A collage, at least in the photographic environment, is a group of pictures assembled in such a way that a broad story is shown. Individual images might show various aspects of a family holiday - the children, parents, beach, hotel, food, swimming pool, aircraft at the airport, swimming in the sea etc etc. However, when all the pictures are brought together in an attractive and coherent manner, the broad story of a family holiday is revealed. Individual pictures can be arranged in a regular grid or placed on an appropriate background in any position that seems appropriate. The images do not have to be of similar size, and some can be black-and-white or different shapes. There are no rules.
Another approach is to gather together numerous images (perhaps 20 - 30) of different parts of a single subject such as a garden. The pictures are then aseembled so that they show the whole garden as a single image. It does not matter that adjacent images do not register perfectly. The component pictures can be overlapped and positioned at any angle to give an impression of the whole scene. If small gaps remain in the final composite image this merely serves to add character to the result. Some of the images can also be reproduced in black-and-white, or changed appropriately in colour to emphasise certain areas or aspects of the garden. The complete composite image may be of any shape and have irregular edges, but can be placed on to a single image or other appropriate background so that the final result is rectangular.
Collages can be created by electronic means by uploading a series of images to an internet-based print company, many of which offer standard layouts or patterns for various types of collage.