How to display family photos: get them off the USB and your walls

Apr 13, 2015

There is something so special about having a photograph.  Not one you click on. But one you can pull out of a box. One you can look at on your desk. One you can show your grandchildren flipping through an album.  I do print my photos, but no where near the extent I did before going digital.  I loved film.  I was obsessed with 1-hour photo shops growing up.  Even when I studied abroad in Spain in college, I could not wait to come home to the US to have my photos developed.  I needed to see them. See my work! See my memories.  Practice trying to tell the story of my adventure with a 4×6 once I returned.  So I found a photo shop several blocks away and would have my rolls of film developed as soon as I finished up a roll.

But how many of us actually print any of our photos these days?  My biggest fear as a photographer, is somebody purchasing the digital files of their images and never printing their images. This is also why I offer an 11×14 print with my digital collection.  I MUST know that you have at least one of your images on the wall.

In the digital age…sometimes actually having your images in print is rare.  We want to share the photos on Facebook with friends and family, but sometimes don’t go farther than that.  You may very well have “print pics” on your “to do” list, but just can’t seem to cross it off.  You invested the time to document your family. You chose your outfits.  Took the dogs to the groomers.  Picked out the perfect location.  But sometimes it stops there.

Here’s how you can make the most of your family photos!

1) Don’t be afraid to commit:  This wall probably took two years to actually put up! I bought the square frames when we moved in to our house in late 2012.  It took a few weeks to order our family prints to go inside.  I already had the black and white photo of Lily and received the wooden quote the year before for Christmas.  Somewhere in that time, I found the shelves from Marshalls, but was always too nervous about putting them up.  What wall did I want to put them on?  Do I really like the layout I came up with?  What will I do with future family photos? (well if I don’t hang my current family photos, chances are I will never hang any future photos either!)

I had procrastinated enough. Once my little girl was set to arrive, it was time to get to work.  I bought a drill and had a blast putting up all kinds of frames around the house.  I ordered my favorite maternity photo on a metal print and laid out my design.  I had waited too long as it was. Now this is my favorite wall in the house!

2) Keep it simple:  Hopefully you love all of your images from our session and think you can’t decide which photos to show off.  The good news is you don’t have to choose. Not really.  Pick your favorite three to start. Go big with a 16×24 canvas or framed print with your favorite photo.  Then use the other two on either side of the canvas.  Boom. Done. Start there! You’ll most likely find it a lot easier to make decisions on how to show off the rest of the photos.

3) Put them in an album: This would also fall under “keep it simple.”  Go ahead and print all of your images as 4x6s and put them in an album. At least you can have something tangible. Something to take with you somewhere.  Or just something to look at that doesn’t have a glowing screen behind it. Or order a custom album from me and let me do the work for you!

That is exactly what I am doing for my daughter.  I want her to have an album that shows how much she has grown in her first year and beyond.  Every few months, I print out a batch of photos to go in her album.  I love looking through the photos over and over and seeing how much has changed in eight short months. I know she will treasure these just like I love looking through old photos of me and my family.

4) Use your fridge: Magnetic frames are a great way to switch photos in and out and show them off.  I love having current photos and birth announcements, or save-the-dates on our fridge!  Fridge magnets are an easy way to keep the look less cluttered if you are OCD like I can be. Obviously, I didn’t buy enough!

5) Start smallNot every photo or collage has to be the focal point of a room.  Find a small wall in your home and hang an 11×14.  Put a photo of your child in the tub or at the beach in their bathroom.  Have a few 5×7 and 8×10 frames around the house where you can easily switch out photos from time to time as the family grows and you have new photos to love (then put the others in an album or photo safe box with the date on the back!!).

These are two photos I took of our honeymoon in Italy.  They are on 11×14 canvases and hang in the kitchen on a small wall above our wine fridge.

These photos are in the nook/landing of our stairs.  I love seeing these each time I walk up and down the stairs.  Which is a lot!Need more inspiration? Check out my Pinterest Page for more wall photo and art display ideas.