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iWork Tutorial: Design a stylish photo collage in Pages

Learn how to create a beautifully designed keepsake of your favourite photos in Pages.

One of the few downsides to the digital revolution is the fact that all too often, our photos sit on our hard drives never to see the light of day.
On the flip side, as we accumulate more ‘stuff’ and our lives become busier, neither do we have the space for shelves of yellowing photo albums doing nothing more than gathering dust. Selecting a few of your favourite photos and designing a collage is the perfect way to create a lasting keepsake that you can show off to all your friends and family. There is, however, a bit of an art to creating such a piece, as throwing images onto a blank page will result in a jumbled mess. Learning how to design something from scratch that is stylish, narrative and dynamic can be intimidating, but with our step-by-step guide and a few tips along the way, you will be able to create a photo collage that tells a story, is beautifully refined and looks well-balanced.

Step 1: Select the photos
Open iPhoto and create a new album with the images that you want to use for your collage. Close it down and open Pages.

Step 2: Choose the template
Select the blank template from the template chooser, give it a title and save it. Make a habit of saving at regular intervals.

Step 3: Background
Give your collage a coloured background to make the photos pop. Select the rectangle from the Shapes menu and drag the corner points to cover the page.

Step 4: Graphic Inspector
Give the background a gradient to give it depth. Edit the colours from within the Graphic Inspector. Choose Gradient Fill. Click on a colour to change it.

Step 5: Add text
Add some text to your collage by creating a text box and typing. Select the text and open the Text Inspector to format the text into a style you like.

Step 6: Media browser
Open the Media browser, click on Photo and find the album you created earlier. Start adding photos by dragging them onto your document.

Step 7: Framing
Use the tools within the Graphic Inspector to give your images frames, drop shadow or reflections. Use varying sizes to create dynamism and balance.

Step 8: Lead into the page
Flip images from within the Metrics Inspector to lead the audience into the page, but watch out for give-away text or landmarks.

Step 9: Impact
Give photos more impact by cropping into them. Go to the Format drop-down menu and select Mask, then play around until you get the look you want.

Step 10: It’s a wrap
You may notice that the photos make your text shift around the page. To avoid this, go to the Wrap Inspector and untick Object causes wrap.

Step 11: Captions
Add captions using a font such as Handwriting Dakota and create an arrow by drawing a line and selecting an arrow end from the Graphic Inspector.

Step 12: Cutouts
Cutouts add an extra dimension to your collage. Select Instant Alpha from the Format drop-down menu and select the areas you want to remove.

Step 13: Targets
Take time to play around with your layout until you’re happy. Try to keep the spaces between photos consistent. Use guides to help keep things in line.

Step 14: Export
Share your collage easily by going to the Share drop-down menu. Export will give you the option to save it as a PDF or send it straight to Mail or iWeb.

Click on the image below to zoom in and read the annotations.