Photos

Canva makes it easy to add photos to your design. Choose from a collection of quality stock images from our library or upload your own photos for a personalized touch. You can also get creative with magnificent photo effects to make your photos beautiful and breathtaking.


Search for photos

With over a million of (free and premium) images in the Canva library, you are free to choose and use them on your design.

To search for a photo:

  1. Go to Search.
  2. Type in any relevant keyword and browse through the results provided.
  3. Click or drag-and-drop the image you like to add it to your design.



Tip: You can add an image on a Grid or a Frame too for a more appealing way to place your images in.

If you’re on a budget and want to be sure to use only free elements, you can search for free photos in the Canva library. Free elements have a small FREE label in the bottom corner of the image when you search for them.

 

Free photos

To search for free photos:

  1. Go to the Elements tab.
  2. Click on the Free Photos album.
  3. Drag and drop or click on the photo to add it to your design.

Free elements have a small FREE label in the bottom corner of the image when you search for them. Once you add it into your design, this label will disappear.

Uploading photos

More than 300 million photos are uploaded on social media platforms everyday. In Canva, we can help you create personalized designs that stand out by uploading your own photos through the steps below:

  1. Go to the Uploads tab.
  2. Click the Upload an image (green) button or drag an image from your desktop.
  3. Select a file to upload. Canva supports uploading images in JPEG, PNG, or SVG formats. Uploaded files must also each be under 25mb, and use the RGB colorspace.
  4. Click or drag and drop the photo to add it to your design.



 

Photo file requirements

Canva supports uploading images in JPEG, PNG and SVG file formats.

Each of the uploaded files must also be under 25mb, and use the RGB colorspace. Files using the CMYK colorspace, commonly used for professional printing, is unsupported in our app at the moment.

Note: If the file you want to upload has a transparent background, make sure you upload it in PNG or SVG file formats.

Deleting a photo

We store all of your uploaded images in one place, and you can see them by going to the Uploads tab. If your uploads are starting to get a little cluttered, you can always remove any uploaded photos you are not using or delete a photo from a design.

To delete uploaded photos:

From your design 

  1. Click on the photo to select.
  2. Click the trash bin icon from the option panel.



 

From your uploads folder 

  1. Go to the Uploads tab.
  2. Scroll through to find the photo you would like to delete and hover your cursor above it to make the information button (a small letter “i” in a circle at the corner of your upload) appear.
  3. Click the “i” button and an information pane will appear below your upload.
  4. Click on the Trash bin icon/delete button to remove the uploaded image from your uploads folder.

Note: Once you delete the photo from the uploads folder, the photo will be permanently deleted.

Layering photos

A photo background can add a lot of personality to your design. You have the option of layering images (Canva’s or your own) on top of each other and the ability to sort and move layers. Overlaying a second, semi-transparent background on top of a photo background can result to a stunning and dramatic effect.

To layer photos in your design:

  1. Go to Grids folder and select the first grid.
  2. Choose your photo background. Drag and drop the photo into the editor.
  3. Add another grid.
  4. Click on the second photo and place it inside the grid.
  5. You can resize and move the photo in the editor accordingly.



  

Crop and resize photos

You want to crop a photo down in size, but you do not want to keep the aspect ratio the same as the original photo (so when you crop, the photo will be smaller in size, but will either be stretched wider or taller than the original one.

To crop and resize photos with unlocked aspect ratio:

  1. Double click the image you wish to crop.
  2. Press-and-hold the Shift key, grab a corner point, and drag inward to resize the image.
  3. Once you've finished cropping, just click the check mark.

 

Flip Photos

You can get a new perspective on your designs by flipping them vertically or horizontally.

To flip a photo:

  1. Click the photo to select and to reveal the edit menu.
  2. Click the expand arrow at the far right end of the edit menu.
  3. Click either Flip Horizontally or Flip Vertically and your photo will do a quick flip.

 

NoteRemember, you can only flip photos. Other elements like illustrations and text can’t be flipped.

Transparency

In Canva, you can adjust the transparency of any element including photos. By adjusting the transparency of a photo, you’ll be able to see through other elements that are underneath it.

