How To … Make a Photo Collage

It was Picasso who, along with George Braque in the early 20th century, first coined the term ‘collage’ – from the French verb ‘coller,’ meaning ‘to glue’ or ‘to stick’. A hundred years later and everyone’s at it – from fine artists to tiny toddlers – and with digital technology and a host of new tools available online, cutting and pasting images together has never been more rewarding.

The beauty of collage is that unlike most creative picture-making pursuits anyone can do it. And the possibilities are endless. Whether making your own greetings cards, prints or just having a play, here are some tips, tricks and tools to try.

1. Fotor

Fotor is a great collage tool for making collages online. Avoiding the typical constraints of most collage software, it’s possible to have a lot of fun, fast, using its preset templates and themes and range of unique filters and effects. Simply upload images from a computer desktop into Fotor’s collage maker, and using intuitive drag and drop tools, position the photographs as required. Once the images are satisfactorily organised the background can be modified, and stickers can be added as well as effects and text.

2. Mosaically

A popular method of making a collage is composing a single large image from hundreds of smaller, independent snaps. Mosaically is a simple online tool for doing just that. By first uploading a single image from Facebook or a computer desktop (the one that will become the final picture), and secondly entire photo albums, Mosaically will quickly generate a mosaic style collage, creating a single picture out of hundreds, if not thousands of photographs.

3. Incongruous Splicing

One of the intriguing things about a collage is its ability to create alternative realities, where incongruous images sit side by side from one another. The Daily Splice is a blog created by Adam Hale and is a great example of how existing images (in this case from London’s free magazines), can be spliced and stuck together, effectively taken out of context from one another resulting in this fun, creative and often obscure images.

4. Produce a display

A college need not be a mere collection of images stuck onto a flat surface. Displaying a collection of images can be done in hundreds of different ways using simple art and crafts techniques. For example, a length of wire bent into an obscure shape, can transform into a structure from which to hang pictures. If the structure is then suspended from the ceiling, it becomes a hanging mobile. Some simple and inspired DIY suggestions, with easy to follow steps can be found here 

5. Photoshop

In early 2013, Patrick Thorendahl or PeejeT (as he is known to his many Instagram and Twitter followers) amassed an impressive collection of photos with celebrities. From lending a motivational arm around Drake working out in the gym to relaxing with Rhianna over a glass of Christmas champagne, his Instagram account became the frame through which the general public could see intimate moments of A-listers’ existing in the everyday. PeejeT was not, however, really there and the collection of images was the result of clever Photoshop editing. By placing himself into pictures of celebrities, PeejeT’s collages are perhaps a little crass, but without a doubt funny and gorgeously satirical.