A contact sheet is a selection of images on one page from which clients can choose their favourites, either for final editing or for print.
It is often better to create a contact sheet rather than show individual images as it allows for easy comparison between images, making the selection process easier. Underneath each photograph there is an identifying number or name.
The first step when making a contact sheet is to ensure all the images you want to include are in one folder, or if you’re using Lightroom, that they are flagged appropriately. This will make it easier for you when you come to select your files later on.
Creating a contact sheet in Bridge
More recent versions of Photoshop no longer feature the contact sheet plugin, however, it’s still available to download from Adobe. Rather than using the Photoshop plugin, though, you could use the contact sheet facility that Adobe have added to Bridge. To create a contact sheet in Bridge, go to Windows > Workspace > Output. This will open the contact sheet window. From here you can navigate to your image folder and select the format of your contact sheet, the layout, background colour, and typeface. You can choose to save the contact sheet as a PDF and select a low or high image quality depending on whether the PDF is be viewed on-screen or printed.
You also have the option of creating a web-friendly gallery of your images, onto which you can put your name, contact details, and any information about the images.
Creating a contact sheet in Lightroom
In Lightroom, select the print module then select Single Image/Contact Sheet under Layout Style. Then simply select all of your images by clicking Edit > Select All. Once all of the images are selected, choose one of the preset templates from the Template Browser on the left-hand side. You can then use the tools in the Layout panel to fine-tune your contact sheet. The margins, page grid, cell spacing, and cell size can all be adjusted for easy viewing. Experiment with these settings until you are happy with the page layout.
- If want to print the contact sheet then scroll to Print One at the bottom of the window.
- If want to save the contact sheet for future printing or for web/email use, go to Draft Mode Printing box in the Print Job panel, then click on the Print… button at the bottom of the window, and in the Print dialog select PDF. When you press Print, Lightroom will create and save a PDF of the contact sheet.
- Model: Diana R
- Makeup: Leah Mabe
- Hair: Tomoyuki
- Styling: Krishan Parmar
If you’ve dreamed of working in the fashion photo industry or simply want to learn how to shoot edgy, fun fashion photos, Lara Jade’s Fashion Photography 101 is full of technical advice to improve your images, as well as practical, insider information on how to contact models, build your portfolio, and navigate the challenges involved in dealing with agencies.