Be a Photo Hero This Valentine’s Day!

Zoner Photo Studio is more than just a photo editor and manager. It also has a wide range of features that you can use to turn your photos into creative things like greeting cards. For example, Valentine’s Day cards!

Our goal here is clear: a Valentine’s card with a photo or other picture, some text, and a pretty frame.

It’s essential to start from a suitable picture. This time around instead of a photo, we chose a picture on the Web (published under a Creative Commons license), as there’s certainly no law saying Zoner Photo Studio is only for photos!

Source picture. Author: Nils Geylen. (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Source picture. Author: Nils Geylen. (CC BY-SA 2.0).

For our source picture, we decided to give it a square crop and then expand the canvas, mostly at the bottom, and then put text in the added bottom space. If we added the text directly to the picture, it would likely end up unreadable.

When you go to create a card of your own, you may find cropping and adding a blank area for text useful too—or not.

The Crop tool is located in the Editor’s Toolbox. Since we wanted a square crop, we switched from the default Free Ratioto Fixed Aspect (1:1). We then cropped the picture to taste, by clicking and dragging into the picture to select the part we wanted to keep.

Making a square crop.

Making a square crop.

To make the blank text area, we used the Edit menu’s Canvas Size item. We then edited the Width and Height accomodate the size of our size picture.

We first added a 25-pixel-wide frame, by setting a centered Position, turning on Relative, and entering a value of 50 pixels. Using the eyedropper next to Color, we set a frame color precisely matching the dark stripes in the source picture. Note that ours was a “dangerous” choice overall: valentines work best with lighter colors. (And you can forget about black!)

Creating the frame.

Creating the frame.

To create the blank space for the Valentine’s text below the picture, we expanded the canvas using Canvas Size again. To expand the canvas only in the lower part of the picture, we set the Position to the middle top, and adjusted the Height only. See the illustration below:

Making room for text.

Making room for text.

Choosing a font to match a picture is a topic big enough for its own article. But for Valentine’s greetings, all those worries fall away; you can let your imagination run wild and use whatever most tickles your fancy. Like the Crop tool, Place Text is also located in the Toolbox.

The Place Text tool.

The Place Text tool.

As soon as you click with it to put text in a picture, the Side Panel shows you all the text settings available. The Text itself is among these. Be creative with it!

Or if creativity fails you, sneak off and find a text you like on the Internet (like we did). You may not be original, but that won’t stop your card from earning you brownie points with your loved one! Use the control underneath the actual text to choose a font and its Size (choose a good fit for the picture’s size) and Line spacing. Then adjust its Color, Style, and Alignment.

Fine-tuning the font and text using the Side Panel.

Fine-tuning the font and text using the Side Panel.

The Place Text tool also offers several Effects that can give your text some extra spice. Our only advice for Effects is to choose one you like. Just remember that less is sometimes more. We decided to go with no effects for our text. As soon as you’re satisfied with the result, confirm it by clicking Apply.

Tip: If you want to add different texts to a picture with different sizes, etc. you need to add them individually, with individual settings for each one.

Our card is almost ready.

Our card is almost ready.

This Valentine’s card is almost done. Now there’s just one step left: to add a photo! For our card, the choice was easy: replace the pink in the heart. We just used the Magic Wand tool and clicked inside the heart. We then left that selection active for the moment.

Setting where the photograph will go.

Setting where the photograph will go.

When you make your own card, you’ll also need to adjust your photo to make it a good fit for the picture. First find and double-click it in the Manager. This opens a new Editor tab for the photo. Don’t worry, it won’t destroy your work on the Valentine’s card. Next select the whole photo using Selection | Select All and copy the contents using Edit | Copy.

Selecting a photo. Photo: Jiří Vicherek.

Selecting a photo. Photo: Jiří Vicherek.

Tip: You can also put one picture inside another using the Place Image tool instead.

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More Power For Your Love

In the Editor’s Effects menu, use Envelopes. Envelopes is a quick way to add what Zoner calls an “envelope”—a frame around a picture. Pick a black-and-white envelope type. Then fine-tune the envelope using the settings here. We recommend trying out a variety of settings when using an envelope, especially for Blur and Scale.
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Returning to the “card” picture, we used Edit | Paste to paste the photo into the card. Thanks to the selection that we made with the Magic Wand earlier on, the copied photo is only visible in the “heart” of the original picture. We moved the pasted photo out of the middle of the card to keep the faces in the photo from getting cropped away. In our case it also helped to tilt the photo a bit. To finish pasting the photo, we clicked Apply.

Adding the photo to the card and rotating the photo.

Adding the photo to the card and rotating the photo.

When you’re done with your card, save it and send it to your Valentine. Of course there’s also nothing stopping you from going a step further and printing it out (or having it printed) and presenting it personally in a decorative envelope!

Last updated 13. February 2014

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Author: Zoner

Zonerama Magazine: Brought to you by the team behind Zoner Photo Studio.

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