Family occasions inspire picture taking, especially births, marriages and graduations. When your child takes the big step from one academic level to another or from school to the real world, your graduation photos—and other images from the family album—make ideal subject matter for a celebratory collage.
Use your notebook or desktop computer and image-editing software to place your graduate in a multi-generational collage. Start with scans of prints from pre-digital commencements, combined with digital-camera or smartphone photos of other members of the family. These composites make a fascinating study in the distinctive facial features that descend from great-grandparent to grandparent and parent to child. If you can't find cap-and-gown portraits of some of the generations you want to include, use other photos that feature your relatives facing the camera directly.
As late spring approaches in a year in which your family congratulates numerous grads across multiple branches, coordinate by email with the rest of the proud parents to build a batch of graduation-day images with comparable poses and backgrounds. Use these matching images to build a class-year montage.
If you've snapped images of your graduate as she made the transitions among various scholastic levels, build your collage featuring each graduation from kindergarten and elementary to middle and high school and beyond. Fill in the surrounding image area with other photo milestones from the same ages to contrast the formality of graduation with the informality of other family occasions. To create an area for an image title, use a closeup shot of a graduation cap or commencement mortarboard as a central anchor within your composite.
You can create graduation collages with a wide range of media formats as your final output targets. If you start at a higher resolution—300 pixels per inch for print, for example—and create lower-resolution versions of your finished image file, you can have your collage printed as a poster and turn it into wallpaper for a desktop computer monitor or tablet device. Some poster services offer online services where you upload individual images for assembly into a collage that separates photos with border treatments. Other sites build the collage for you, extracting figures from their backgrounds for additional composition options. You can also use your collage in a scrapbooking project.
From a framed poster that hangs in a position of honor within a photo grouping near your entertainment center to a collage you implement digitally as smartphone or tablet wallpaper, you can display and share your finished composite in many ways, including on social media websites. If you're planning a graduation party, print the images within your collage on your home computer as individual photos and pin them to a display line strung across a living room wall or at the top of a doorway. For the ultimate in party refreshments, have your collage printed using edible inks, and transfer the output atop a cake from your own oven.
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