Creating a Clipping Mask
Here are easy steps to follow when inserting images into templates using a clipping mask.
There are a few different ways you can place a photo into a template that doesn’t already have a clipping mask. However, the easiest way to get your photo into the template placeholder that you would like without knowing its exact dimension is to create a clipping mask.
Creating a clipping mask:
1. Open both your template and your photo that you would like to place in the template with Photoshop.
2. Go to your layers pallet of the template. Select (highlight) the photo placeholder that you’re intending your image to be placed.
3. Next, select your image file and drag and drop your photo onto the template. Drag and drop the photo directly over the photo placeholder on the template that you will be placing your image into.
4. When looking at your layers pallet of the template, your photo layer that you just dragged over should be directly above of the photo placeholder layer. If not, you are able to select your photo layer and move it directly above the placeholder layer that you are placing your image into.
5. Now you are ready to create a clipping mask:
Select the photo layer that you placed above the photo placeholder. Choose Layer> and click on create clipping mask.
After you have the selected image placed above the placeholder/image box, press and hold Ctrl+ Alt + G (pc) or Command + Option + G (mac)
*this also works to release the clipping mask
6. This will then put the photo behind/inside the photo placeholder. On your layers pallet, next to your photo layer you should see a downward pointing arrow. This means you have successfully created a clipping mask.
7. Now you are able to transform the photo by using free transform. You will achieve this by pressing control + T (pc) or command + T (mac). You should see the photo handles appear around the photo. While holding shift you can drag the corner handle in and out to get the photo to the size you need it. Be sure to hold down the shift key to ensure you do not distort your original image.
You can also hold down the Alt and the shift key to increase or decrease the image size from the center rather than the corner.
For further assistance you can always consult your Help option in Photoshop. You will find other ways of placing images onto your templates along with help making other elements changes such as text and colors.