I kinda like silhouettes to fill in spaces. Especially on a project like yours, where you already have many photos for graphics to compete with.
Pixabay offers free graphics, photos, clip art - but be careful because interspersed are graphics you must pay for. It’s easy to tell, though. When you click on a graphic, it will say “free” or list a price.
If the silhouette (or any other graphic/clipart) is a jpg instead of a png, select the background and delete. To drop something on a project and not have a box of white around it, it will need to be a png with transparency around the object.
To get transparency from a jpg, look to the layers panel, if it says “background” it will first need to be changed to a regular layer. Drag lock to trashcan and it will turn into layer 0. (If you delete on a background layer, the result of your deletion will be the background color, not transparency so changing a background layer to a regular layer is step one.).
Select the area around the graphic (I prefer the magic wand for this type of selection) - and hit delete. You will know you did this correctly if the result is the checkerboard that denotes transparency.
Once the background is deleted, you can save the clip art as a png for future use.
You can also use blending to make a jpg graphic “blend” into your project, but it’s often cleaner to use a png.
So this is where I am at so far. I thought about incorporating a silhouette, but I thought it looked too similar to the actual photos. I used this baseball graphic, but I noticed it turned a couple of the seams black. I need to go back through and make sure all of the drop shadows on the names match. Other than that, I still need a few more pics of the kids. Thoughts? Be honest.
The light title against the light part of your gradient is not working for me. Since you seem to prefer your lighter title, how about trying a slightly darker background behind your title. I’m still convinced a plain solid color background with either texture or muted brushstrokes would work. (That may well be because I’m not much of a fan of gradients as backgrounds.)
And I agree with you, a silhouette would not work as well as a graphic does, but for some reason that baseball doesn’t do it for me. It seems so unanchored floating there all alone. However, I don’t have a better idea for a graphic, but maybe the answer is as simple as putting “baseball” on one side and “2019” on the other.
Someone once mentioned they thought the shadows on your photos were a little too strong, and now I’m starting to see that. Maybe try less strong shadows.
As always, it’s personal preference. There is no right or wrong with a project like this. There is only what appeals to the designer himself. That’s what I love about PSE - the ability to try different ideas to see what catches ones eye.
To revisit the idea of people wanting to frame the finished project - is your project a standard frame size?
I see you have incorporated a very thin stroke frame on each photo now. It’s looking good. Unlike Janice I don’t mind gradients as backgrounds but I agree with her in feeling that the light text doesn’t work so well against the light part of the gradient. I also would reduce the opacity of the shadows as they are a bit strong.
The baseball graphic doesn’t look great either IMHO. Janice’s suggestion of putting the Baseball text on one side and the Date on the other side in place of the baseball graphic sounds good to me. Again it’s how you feel about all this that counts. We all have our own ideas, likes and dislikes and there is no wrong or right here.
I inverted the gradient, and turned down the opacity on the drop shadows. But when I try to incorporate the mascot logo, I can't see it on my picture. I've tried it with both .png and .jpg. I should be able to see it because I'm dragging it to just above the gradient layer. It inserts a new layer, but it seems there's nothing there. As far as going to an 8x10 for framing purposes, I wonder, do people frame anything anymore? I know I do, and photographers probably do. I've been doing acrylics lately. But it seems like all anyone does anymore is post things on social media. So that's why I went to a 2x3 ration (24x36 in this case).
Again, thanks for all of the help. When I first started my job, 18 years ago, I would ask co-workers questions about what to do in certain situations. They would say "It's up to you." I would think, "It can't be up to me, if I don't even know what my options are." Moral of the story, if all I know is all I know, then all I know is all I will EVER know. So I appreciate everyone giving me more options, and increasing "what I know".
I was thinking about the background and thought that maybe a photo of a lovely blue sky might look good. This one I've used here is available in the Graphics tab within PSE. I just gave it a touch of HSL to bring out the blues a bit more and a levels adjustment to brighten the clouds. Images from pixabay, kisspng and yopriceville