To apply transparency to a photo:

  1. Click on the element you’d like to make transparent.
  2. Click the expand arrow on the far right-hand corner of the edit menu to show advanced options.
  3. Look for the Transparency option and click on it to open the transparency slider.
  4. Drag the slider to the left to make the photo increasingly transparent.



Photo filters

Touch up your photos online by adding trendy photo filters to any photo from our image library or any photo you upload to give your design some artistic flair.

To add filters to your photo: 

  1. Click on a photo element to select it and open its edit menu.
  2. Press Filter on the left-hand side of the edit menu to open the filter menu.
  3. Choose from several preconfigured photo filters shown in the menu bar. Click on the filter you wish to apply.
  4. Alternatively you can experiment with all the photo filters by clicking the Advanced options arrow to reveal all the filter options.

 

 

Filter styles

Along the top of the filter menu you’ll see several preconfigured photo filters to choose from, such as “Cali,” “Drama,” “Epic,” and more. Each filter has a preview of what your photo will look like, and you can click the preview to apply the filter to your photo. Click the scroll arrows on either side of the preview images to scroll through more photo filters. 

 

Advanced filter options

You can customize the preconfigured filters such as its Brightness and Contrast. To do so, click on the Advanced options arrow. There’s an endless variety of looks you can create by adjusting these sliders. For more information on how to use these sliders to help boost your designs, check out our Design School blog.

 

 

Change to normal

After applying photo filters or adjusting the filter sliders, click Normal to revert back to the original photo. This will restore all of the filters to zero, and bring the photo element back to its original state.



Copy filter code

If you have created a truly inspiring photo filter you’d like to save for later or apply to other elements, you can save all your slider configurations by copying the element’s filter code.

To find the filter code, open the filter menu and click on the advanced options arrow. Click on the box marked Filter code # at the bottom to highlight the code, then press Ctrl/Command + C to copy it.

 

Paste filter code

To apply the filter code to other elements, open up the filter menu in the same way, click on the Filter code # box, and then press Ctrl/Command + V to paste the code into the element.

 

Troubleshooting

Unable to upload photos

Make sure to check if your design edits are all saved by opening the design in another tab. Retry uploading your photos after each action:

  1. Logout of Canva then login again.
  2. Try a different browser.

If the above tips didn't work, you can also clear your browser history including the cache and cookies. Please do note that uploaded files must be under 25 mb, png or jpeg, and use the RGB colorspace.

 

The photo snaps as a background image

When you drag a photo into your background and it automatically replaces the background, it's possible you have a grid or a frame on your design. You may have also selected a layout that contains a grid or a frame.

To fix this, simply delete the grid or frame. Click to select a photo or drag and drop the photo you would like to use into the editor. You can then select the photo and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the photo manually. You can also press Shift and an arrow key to move the photo greater distances across your design.

 

Hi there,

Thanks for your message, I'd be glad to help with that!

There are free options in every type of element including, but not limited to, shapes, photographs, and illustrations.

Elements that are free will have a white FREE box in the corner of the image when you search for them.

The following Help Centre article shows you how to search for free elements:

How do I search for free elements?

At this time, it is not possible to filter out only free elements. The Canva team is always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you like, you can suggest the ability of filtering free elements in the following link (I'm positive our team will consider it for future updates):

Suggest a feature or idea

I hope this helps, please do let me know if you require any further assistance at this time!

Hi there,

Thanks for your message, I'd be glad to help with that!

There are free options in every type of element including, but not limited to, shapes, photographs, and illustrations.

Elements that are free will have a white FREE box in the corner of the image when you search for them.

The following Help Centre article shows you how to search for free elements:

How do I search for free elements?

At this time, it is not possible to filter out only free elements. The Canva team is always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you like, you can suggest the ability of filtering free elements in the following link (I'm positive our team will consider it for future updates):

Suggest a feature or idea

I hope this helps, please do let me know if you require any further assistance at this time!

Hi {{ticket.requester.first_name}},

Thank you for reaching out and for using Canva!

