a bit intimidating. I'd like to share some tips I've collected through trial and error.
The first tip that came to mind was that a collection of photos that are too similar to each other will not shine in this style of presentation. I had some photos from a trip to the snow, and I thought to myself: I could use these to show off a BAD example of using these templates. There will be white snow in all the backgrounds, they will all just blend together into a big blob. So I quickly threw my snow photos into one of the Multi-Mini Templates. And my result is the following, which I don't think looks all that bad. If fact, I think it looks great:
Were my instincts wrong when I supposed that photos with similar backgrounds would look bad together? I look another look at the template. Yes, they almost all had snowy white backgrounds, but I had done something without even thinking about it: many of the photos were cropped!
Here is the same template with the same photos, but every photo has been sized so that as much of the original photo as possible is visible:
I think it is safe to say that this second layout is not as good as the first. With all of the photos zoomed out, they do tend to get lost next to each other, with less contrast from one to the next. Contrast! That is the design principle that helps photos look great when placed next to each other.
When placing photos in close proximity to each other, try to optimize contrast between adjacent photos. This will help visually isolate each photo and make it stand out next to its neighbor. Here are some specific ideas:
- Crop: If one photo shows a wide angle view, try placing a cropped or macro photo next to it. As an added bonus, cropping in to people's faces can bring out the emotion or energy of the photo.
- Brightness: If one photo has a dark background, try placing a photo with a light background next to it.
- Color: Look for color contrast between your photos and place different colors next to each other. You can also process your photos to help with this: try a black and white filter, or an action that adds a haze or vignette to the photo.
- Subject: A photo collage is a great opportunity to show details as well as the big picture. When you take pictures of an event, try to remember to take some detail or close-up shots.
Here are three more examples I made recently. Look carefully at adjacent photos and see where I've used cropping, brightness, and color to accentuate contrast between adjacent photos.
|Bold Double Templates 1 by Scrapping with Liz; Kits by Valorie Wibbens and Karla Dudley, Allison Pennington, One Little Bird, and Etc. by Danyale|
|Bold Double Templates 3 by Scrapping with Liz; Kits by Pink Reptile Designs, Valorie Wibbens, Laurie Ann, and Julie Bullock|
|Bold Double Templates 3 by Scrapping with Liz; Kits by Allison Pennington and Etc. by Danyale|
I hope these simple tips will give you a little more confidence the next time you are picking out templates and photos. Even if you aren't using a flat collage presentation like I've used above, contrast among your photos will help to build an interesting and eye catching photo cluster.