You’ve seen photo booths popping up at weddings, family reunions, and amusement parks. Now, bring the fun of a photo booth to your scrapbook layouts by making your own photo strips! Photo strips are a perfect way to put lots of photos on a page without compromising your page design.
Here’s a quick tutorial for making your own photo strips:
Note: This tutorial is for Photoshop/Photoshop Elements. Adapt as necessary for other software. Screenshots from Photoshop CS5.
2. Add guides. I like to get an idea how my photo spaces will look in my photo strip so I add some guides (View>New Guide) to help with basic positioning of the photo spots. For this project, I positioned guides horizontally at 3, 6, and 9 inches. However, you do not need to use guides if you don’t want to.
3. Create a photo spot. Press U or click on the Rectangle Tool.Right click on the Rectangle Tool and then select the type of shape you want to use for your photo spots. For this project, I clicked on the Rounded Rectangle Tool icon. This brings up the Shape Toolbar. To specify the amount of curve I want on the corners of my rectangles, I set the radius to 40 pixels, but you can adjust this to your specifications.
4. Draw a photo spot shape on your canvas using the guides to help with sizing as needed. Remember to leave a little border around your shape. Adjust the size of the photo spot until you’re satisfied. Rasterize the shape layer (Layer>Rasterize>Shape in Photoshop), if necessary. You do not need to do this in PSE.
5. Next, duplicate the photo-spot layer (Ctrl/Cmd + J) so you have one for each section of your photo strip.
7. Add a new layer for the photo strip background and move this layer below all the photo spot layers. Fill it in with white using the Paint Bucket tool.
8. Now, it’s time to arrange and distribute the photo spots so they are perfectly aligned horizontally and vertically. Select all the photo spot layers in the layers palette. You can do this two ways: Click on the top photo spot and then Shift + Click on the bottom photo spot layer OR Ctrl/Cmd + Click on each photo spot layer.
10. Now, center your photo spots horizontally on your background layer.
In Photoshop: Select all the photo spot layers and then Ctrl/Cmd + G to group them together. Then, click on the layer in your group that has the file folder icon and Ctrl/Cmd + Click on the background layer. Click on the Move Tool tool and then the Align Vertical Centers icon in the Move Tool toolbar.
In Photoshop Elements: Highlight all your photo spot layers in the Layers palette and link them together by clicking on the Link Layers (chain) icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Then, highlight one of the photo spot layers and the background layer and select the Move Tool. Click on Align and then Vertical Centers.
11. Now you’ve created your basic photo strip, it’s time to add the photos! The easiest way is to use each photo spot shape as a clipping mask for the photos. To do this, drag in your photos and arrange each photo above the photo spot layer in the Layers palette that you want to clip it to. Roughly re-size your photo layers, if desired. Don’t worry. After you clip them to the photo spot layers, you will be able to resize and position them.
12. Now, let’s get clipping! In the Layers palette, select a photo layer then clip it to the photo spot layer below it (Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + G in Photoshop, Ctrl + G in PSE). Now, simply size and position the photo in the photo spot by highlighting the photo layer in the Layers palette and then using the Move Tool. Repeat the clipping process for each photo/photo spot.
Photoshop Elements Users: If you’re unsure about using clipping masks in PSE, check out this tutorial.
Step up your basic photo strip by adding text in the frames, changing the background to a patterned paper or different color, using different shapes for the photo spots, varying the size of the photo spots, or stamping with brushes. Really, the possibilities are endless!
P.S. In a hurry? Here are some resources for fast and easy photo booth strips.
Wendyzine’s Photo Booth It action: This action totally automates the whole photo-strip creation process.
Photostrip Builder: Upload your own photos and download a photo strip like this:
PhotoFunia: Another web-based photo-strip builder. I uploaded my own photos and made and downloaded this photo strip in minutes: