Polaroid Picture Effect

Open the photo you want to use. I am using the picture below I found on the Internet:

Cute Girl

First we need to select the area we want to use for the Polaroid. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool Rectangle Marquee Tool from the toolbox. In the options bar set the mode to "Fixed Aspect Ratio" with width and height both set to 1. This will give us a fixed square selection. Make sure feather is set to 0.

Rectangle Marquee Settings

Click and drag a square selection around the focal point of the photo.

Marquee Selection

When you are satisfied with your selection, go to Select > Inverse.

Select Inverse

Press the Delete key. Then Deselect (Ctrl-D) the selection.

Select the rectangular marquee tool again but this time switch the mode back to normal. Drag a selection around the square photo, leave about an inch of extra space at the bottom and a quarter-inch of space around the top, left and right edges.


Click on the new adjuctment layer icon on the layer palette and choose a Solid Color Layer.

Solid Color Adjustment Layer

Drag the Color Picker to white and click OK.

Drag the Color Fill layer below the photo,


then switch to the photo layer and use the move tool to adjust the alignment if you need to. While the move tool is selected, you can nudge the active layer in 1-pixel increments using the arrow keys.

Next, add a subtle shadow to give the effect that the paper is overlapping the photo. Switch to something other than the move tool to get rid of the bounding box. Hold the Ctrl key down and click the photo layer in the layers palette. This loads a selection around the photo in that layer.

Selection Around Photo

Click the new layer button on the layers palette and drag this layer to the top of the layers palette.

New Layer

Go to Edit > Stroke (Outline) Selection…

Stoke Outline

and set the stroke to 3 px, color black, location outside.

Poloroid Ouline Setting

Deselect (Ctrl + D). Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a 1 pixel blur.

Guassian Blur

Click on the Fill Color layer at the bottom of the layers palette to select it. We will now add a filter to give it a 3d effect. Click the Apply Effects, Filters and Special Effects button on the Artwork and Special Effects palette.

Special Effects

Select Layer Styles and then click on Simple Sharp Pillow Emboss.

Wimple Sharp Pillow Emboss

Now to add text. Click the text tool Text Tool and on the options palette pick a script and font size that will fit on the bottom part of the photo. The settings I used are shown below:

Text Options

Select a color for your font. Click on the canvas and type out your text. My finished product is shown below:

What is That?