Flowing Portraits With A Teacher Inset

We know one of our users' favorite layout tricks is flowing a class with a larger teacher photo. There are a few different ways to achieve this look. 

Creating portrait pages is a breeze in Pictavo – they can be created even before receiving your school’s portraits from your photographer! Just place a portrait grid on a page, adjust its size and style and flow portraits into it. Then save your grid settings or save the entire page as a template and use it over and over!


In order for a teacher’s portrait to be larger than the students’ portraits in the class, Pictavo first needs to identify the portrait’s role.

Start the process by uploading your portrait database if you haven’t already done so. You’ll find detailed instructions to upload portraits here. Open the Photos panel, click Manage My Photos and choose Portrait Database to edit the teacher’s information. You can also get there from Manage Photos on the Dashboard.


Click on the teacher’s portrait and notice the Portrait Information appearing in the lower portion of the Portraits panel. Change the role which is currently “Student” to “Teacher”.

Now you are ready to place two portrait grids on the page – one for Mr. Johnson and one for the students. Let’s start with Mr. Johnson!

Go to the page where you’d like to create your first portrait grid (in this case, the page for Mr. Johnson’s class). Click the Add Portrait Grid icon to add an empty portrait grid to the page.

Using Portrait Grid Settings, change the column and row count to one and one. This will create a 1x1 portrait grid for Mr. Johnson. Move the single box grid wherever you’d like the teacher to appear on your page.

Click the Group icon and click on Choose Flow Group and find Mr. Johnson’s group within the list.

Expand the Change Flow Order section.

Place a checkmark next to Include Teacher and any other roles that need to be flowed with this group.
NOTE: When “Before Students” is chosen, the roles will flow in this order: Principal, Administrator, Teacher, Assistant, and Student. When “After…” is chosen, this order is reversed.

Click Flow Portraits and the group that has just been flowed will now appear under Partially Flowed Groups.
NOTE: Do NOT select “Flow this entire group to multiple pages.” or a 1x1 grid will be flowed on the following pages in your book until the entire group is flowed.

A Portrait Save Warning will let you know that the page will need to be saved first and that you will not be able to undo any previous edits; click Save.

To change the font, size and color of your text and specify whether you want the first name or last name to appear first, click on Portrait Text Settings.

Design tip: Add borders and drop shadows to portraits using Effects. You can also change the shape of all portraits in a grid by dragging and dropping a shape on it.

Add another portrait grid to your page to flow the class into. It looks wrong -- don’t panic -- it’s part of the process!

Using the Portrait Grid Settings menu, change rows, columns, name placement and spacing as you wish. If you want to use the same grid design on future pages, click the box next to Remember My Changes for Future Portrait Flows.

When you’re ready to add portraits to your grid, click on the grid, then Portrait Flow Settings and Choose Flow Group. Choose the flow group (e.g. grade or homeroom) to be placed in the grid. In this case, the students in Mr. Johnson’s homeroom are listed in Partially Flowed Groups. Once the group is flowed entirely, it will be under Flowed Groups.

If the students won’t fit on one page, check the box to Flow the entire group to multiple pages. Click Flow Portraits and a Portrait Save Warning will appear once more, click Save.

To create a place to inset the teacher portrait, you’ll need to edit the portrait grid. Select the portrait grid and click Edit or double-click to make the Edit Portrait menu appear.

This menu can be used to perform a variety of edits on a selected portrait. For example, if a name is misspelled, you can click on the person’s portrait and correct it. (The correction will also automatically update the student database.) In this instance, we’re only going to edit our grid. Each portrait will have a subtraction symbol in the corner. By clicking this symbol, that portrait box will become a ‘blank’ position. Select enough ‘blanks’ to create a spot large enough for the teacher.

If this group appears on more than one page, click the Reflow This Groups Portraits button, and the portraits will be reflowed accordingly.

Move the teacher into the space you’ve created for him and resize it if needed. The two portrait flows will be two separate elements that you can continue to move and adjust as you wish.

Congratulations on flowing a teacher portrait larger than the class! Save time and ensure design consistency on future portrait pages by saving your newly-created portrait page as a template. Read up on saving a page as a custom template here. Drag the saved template onto another page, flow the next teacher in to the larger (1 x 1) grid and the students in to the student’s grid. Before you know it, you’ll have all of your portrait pages designed!


By adding a teacher portrait into your candids album, you will be able to place the image on the page wherever you’d like. Copying the portrait to candids will not place a name with the portrait automatically as it does with flowing portraits from the portrait database. 

Navigate to your Portrait Database. You can get to Portraits from Manage Photos on the Dashboard or if you are on a page click Photos, Manage My Photos and then Portrait Database.


For this example we’ll use the Johnson homeroom. The first thing to do is locate the teacher. You can do this by searching using the magnifying glass in the top left or by looking in the folder that contains your staff. (Sometimes called Staff, STA, FAC, Faculty, Teachers, etc.)

Select the teacher, in this case Johnson.

Use the Copy to Candids button in the top bar.
Pro Tip: You can copy multiple people to Candids at once. If you can recognize your schools teaching staff well enough via their portraits, go ahead and select as many teachers as you need and copy them at once. This will save the hassle of going back to the Portrait Database to copy them one at a time.

A message will display indicating that portraits have been copied over successfully.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to include teachers in the staff portrait flow, with the teacher’s portrait selected you can click into their homeroom or grade and manually type in something like “Added Manually” or “Staff2” to remove them from the staff group.

Once you’ve got them copied over, that’s all you need to do in the database! Pull up the page designer and go to the page you wish to flow your students on to. Once you are on the page, click the Add Portrait Grid button.

Using the Portrait Grid Settings menu, change rows, columns, name placement and spacing as you wish. If you want to use the same grid design on future pages, click the box next to Remember My Changes For Future Portrait Flows

When you’re ready to add pictures to your portrait grid, click on the grid and then the Portrait Flow Settings icon (the two person icon) and then Choose Flow Group.

Choose the group to be placed in the grid (e.g. grade or homeroom). In this case, we’ll choose the students in Johnson’s homeroom.

A Portrait Save Warning will let you know that the page will need to be saved first and that you will not be able to undo any previous edits. Once the group is flowed, it will no longer appear as an option under Choose Flow Group and instead will be under Flowed Groups.

To get the teacher on to the page click Photos on the left.

Open Candids, and then go to the Copied From Portraits album.

In here you will find the teachers portrait and you can treat it just like a regular candid image. You can drag it on to the page and resize it however you’d like.

At this point, how you layout the page is up to you. There are many ways to make teacher/student spreads. You could place the teacher above the students.

You could mark off space in the portrait grid using the Edit button,

Followed by clicking the Minus icon on individual portraits,

To make room for your teacher within the grid itself.

There are many pre-built and customizable snippets you could place the teacher into! Look for Snippets under the Art panel. Here are a few to get you started:  J5S4492, J5S4497, J5S4502, H4S4288, H4S4305, H6S4161, H6S4162, J9S4602, J9S4603, J9S4630, J3S4442, J3S4455, J3S4457.

With Pictavo’s sophisticated portrait flowing system, your portrait pages will be easier and faster than ever to design.