Our image library is full of elements that you can use in your designs. At the same time, you can give your designs a personal touch by uploading your own photos through the steps below:

  1. On the editor, click the Uploads tab on the far left side of the screen, then press the green button called Upload your own images.
  2. Select a file to upload. Canva supports uploading images in JPEG, PNG, or SVG formats. Uploaded files must also each be under 25mb, and use the RGB colorspace.
  3. Drag and drop the photo into your design.

Feel free to check out this article from our Help Center for more details:

How do I upload my photos?

I hope this helps and feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions.

Hey {{ticket.requester.first_name}},

Thank you for reaching out and for using Canva!

Canva allows you to upload your own images in JPEG, PNG or SVG files up to 25MB in size with RGB colorspace. Files using the CMYK colorspace are not yet supported.

If you have any other questions, just let me know!

Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out to us, I'd be glad to help you with this!

If your uploads are starting to get a little cluttered, you can create photo folders or you can always remove any uploaded elements you’re not using.

You can view your uploads by clicking the Uploads tab on the left-hand side of the screen. Browse through your uploads to find an element you’d like to remove, and hover your mouse cursor above it to reveal the information button (a small letter “i” in a circle at the corner of your upload).

Click the information button and an information pane will then appear below your upload. Then click the delete button to remove the upload from your Canva account.

The screenshots for the above process can be found in the following Help Centre article:

How do I delete an uploaded image?

I hope this helps, please do let me know if you have any further enquiries!

Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out to us, I'd be glad to show you how to select different layers of a design!

Simply hover your mouse over the element you want to access. Afterwards, repeatedly press Command and click on your mouse at the same time until you have access to a specific element on a different layer.

The more you press Command and click, the more you will be able to access a lower layer in your design.

I hope this helps, please let me know if there's anything else I can assist you with!

Hi {{ticket.requester.first_name}},

Thanks for your message and for using Canva! Hope you're having a great time!

To add a grid to your design, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on the Elements Tab located on the left part of the page.
  2. Open the 'Grids' folder, the 2nd folder on the top part.
  3. Click or drag the grid to your page once you've selected one.
  4. Add photos to your grid. You can add images from our library or you can also upload your own photos.

You can check out this article for more details.

 

Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out to us, I'd be glad to help with this!

You can certainly adjust the transparency of any element in Canva. By adjusting the transparency of an element, you’ll be able to see through the element to the background or other elements that are below it.

Here's how to go about doing so:

  • Click on the element you’d like to make transparent.
  • Click the expand arrow on the far right-hand corner of the edit menu to show advanced options.
  • Look for the transparency button and click on it to open the transparency slider.
  • Drag the slider to the left to make the element increasingly transparent. 

For screenshots of this process, please have a look in the following Help Centre article:

How do I change the opacity of an element or make it transparent?

I hope this helps, please do let me know if you have any further questions!

Hi {{ticket.requester.first_name}},

Thanks for your message and for using Canva!

Here's how to add a hyperlink to an element in your design:

  1. Click on the element. This selects an element and opens its edit menu.
  2. Click the expand arrow to show advanced options, then press the link button.
  3. Type or paste the URL, then hit enter from your keyboard.

For a step-by-step guide, you can check out this article in our Help Center:
How do I add a hyperlink to my design?

Hyperlinks will work only with PDFs. This is because the universal PNG/JPEG format doesn't allow for embedded links.

We're continuing to look at other ways we can make it easier to share designs with links on the Web, so please stay tuned!

In the meantime, feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions.

Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out to us, I'd be glad to help you with that!

Please follow the steps below to add photo filters to your design:

  1. Click on a photo element to select it and open its edit menu.
  2. Press Filter on the left-hand side of the edit menu to open the filter menu.
  3. Along the top of the filter menu you’ll see several preconfigured Photo filters to choose from.
  4. Alternatively you can experiment with all the photo filters by clicking the Advanced options arrow to reveal all the filter options.

If you'd like to know more about filters (for example, how to apply the same exact filter across different photos), please visit the following Help Centre article:

How do I add photo filters?

I hope this helps, please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any further questions!

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