How to Create an Eye Catching Montage
mon·tage (n)-Function: noun Etymology: French, from monter to mount Date: 1929
“a composite picture made by combining several separate pictures.”
It’s no secret that I love to create montages. In my studio, I often edit a few special shots to create montages for my clients to help them see the ways their photos can be used other than just plain ole framing.
Putting photos together can create a strong sense of location, emotion and to make a bold statement. Your choices can make or break it so choose carefully the photos you use, the positions in which you place them and even the background content of your montage.
Here are a few photos (some are revisited from my previous posts) and my thoughts regarding why I put the particular photos together.
Zoom – I really love this technique in combining photos.
Whether you’re deciding on the layout of facing pages in an album or creating a montage, the effect of zoom is really pleasing for the eye.
It’s the idea that in the first photo, you’re seeing things from far and the photo immediately zooms in on the next frame.
For me, it creates quite a nice emotional quality whereby I feel like I’m really sucked into the images.
Slice & Dice – A photo made up of two frames is also called a diptych.
There, I said it so don’t any one get cross with me for referring to these as montages! In this montage, I am using one image which has been cut in half.
It’s quite a quirky one, especially because I put the bottom half first (look at that drool!) On the right side, notice that her eyes are looking over at her smile. This brings in to play the next tip.
Looking In – I know some rules are made to be broken but I can’t think of a time that breaking this rule would ever be good.
Always have your subjects facing in. In this montage, I have the baby looking at herself from 4 corners, always facing in. I had to use Photoshop’s ‘flip horizontal’ function on a couple of them so they were all facing in.
On that note, flipping a photo horizontal can feel quite awkard – I never get used to that strange feeling after flipping a photo. I do one of two things. I either close my eyes while it makes the change and try to forget what it looked like before or I take a break for a few minutes and come back to the photo. That usually makes it easier.
Unrelated – I sometimes like to use objects or photos which weren’t from the shoot in a montage.
I thought these two complimented each other beautifully, although I had to get tricky with Photoshop to bring the colours of the flower and the headband closer together.
Tell a Story – Combining images gives the wonderful opportunity to tell a story. This photo (below) by photographer Kelly West Mars is so awesome to me because it…well…just tells a story!
If a picture paints a thousand words, imagine the tales you can tell when you combine more than one!