Format photos to look like old-fashioned snapshots

I just finished meeting with a client and she had a presentation with lots of great photos of children. In PowerPoint 2007 and later, there’s an easy way to make these photos look great on a slide.

Here’s an example.

Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Insert>Picture to insert 3-4 photos on a slide. If you use more than 4, you won’t have enough space to lay them out in a pleasing way. It’s nice to have a variety in orientation, which means that at least one will be landscape (wider than it is high) and at least one will be portrait (higher than it is wide).
  2. Resize the photos from the corner handle and move them so you can see all of them. Some overlap is fine.
  3. Select one photo.  Click the Format tab, then choose the Rotated White option in the Photo Gallery. This option adds a number of settings, including a thick white border, a shadow, and a light gray edging (called a contour).

Repeat for the other photos.

Now comes the fun–trying to arrange the photos so that they look good. Here are some pointers:

  • Layer the photos so that they go from back to front (or vice versa) rather than having the middle photo in front or back. Think of piling up real photos like a deck of cards and fanning them out. To change the order of a selected photo, right-click and choose Send to Back or Send Backward, or Bring to Front or Bring Forward.
  • Rotate the photos so that they are slightly rotated at different angles. No photo should be exactly the same angle as the others. Try out variations until you like the result. To rotate, drag the green rotation handle, or click the dialog box launcher button on the Format tab (shown at the right) to open the Format Picture dialog box with the Size category showing. There you can change the Rotation value 1 degree at a time.
  • Feel free to let the corner of a photo be off the slide slightly.

Here’s another example slide:

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