As photographers – and even regular daily users, we often need to combine multiple images into one. Whether it be a collage, a flyer design, or a panorama. But how to put 2 photos together on iPhone? That’s precisely what we’re going to show you in this article.
We will even delve into merging images on the iPad and show you some of the hottest photo editing apps available on AppStore. Get ready to give your camera roll a new life, and let’s jump straight in.
How to Combine Photos on iPhone Using Shortcuts
The Shortcuts app by Apple has been around since iOS 12. However, it was only with iOS 13 that the app made its way to be preinstalled on iDevices. Whether you have it or not, you can get it for free on the AppStore if your device runs iOS 12 or later.
What does it do, then? The Shortcuts app is, in essence, an intuitive and quick way to set up custom workflows and automation. In other words, your iPhone can now perform various programmed processes. In this particular example, we’re going to use Shortcuts to merge together recent screenshots. But it can be used for anything from performing repetitive tasks to complex workflows that seamlessly integrate with a vast number of services, platforms, apps, utilizing their specific features.
To get started, simply search in-app for the pre-made shortcut called Combine Screenshots and Share. There are scores of pre-configured shortcuts available, but this one should do the trick.
For the sake of this experiment, I simply took a screenshot of the app itself as a starting point. As you can see, the images get combined horizontally. If we repeat the process, we end up with a long line made from the original screenshot – now on a black background.
Hot to Place 2 Photos Together on iPhone With Apps
Using the above method is fine if we’re just looking to mash together two photos side by side. But what if we want to do something a bit more crazy? This is where actual photo editing apps from third parties come in handy. Luckily, there is a deluge of excellent quality creative iPhone apps of all kinds on the AppStore.
Many of the said apps are designed to create collages and edit photos – just what we need. However, there are also specific apps for sorting out your Instagram grid. But wait, there is more. Remember Apple’s native Shortcuts app? There is actually a shortcut named Split Image Equally. Shoutout to Reddit user u/Joe_Soap for making this happen. With this shortcut, we can choose the number of rows and columns, and then the result is exported straight to the Camera Roll. Oh, and Shortcuts plays well with Siri, allowing for complex tasks through verbal commands.
Combining Photos Using Free iPhone Apps
While there are countless fantastic paid apps for editing and combining photos on iOS, many offer a free trial. Alternatively, there is sometimes a free version that has in-app purchases to access premium features.
Just remember this: if you want to get a free trial but don’t intend to subscribe afterward, go immediately to your App Store app, tap Subscriptions, and cancel the one you don’t want. This way, you’ll still get the full free trial – but won’t be charged upon its conclusion.
First, let’s try the free Photoshop Express app by Adobe. Naturally, it’s not yet close to wielding the immense power of the desktop version of Photoshop. But with that said, it can do enough to let us create incredible images on the go.
Suppose you are serious about your venture as a photo editor or just really want to support the developers. In that case, hitting the buy, unlock pro version, or upgrade now buttons shouldn’t be entirely out of the picture. It’s often worth it to bite the bullet and get rid of ads by coughing up a couple of dollars.
Now, let’s import a few of our screenshots from Shortcuts and combine them in a PS Express collage. This enables all kinds of fancy layouts, but that’s not all. The mobile version of Photoshop also gives us themes, effects, adjustments, and much more. There is even a send to Photoshop function that lets us continue the project on the desktop.
Today, however, we’re mainly focusing on how to put 2 photos together on iPhone. We shall demonstrate and explain this by playing around with different collage layouts and exporting them for further processing. As you know, there is also the option of adding filters within the Instagram app.
The next app we tried was Live Collage. You’ll love it because it automatically adjusts the collage layout depending on the number of photos you import. It can make things easier to group your pictures in the photo library to ensure that they go well together. Although, leaving room for happy accidents could result in pleasant surprises.
Using (Mostly) Free iOS Apps for Combining Photos
Some of our favorite iPad and iPhone apps for editing photos are:
- PhotoStudio – a classic with some unique features
- Enlight – a fantastic free photo editing app
- VSCO – powerful and minimalistic raw editor
- Prisma – unique filters and effects
- Snapseed – another great all in one editor
- Glitch Lab – introduce some grit and distortion
- SKRWT – straighten out converging verticals with ease
- Pixlr – top-rated photo app for iPhone and Android
- Halide – powerful raw capture and edit
- Live Collage – create awesome collages in seconds
- Lightleap – fantastic photo editor with unique features
Most of the above are free with the option of upgrading. You might as well try out many different apps to find which ones have the features you are after and the best workflow for your taste. When you have multiple photo editing and collage apps, it’s possible to export them – and load from another app – meaning the possibilities are endless. After fooling around for just a few minutes with our initial screenshots of the Shortcuts app, here’s what I came up with.
