Create The Effect Of A Multiple Photo Collage In Photoshop

Jennifer Farley

Using shape layers and a giant pattern, we’re going to make a single image that looks like it has been made from several photographs. It’s fairly quick and easy to do, so let’s get started.

1. Open the image that you want to create the effect on.


2. Make the whole image a pattern by choosing Edit > Define Pattern and give the pattern a name.


3. Create a new layer and then press Shift + Backspace (PC) or Shift + Delete (Mac). This opens the Fill dialog. Choose Black from the Use menu and click OK to fill the new layer with black.


4. On the toolbar, select the Rectangle tool. Then on the Options bar at the top of the screen make sure the Shape Layers icon is selected.


5. Draw out a rectangle shape on top of the black layer. It doesn’t matter what colour the rectangle is because we’ll be putting a pattern over it.


6. Add a Layer Style to the rectangle layer by clicking on the FX button on the bottom of the Layers palette and choosing Stroke. I set the size to 10 pixels, position to Inside and Fill Type Color to white. Don’t click OK yet.


7. Click on the words Pattern Overlay on the left hand side of the Layer Effects dialog box. Select the pattern that you made in step 2. Press the Snap To Origin button and uncheck “Link with Layer.”


Click OK and the image should look something like this:


8. If you move the rectangle around the image you’ll see how the pattern stays in position, this is due to the fact we pressed “Snap To Origin” in the last step. Now you can just make duplicates of the first rectangle and scatter them throughout the image. To duplicate the rectangle, make sure the rectangle layer is selected and hit Ctrl + J (PC) or Cmd + J (Mac).

9. Drag the new rectangle to a different part of the image. Rotate the rectangle by choosing Ctrl + T or Cmd + T to free transform the object. After rotation, add a Drop Shadow effect by clicking on the FX button on the Layers palette and choosing Drop Shadow.


The image should look a little bit like this:


10. Continue duplicating and rotating the rectangles. Add as many rectangles as you want. You won’t need to add the Drop Shadow effect again. It will be duplicated with the layer.


To complete the image you can play around with the stacking order of the rectangles which will change how one “photo” sits on top of another.

And there you have it.