How to edit your calendar
1. Clean up the backdrops
Open each start file in Elements, and select the background with the Quick Selection tool. Click Refine Edge, and tidy up the selection around detailed areas, such as hair, with the Refine Radius and Erase Refinements tools. Go to Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Levels, click the White Point eyedropper, and click in the darkest shadow to turn the entire backdrop white.
2. Brighten and crop
Use a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer to tweak the exposure and contrast of each image. Select the Crop tool, choose Use Photo Ratio from the Crop Preset menu, and apply a tighter crop. Go to Layer > Flatten Image then go to Enhance > Unsharp Mask and set Amount to 65% and Radius to 2.4 pixels. Repeat these two steps for the rest of the images.
3. Create the front cover
To create the front cover for our calendar we’ll arrange our 12 edited images in a grid. Create a new A4 landscape document. Take the Rectangle tool, select Square from the Geometry options menu, and draw a square, adjusting the size so you can fit 12 squares in a 4×3 grid. Open the Effects panel, select Strokes from the menu and add a stroke to the square. Alt-click-and-drag the shape layer to create 12 copies. Add each image to the document as a separate layer.
4. Build a grid
In the Layers panel move each image layer above the square layer you want to place it inside; to make this easier hide all the image layers you’re not using, then unhide each layer in turn. Alt-click the line between the first image layer and its square layer to create a clipping mask, so the image is only revealed within the square. Target the image layer, click Show Bounding Box and scale the image to fit the square. Repeat for each of the images.
With all 13 images open go to Create > Photo Calendar. Select your start month and year, and choose whether you want to print the calendar yourself or use an online service. Make sure Autofill is checked, choose a theme and click OK. You can change the size and position of an image by double-clicking it and using the available tools. To replace an image, open the Photo Bin, and click-and-drag a new image onto the calendar.
6. Customise the design
You can change the layout and graphics using the panel on the right-hand side. Click Graphics to see all the photo frames, backgrounds and graphics you can add to your calendar; to apply an effect simply double-click its thumbnail with the appropriate layer selected. Work your way through each month and don’t forget to save your calendar as you go along.