As an interior designer I have seen many family photo walls. New homes mean new starts and new family photo walls. Older homes on the other hand, sometimes have a time capsule of their family from a particular year. The family never updating the photos after hanging the frames on the wall.
I love seeing older photos of people...the bad hair from 20 years ago, a regrettable dress (am I talking about myself? Maybe....) or the perfect moment captured in time that makes your heart skip when you see it every time. But, they shouldn't all be old. Only a select few.
Or, like many… you are in a new home and just starting out, with no artwork to hang. A family photo wall is great because you start with what you already have!…a phone or camera full of wonderful memories just begging to come to life.
There are so many things to consider when you start the process. The style of the photos, the size of the photos, do you want a matted photo or a full cover photo? Will they all be color or black and white? How will they be framed? How will they be spaced? Will they be in a line, a grid or hap hazard? Will I kill my partner or break into tears after I hang the frames and they aren’t right? Been there, done that…It happens! Etc, etc , ….etcetera!! I could write a blog on each of these topics but for now, I will stick with the editing of the photo because I feel that is the most important part.
Not only do images become dated but the way we hang them becomes dated too. So let me show you some easy ways to get a modern look and style for your family photo wall which will elevate your home decor.
First, let’s tackle the photograph. Always remember…cropping is your friend! You can take an average photo and just by cropping the subject, you can get an amazing finished product. See the negative space in these photos? The way the baby is all the way at the bottom of the image? The way the girl is set to the right side of the image? This adds visual interest. The actual photos are pretty basic but it is the way the images have been cropped and enlarged along with the simple, more modern frame that makes these family photos more artistic and modern.
This imperfection of this image is...well....perfect. The messy hair, the sand on his arm, the fact that he isn't looking at the camera all make this a perfect example of being lost in a moment. I can almost smell the salt air. Stay away from the posed, stayed, boring images. They aren't the fun memorable moments that we look back on with fondness. Remember...joyful. Not fluorescent lighting and a fake backdrop.
Being fun and playful is always good. This photo is just different which is what draws me to it. I like that it is unexpected in a family photo wall. It breaks up all of the images into something different. The family members are all still involved in this image. This is just a good change of pace. I am sure you have a few of these on your phone. The only thing I would change is that I would have left more negative space at the top by showing more untouched sand.
And do not forget the very important furry family members for your wall! Is this wonderful pup not the cutest thing?!! This is an easy photo to take on your phone. The trick is the angle of the camera and to have the ground as a contrast. So by having a black dog, by contrast, the linear pattern of the wood really shows nicely in the black and white. If you have a light colored pet, have them on a darker floor.
This is a great location for a family photo wall! Stairs, family rooms and hallways are my favorite places for more than one image. Here, you have a family vacation and they have used negative space to really make the images interesting. The frames are all large and simple which lends itself to a more modern feel. A bonus is that because they pass these photos multiple times a day, they will remember to change them out every now and then with the next vacation.
This is a great example of a modern, updated family photo wall. The frames are all the same size, they are in a grid and they are framed simply. Also, the mats around the photos gives your eye a place to rest, making the multiple frames not too busy. The photos all being black and white lend to the continuity and I like that some images are lighter and some are darker, making your eyes naturally move from image to image.
Tip: if you are on a budget you can have your photos printed at a local printer like Staples. They can use Engineer prints which are a basic paper. The quality is not like a glossy photograph, as a matter of fact, they can be a bit grainy sometimes if you blow up the image too much. But with multiple images...and making them larger sizes it can be worth it. And... i like the grainy effect. You can always print a sample to test it out. Are you having trouble with your photo wall? Let me know...maybe I can help.