create a collage effect

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to create a collage from a photo in Photoshop. It is extremely easy to do so and will only require you to repeat a few steps like we did when we created a collage of polaroids. This is the effect we’ll be creating:

 create a collage effect

Let’s get started on this tutorial on how to create a collage!

Step 1

Open the image you want to work with.

 create a collage effect original

Now, duplicate this image by pressing Command+J (Macs) / Ctrl+J (Windows).

 create a collage effect duplicate

Step 2

With Layer 1 selected, create a new layer between the background layer and Layer 1 by command-clicking (Macs) / ctrl-clicking (Windows) on the New Layer icon.

 create a collage effect new layer

 create a collage effect new layer result

We’ll now fill this layer with white. Press D to set white as the background color and press Command+Delete (Macs) / Ctrl+Backspace (Windows) to fill the layer.

 create a collage effect fill

Step 3

With Layer 1 selected, grab the Rectangular Marquee tool and draw a square selection anywhere inside the image. Make sure that you hold down the Shift key while making the square selection in order to maintain proportions.

 create a collage effect selection

Now, click on the Add A Layer Mask icon.

 create a collage effect layer mask

 collage effect layer mask result

Click on the link icon between the mask thumbnail and layer thumbnail.

 collage effect unlink

Now, let’s add an outer glow to the layer mask. Select the mask by clicking on its thumbnail and press the New Adjustment Layer icon.

 collage effect new adjustment layer

Select Outer Glow from the list and change its color to white by clicking on the color swatch.

 collage effect outer glow

 collage effect outer glow color

Step 4

Now, select Layer 1 and press Command+J (Macs) / Ctrl+J (Windows) to duplicate it.

 collage effect duplicate layer

Select the Move tool and then select the duplicate layer’s mask by clicking on its thumbnail.

 collage effect select mask

Now, move the square to a new location to create the second square.

 collage effect move

Step 5

Now, it’s only a matter of repeating step 4 as many times as you need to show the important parts of the picture.

 collage effect repeat step 4

Step 6

We’ll now finish the effect by adding some smaller squares. Duplicate the layer again, but before moving the square, press Command+T (Macs) Ctrl+T (Windows) and drag the corner handle inwards while holding Shift+Option (Macs) / Shift+Alt (Windows). Press Return (Macs) / Enter (Windows) when you are done.

 collage effect resize

Using the Move tool, drag the square to the collage’s outside edge.

 collage effect smaller square

Repeat this step as many times you want.

 collage effect smaller squares result

Step 7

We’ll now add a drop shadow, but before that, we need to merge all of the collage layers. To do so, select the top-most layer, shift-click on Layer 1 and press Command+E (Macs) / Ctrl+E (Windows).

 collage effect merge

Click on the New Adjustment Layer icon, select Drop Shadow and lower the opacity.

 collage effect drop shadow

And this tutorial on how to create a collage from a photo is complete!

 create a collage effect

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