The above example is created using 100% free photo editing apps practically in no time – and with zero professional training. In other words, you can definitely do it, too. Just experiment, iterate and have fun. It’s all digital, and the mistakes are free to make in a photo editing app. Within minutes, you too could have your photo album filled up with all sorts of interesting pictures.
Alright, perhaps not everyone wants to make an abstract-looking image that looks like a record sleeve from a german techno vinyl. Let’s try and put together something that’s still recognizable as everyday items and scenes – but in a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing way.
For this one, I used random mobile snaps and black and white photography from my Lightroom Mobile app. You can approach this as structured or as chaotic as you like. While having a plan is always good, creative play is sure to generate some pretty unique content.
Whether it be for Twitter, Instagram, or for a printed poster, everyone is empowered to create extraordinary images nowadays. Write now and edit later. Or rather, collage now – edit later.
Merging Photos on iPad
While the iPadOS looks very similar to the iPhone’s, there are specifically designed apps for it. Those won’t work on your phone unless there is a version for it. Also, we get the added benefit of the stunning, color-calibrated Retina display, which is a joy to work (and play) with.
All iPhone photo editing and collage apps will run on both devices, but if you want to take it up a notch, check out paid apps like ProCreate, ArtStudio, or ArtStudio Pro. The latter is even available as an iPhone version, and all three are fantastic tools capable of doing digital art at a professional level.
There are, of course, scores of other fantastic editing apps, but those two are amongst my favorites – and thousands of other users love them too. Also, it’s helpful to have an Apple Pencil, although it’s not at all necessary. Most of the more advanced apps, such as Art Studio, will let you work in layers and import a second photo or pre-made graphical elements.
The actual editing process slightly varies from one photo collage maker or photo editor to another. Usually, though, it goes something like this:
- Tap collage (or import)
- Select the images to include
- Choose your preferred layout
- Add some further tweaks to taste
- Export to your Camera Roll as png, jpeg, or pdf
More often than not, pic collage apps include several filters and effects that can be applied before the final export. That is if the ones in the Instagram app won’t cut it for you.
How to Stitch Together a Panorama on iPhone or iPad
Lastly, let’s touch on the topic of merging together a panorama photo on your iPhone. There is a native pano mode built straight into the camera app. This means easy panoramic shots without the need for any downloads or purchases. But what if we need to merge existing photos from our Camera Roll?
Thankfully, there is an abundance of apps for creating panoramas on the AppStore. Those include paid apps like DMD Panorama, Pano Owl, and Auto Stich Pic-Merge Panorama. While we would generally advise you to use Lightroom on your desktop for panoramas, the above options tend to produce natural-looking pano shots from discrete captures.
When you’re looking for a new app to try, it’s always helpful to check the user feedback, as reflected by the stars on the app page in the AppStore.
Honestly, we’ve not been able to find free panorama merging apps that produce reliable results, but your mileage may vary. We imagine that with artificial intelligence’s democratization, we will eventually see further improvements in this area.
As mentioned, there is a Lightroom CC app for iPhone, but it also works on Android, PC, and Mac. It’s worth pointing out that Lightroom even works in any current web browser. And we don’t even need to use Lightroom Classic for this, as there is now a fully working panorama feature in the CC version. Although, the panorama feature is not available on the mobile app yet.
When you’re done with your masterpiece, the easiest way to send iPhone photos to your Mac is AirDrop. The best option for PC and Android users is Air Trans, aka AirTrans. And Lightroom CC is available as a free app with Adobe’s Creative Cloud plan. Thankfully, CC comes with 1TB of storage – which can be further upgraded.
Needless to say, there are other full-fledged raw editing apps like Darkroom and Affinity Photo. But apps like Halide and VSCO can handle raw files, too. There are even pretty capable freebies like A Color Story and FILMM. No matter which tool you use, it’s possible to create something cool looking in no time and at any budget.
Now you not only know how to place 2 photos together on iPhone and iPad. You can also do it in many ways and with as few or many apps as you like. Combining photos on iPhone is much easier than it sounds, and there is a massive catalog to choose from when you need the best tool for the job.
Be careful, though, as editing and merging photos can be a bit of a rabbit hole. Having said that, it’s still a bit easier compared to getting videos from a computer onto an iPhone.
Remember to save your progress as you go, and consider eventually narrowing your selection down to a handful of favorite iPhone photo apps.
By the way, if you really want to fine-tune your Lightroom skills or even start from scratch, then I highly recommend that you check out this fantastic Lightroom training resource.
Lastly, to quote the dutch trio Noisia, ‘save as and save your ass.’ By having multiple copies of the project, you can always revert back if things go a bit too crazy (if there is such a thing.)