I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you have thousands of pictures between your phone and other hard drives. The plus side of living in the digital age? We're taking more photos today than any other generation. Years from now, we'll be thankful we recorded these moments and details that would have otherwise become fuzzy or forgotten. The downside of living in the digital age? Technology is always changing and we're always upgrading from one computer to the next, newer option. This doesn't bode well for keeping track of and enjoying those thousands of pictures we're taking. Unless we print them.
While times are changing, I still maintain that printing is still the very best way to keep track of and enjoy your images. It's just too easy to lose treasured photographs in a hard drive crash or in a computer upgrade. This is my motivation for regularly printing all of my family pictures, and hanging them on our walls or putting them away in albums.
Today, I'm gonna share with you what I keep in mind when hanging pictures in our house. All photographs shown are from this recent family boating photo session.
This is how I quickly and easily hang my favorite family pictures, the ones I know will brighten our days and bring a smile to my family's face.
I hope this inspires you to do the same.
1.) Not all print labs are created equal.
Choose yours wisely. Rather than going with the one that's running the best sale, I have one go-to professional print lab. This lab has excellent customer service, the colors on my monitor match my prints I receive from them, and I'm happy with their paper quality. While not everyone has access to a professional print lab, I say pick the very best lab available to you.
2.) Make sure your print sizes are proportional to your wall size.
Don't be afraid of going big. An 8x10 looks awfully sad all by itself over the sofa and, more often than not, a 5x7 is just way to small for a wall. I recommend you group several smaller prints together to make a gallery, or hang one large print. For reference, that's an 8x10 on the left below, and a 20x30 on the right.
3.) Mount your print to quickly and easily prevent that sloppy warped look.
For ultimate flexibility and to be able to switch out my family pictures on our walls often, I typically do the matting and framing myself. But, it doesn't matter what I do, the prints go from straight and neat behind the glass to wavy and crappy in a matter of days. Unless I have my lab mount them to a heavyweight, dry mat board for me. I'm sure there are other ways to fix my problem, but mounting is quick, inexpensive, and it gives me the option to go without matting and framing if I'm going for a casual look.
4.) Take some time to plan out the color and style of your mats and frames.
You could go with one color and style to put the focus completely on your pictures. Or you could pick out a mix of mats and frames for an eclectic look. What you decide will, of course, depend on your taste. Lately, my favorite way to go is with white mats and frames or white mats with black frames. A lot of the family pictures I choose to hang on our walls have been taken at the beach and, in our home, I like the way these combos make the images pop.
5.) Or cheat and take the easy way out with gallery wrap canvases.
No need for mats or frames, they come to you ready to hang with hardware on the wall. Just hammer a nail into the wall.
6.) If glare bothers you, remove the glass.
If you end up framing your prints and you notice that glare is keeping you from really seeing and enjoying them on your walls, then simply remove the glass from the frame. In doing this, you're taking away a layer of print protection, but if that doesn't faze you, then I say go for it.
7.) Use a roll of brown craft paper to easily layout your wall galleries.
To quickly and effortlessly decide how I'll organize and hang my galleries, I use a roll of brown craft paper, cut to the size of my wall space. I lay it out on the floor and place my frames (or canvases) on top, playing around with their placement until I like what I see. Once I decide on my layout, I trace around each frame, measure where the hook on the back of the frame falls, and mark it on the paper. Then, I tape the craft paper to my wall with painters tape and hammer my nails right where I made my marks. Finally, I tear the paper off the wall, leaving the nails in place, and then I hang my pictures. Voila! Easy peasy.
Another super easy and flexible option is to use IKEA picture ledges.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out my last blog post about displaying your family pictures on your walls.
One more thing - if after reading all of this, you still find printing, enlarging, and hanging your family pictures to be too overwhelming, I get that. I really do. Many of my clients feel the same way, and that is why I'm happy to help. Anytime. Just get in touch, and we'll get your favorite family pictures off your computer.