Plus 8 Templates to Speed Up Your Workflow!

As you probably know by now, I shoot a lot of Real Estate. Sometimes it is hard to capture a space in a landscape image, other times; it's better to make a composition in portrait mode. The Dutch MLS can handle pictures shot in portrait, but they just don't look great; the height adjusts automatically to the standard height of a photo shot in landscape. So it is an awful waste of space. On the contrary, combined pictures always stand out on the MLS!

Combining Photos in One Image

With some experience in Photoshop, it is not that much work to combine 2 or more images in one picture. But when I discovered Photoshop's Smart Objects, I took the time to create templates to increased the speed of my workflow. Yes, they save me several minutes per image. Why? I don't need to adjust the size of the images; I don't need to choose a color for the background nor do I have to put a white line around the pictures anymore to let them stand out. And, pretty necessary for the consistency reasons; All of them have the same color, proportions, distance, and thickness of the lines! I love my templates, and so do my agents, they make their listings stand out!

How to Create Smart Object Templates?

  • Open a new file in Photoshop, choose the desired size. But make it in the same proportions as you regular photos. Pick a background color.

Create new document

  • Use the rectangle tool to create an image background that will be the picture's border; I prefer to keep this border white. Bear in mind that it has to be in the right proportion.
  • Make sure you have the “Layers” panel visible. If not; go to Menu > Window and select Layers

  • Now choose the layer of the rectangle you just created, right-click with your mouse and copy the layer.
  • Spread both layers evenly on the background.
  • Select both rectangle layers and copy them again.
  • Keep the selected and, while holding the Shift key, make them slightly smaller.
  • Change the color of the top layer. The color does not matter because it will just function as a place holder for your photos. It will make it just easier to select the right layer in the future
  • Put them over the white rectangles; they will look like borders now.

Select the first of the colored layers and click on the tiny hamburger button on the top right of the layers panel.

  • Choose the option “Convert to Smart Layer.” Repeat this step for the other placeholders.
  • Clean up the layers; create a folder for the background layers and rename the Smart Objects by double-clicking on the name in the layers panel. I just wrote: Place your image – right and Place your image – left.
  • Save your template as a PSD file.

Yay! Now you have created your first template with smart objects!

I learned how to create image templates with Smart Objects in Photoshop!Click To Tweet

How to Use the Smart Objects?

The use the template is even easier:

  • Open the file in Adobe Photoshop
  • Make sure the “Layers” panel is visible. If not; go to Menu > window and select Layers.

In the subscription of the layer, you wrote for which picture it is intended. Double click the little symbol on the left, it will open in a new panel.

Double Click Icon

  • Open your Finder or Explorer and find the pictures that you want to use. Just drag it from the folder to the Photoshop panel that just opened. When the photo file has the same proportions, it is placed in the right size instantly.

Place photo

  • Do want to use a detail? Select the layer of the image you just put. Make sure you click the Move tool in your Toolbar.
  • Hold down the Shift key, enlarge the picture and put it in the right place. Holding the Shift key assures you, the proportions stay intact.
  • Now close the panel (save it when the prompt asks you to). Photoshop will direct you back to the template, and you'll see: Your first photo is in the image!

Repeat step

  • Follow the same procedure with the other images and save the template as a .jpg file.
  • Finally, close the template without saving, and you have a clean file to next time you will need it!

Speed Up Your Workflow With These 8 Free Templates!

Well? Isn't it a lot faster than adjusting and placing all those images by hand? These templates made my life a lot easier. To accelerate your workflow, you can download the eight different setups I created. Yes! For free, just send me a smile. Of course, you can use them for other purposes too.

Smart Object Templates

Just leave your name and email below, and I will send you the files straight away.


Just a little note: You can use these templates just with the full version of Adobe Photoshop CC. They won't work in Photoshop Elements. Photoshop CC is available as a subscription in combination with Adobe Lightroom CC for just $ 10, – per month.

And don't forget to send me that smile! You can leave it in the comments below too!

Some links on this page are affiliate links. All these links are from products I use myself and therefore can wholeheartedly recommend. By using the links on this page, I get a small percentage of the purchase price so I can continue to write valuable content. It doesn’t cost you anything. Actually, in some cases, it gives you a discount. If you don’t like to use these links, that’s fine! 


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