Friday, September 11

Friday Finds: Fixing Up Photos For Templates!

So you want to buy a Zazzle holiday photo greeting card--or other---but how do you make YOUR photo look as good  the sample photo in the card?

Green Stylish Script Holiday
 Photo Card
That's what today's Friday Find is about! A few simple beginner photo-shop tricks to help you
Let's say you're interested in this lovely green "Merry" photo card with the black & white photo.

To get this same look, you'll want to make your family photo black and white, too, so what to do?

First, then you need an EASY photo shop:
The online photo shop I prefer is  It's really, really easy to use and a host of the photo effects are totally FREE to use. (I'm not an affiliate with them, by the way. I just like them and use them all the time for my stuff.) 
You'll have to create an account, then upload a photo, which will first appear in "Basic Edits" where you can adjust exposure, color, size, cropping, etc.
After that, click "Effects."

First Sample: Turning a Color Photo Black & White:
Many card templates use black and white photos because it's just a classy look. But it's also very, very easy to do!
To Accomplish This Effect: 

1) Go to Ribbet"Effects."  You'll see a column on the left of Effect options. Black and White is the first one. 
2) Click "Black and White." Your photo will instantly turn black & white. 
3) Now click "Apply" to save this effect, then "Save" tab at top of page to save it to your computer. You're now ready to upload your perfect black & white photo onto your card template!

Second Sample: Creating a Black & White "Color Pop":
A color pop effect is about having touches of color in a black & white photo. As an example, lets say, because you wanted to use the green "Merry" photo card, your family all wore touches of the same green for a photo. You'd then turn the photo black and white and expose the touches of green, such as hats or scarves to give your photo a cool look that matches the card color!
To accomplish This Effect: 
1) Go to Ribbet "Effects." Click "Black & White." Photo turns black & white and a "Effect Painting" box immediately appears.
2) The "Original" button is automatically selected for you, meaning it's ready for you to now "unpaint" the black & white from any area where you want color to show again. (Photo of little girl below, with just her collar & button in color is what I did as a demo.)
3) Adjust the "Zoom" in lower right corner to zoom photo closer so you can see what you're doing better.
4) Adjust "Brush size." Your mouse pointer will appear as a small circle over photo--this circle is your "brush."
5) If you accidently color outside the lines, in the Effect Painting box just click "Effect," and this will re-applied black & white.
4) When done, click "Apply" then "Save" tab at top of page. Your fancy photo is ready to be uploaded onto your card!

Married & Merry Greeting Card

Third Sample: Applying a Softened Focus Effect:
Here's a card that's an example of a softened focal effect---everything except the head and shoulders of the kissing couple has a soft blur.
To accomplish this effect:
1) Go to Ribbet "Effects" and scroll down still you find "Focal Soften" and click it.
2) A circle outline will appear on your photo. With your mouse pointer, move this circle to the spot you want to have a clear focus.
3)  You can make this focus circle larger or smaller with the "Focal Size" slider. Or back the background more blurred or less blurred with "Blur" slider.
4) Once you're satisfied with the focal location, click "Apply" to keep the effect, then the "Save" tab at the top page to save your photo to you computer.

Fourth Sample: Applying A Focal Black & White Effect:

This effect works very much like the Focal Soften, except instead of blurring the background, this Effect turns all the background black and white! It's less specific then the Color Pop, but can be used effectively to highlight a certain area of your photo!
To Accomplish This Effect:
1) Go to Ribbet Effects. Scroll down the Effects column until you find "Focal B&W." (It's near Focal Soften.) 
2)  Click "Focal B&W. A circle will appear on your photo. Inside the circle will be color; outside will be black & white. Using your mouse pointer, move this circle to the location you want to highlight in color.
3) You can adjust the size of the circle using the "Focal Size" slider to make it larger or smaller.
4) When you're happy with it, click "Apply" to save the effect, then click the "Save" tab at top of page to save it to your computer.
(The sample photo below shows just the girl's face highlighted in color as a demo.)

There are, of course, many more free effects you can experiment with at,  But these 4 will serve you well for online holiday photo card templates!
Since these directions are aimed at the less experienced with  photo-shopping, I highly recommend using a laptop or desk-top computer while your using, just so you can actually see all their features and what you're doing! This is for the less tech-savvy, for those who don't know their way around a photo shop that well.
That's it for today! Come back Monday for Good Eating!

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