Friday, September 02, 2016

Review of FotoJet: Cloud-Based Collage, Design, Photo-Editing

I'm always looking for cloud-based programs to help me with graphics. My favorite photo-editing program continues to be PicMonkey (, but it's pretty limited when it comes to doing more than photo-editing and collages.

Plus, most of PicMonkey's best features are "premium" and so if I want to create a Zombie Apocalypse of last year's Tulsa Oktoberfest, I'm out of luck unless I pony up the $39.99 per year it costs. Granted, that's not a lot of money, but it adds up, and I have to actually use PicMonkey to get the value for my investment.

Fotojet's a little different ( First of all, it's free. It's somewhat limited, but adding new templates and features seemingly every day.  While it does not have all the cool fonts and design themes (Backyard Cookout, Stars & Stripes, Baby, and Vampires, just to name a few), nor does it have built-in beautifying touchups, it does work well with templates for social media.

It's designed to make your social media have a lot more impact through graphic appeal, and the Facebook and Instagram templates also work well for blog posts and LinkedIn.

Fotojet is also perfect for creating albums and materials for your scrapbooks or collages, and instead of having to host it on Fotojet, you can download the graphics in a number of formats.

I thought I'd try out Fotojet's Collage, Design, and Editing functions to see how they worked on a few of my photos.

Here's a quick collage I made of the a vacation to Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico. It was a snap to use the online editor to add text.

I used the Design tool to create a header for a social media post, or a digital postcard. It was very simple - I just uploaded my photo to the tool, and started to play.

While exploring the various templates, I happened across a new one on Collages. It is one that allows you to create a comics-themed or graphic novel of your experience. It's quirky and cute, and reminds me a lot of PicMonkey's Comics themed fonts, clip art, etc. What I like about FotoJet is that it introduces a design that helps you keep the process quick and the results uncluttered and professional. As you can see, you have quite a few to choose from. Use of the templates is free, but you must be a registered user.

I played around with the photo editor. In this one, I made the background black and white, and then restored color to my face and neck. Drama on a bleak, winter day. It gave it a Wuthering Heights feel in my opinion. I like it.

In this one, I wanted to emphasize the Wild West feel of the town of Pawnee, Oklahoma, and give the composition a grounded feeling, while also adding a bit of energy and focus. So, I combined a few effects. I like the results! My feeling is that the changes were subtle, but they add an element of interest and visual dynamcs.

Look closely at the building in the background. It was built in the early 1900s and the building stone consists of sandstone bricks. Unfortunately, the 5.6-magnitude Sept 3, 2016 earthquake damaged the buildings. I'm hoping that they will be restored.
 Finally, I returned to the collage tool to see what I could do with more photos of my New Year's Eve in Lo de Marcos, Mexico. It took very little time, particularly since I did not edit or enhance the photos themselves -- I just took them directly from my phone.
I'm very excited about Fotojet, and it will be my "go-to" tool for collages and social media templates. I'm eager to see what new templates will emerge. As far as I can tell, Fotojet is adding a template or two every week or so. It's easy, fun, and free -- and, the images inspire me to write stories, add posts to my social media, and think of the "same old - same old" from a new vantage point.

I love cloud-based tools because I consider them to be true creativity-enhancers and triggers for innovative thought.

And, I have not even gotten into how they can be used in the workplace to create a spirit of unity and enthusiasm!

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