Grouping together multiple images into one layered Photoshop document

As digital artists the one thing we do way too much is spend time in front of the computer. With the countless hours we spend in Lightroom and Photoshop automating things as much as we can is a huge way to save time. The more time we can save on the computer the more time we can be out there shooting or just spending time with our family. Since I shoot a lot of weddings I also create a good amount of wedding albums every year. One small thing that has saved me a lot of time in Photoshop is the Load files into stacks command.

What exactly does this option do? It’s an easy way to group together multiple images into one layered Photoshop document. For me when I design albums I will first open up a blank canvas or sometimes a prior album design to use as a starting point. I already have the top images narrowed down that I want to use in the design. I’ll select the images that will work together on the page and open them in Photoshop. Then i’ll normally do just a little more retouching or touchup to make sure the image is just right for the photo. Now I need to move all of the images on to my album page. I might have up to 10 images and don’t want to drag and drop each image over to the album page. Instead i’ll use the Load files into stacks option. Click on the File –> Scripts –> Load Files into stacks.. This opens up the following dialog box where you can do a few different things. For my flow I will

Since I want to group together all of the files that I have open i’ll select the Add open files button. This adds all open files into the center box. Next i’ll click the file name of the page and then click the remove button. I do this since the page I am using is usually a layered file with a background already or other layers I want to keep for reference. Now click OK and let Photoshop go to work. This will create a new file with each one of the photos as their own layer (with the filename as the layer name which is really helpful).

Now you can quickly select the layers in this new doc and drag and drop them all into the main page layout. This also works great and even faster if you already have your photos edited. When you open up the Load Files into stacks menu just click on the browse button to browse and select your images. Quick and easy! I hope this helps some of you out, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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