Sunday, November 8

CoffeeShop Tutorial: Polaroid in Picture!

You might have noticed that I updated my blog yesterday. At one point it was a complete mess and I was a bit freaked out! I didn't just add a new background and header, but I changed out my template (the new one is a Blogger template I tweaked), and now I have a drop-down menubar. I will be working on updating it during the week, but so far so good.

I also noticed that Blogger now offers "Read More" on your posts. Just click on the "Read More" link at the bottom of my posts and the entire post will load up. I will use this on my loooooong posts so that my blog will load up faster. I don't think I will do when I first post, but after the posts have been up for a few days. Now if Blogger would only add static pages...

On to my tutorial.

You have all probably seen this effect around Flickr[...] some time or other. This enhancement is really popular in engagement photos, where you have an out-of-focus couple kissing, holding up to the camera a Polaroid of them smiling. Some examples are here, here, here. This effect is not only useful in those types of images, you can also use it in a more "arty" way, as seen here, here, and here.

Many of these are probably done with real Polaroid pictures, but what to do if you don't have a Polaroid camera? Fake it with Photoshop of course! All you need is a white Polaroid shape that you can add your image to later via the magic of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. You might ask why mess with the blank Polaroid and instead just photoshop the entire Polaroid image? Because the fake Polaroid is a part of the image so it looks more "real". You don't want to make your clients hold an imaginary Polaroid do you?

Download my Polaroid 600 film template. Print it out (this would probably work better printed on some glossy photo paper, but use what you have), glue it on some cardstock (cereal or cracker boxes work great!) and cut it out. You can see the back of my faux Polaroid above. Tasty!

I realize this image is not a stunning representative of what you can achieve using this technique, but I wanted to make it simple. I suddenly had this urge to test out this theory of mine and I decided it was easier to photograph a plant than my two crazy kids.

In this case I put my blank Polaroid photo in the image and took a picture. Then I removed the Polaroid and just photographed the plant. When you do actual photoshoots you can pick and choose images at the end of the shoot to place in your blank Polaroids.

I then selected the part of the image that was going to become my Polaroid. Type M for the rectangular marquee tool and select a roughly square area and crop.

I dragged this on top of my image with the blank Polaroid and Ctrl-T (free transformed) the Polaroid image to fit. You can use Edit, Transform, Warp-Distort-Skew to tweak the image even more if needed.

Then I add a drop shadow to my Polaroid layer. You can see my settings for this tutorial, but you will want to adjust it to taste.

Here is the finished image. You can also add text and transform it to fit. I did this on the sample below.


After. Duke was a reluctant model. ;-)

Hope you have fun playing with this technique!


  1. i have *so* been wanting to know how to do this -- thanks again, rita!

  2. This looks like a fun thing to play with.

    Your blog looks good -- I'm finding the colors of links confusing though. Normally unclicked links are blue, so it's confusing that clicked links are blue. I kept reclicking on the links I'd already clicked on until I figured it out.

  3. Very cool! Could make for some interesting Christmas Cards!

  4. This makes me jump for joy!! I love it:) Thanks so much, Rita!

  5. This is awesome Rita! Gave me a great idea for my session this afternoon. I will post to the Flickr group if it works out. Thanks so much!

  6. This is a great tut! Thanks so much... I'd never seen this effect! I like it a lot!

  7. I have noticed this alot recently and wondered how it was done. Thanks so much for the tutorial Rita.

    I like your new blog design....very nice, easy to navigate.

  8. Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 08 Nov [LA 04:00pm, NY 07:00pm] - 09 Nov [UK 12:00am, OZ 11:00am] ).

  9. As always, you come up with the coolest ideas Rita!
    I still haven't found the time to work anymore on the blog that you were helping me with...maybe next week!

  10. I was thinking, this would be fun with a maternity shoot. Photo of mom's belly, possible in profile, and she holds the white card, and then add in the ultrasound photo.

  11. What a blessing to find your blog! The tutorials are great and the actions are wonderful. I hope everyone is very generous to you. I am certainly very grateful.

  12. Thank you so much for this Freebie. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 4 post on Nov. 09, 2009. Thanks again.

  13. love this concept! thanks for the awesome tutuorial! and the blog is looking good in all it's new glory - well done!!

  14. Great tutorial!
    I wondered how that was created!

    So fun... I can't wait to play! :)

    Thank you, Rita!!!!

  15. Great posting. I love your blog.
    Thanks for sharing.

  16. I love your site. Thank you for the free blog headers:)

  17. Love this idea! Thanks for posting. You are amazing... just FYI, I am loving your actions for PSE! Thank you Rita!

  18. This is my first time go to see at here and i am really pleassant to read
    all at one place.


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