To wrap up this week, I wanted to talk a bit about framing (family) photos and hanging them on the walls. A few years ago, I was all about plastering the house with photos of the two of us. I've pulled up a little bit since then and have worked to incorporate a lot more "art" into our space.
But I still love a good framed photo and decided to create a cluster of them on the wall in front of the garage entrance to our house.
We have been super blessed over the past few years to have really awesome photos taken by really great photographers (The Goodness & Driver Photo). I am so thankful for the photos we have from them and oodles of them have made it into our family albums (here, here & here).
I have also chosen to frame a few, but tend to favor the "less traditional" of the shots. For example, the only wedding photo that we currently have on our walls is a small 5x7 of our shoes (and flowers).
We have a similar shoe shot from our engagement photos framed on the mantle.
And a favorite from the photos we took in April.
Other than that though, I end up framing a lot of imperfect or random photos. Some are low quality - the one above was taken with an underwater disposable camera and others were taken with my phone or even computer camera.
A photo that makes me laugh is likely to make the wall. I've talked about the one above many times before; it was taken in a photobooth set up at our friends' wedding. I didn't see it at the wedding and months later, for a split second, I thought I had taken a photo with Russel Brand. It had to go on the wall (and it had to be our 2011 Christmas card). I wanted something big and fun (and cheap) so I had it blown up at Office Depot for under $4. It's printed on copy paper but because it's just black and white, the quality looks decent. That frame & mat was purchased at Ikea.
Photobooth strips are likely to make the wall. Something magic happens in photobooths and I am not quite sure what it is? Maybe it's the light that seems to blow out any skin imperfections? Or maybe it's just the small cramped space? Or maybe it's just the flurry of activity that comes with trying for four "great" shots? Either way - the results are usually good. I have two strips (both from the Ace Hotel about a year apart) and one collage of them (from a wedding we attended in fall 2010) on our walls.
One of my favorite framed photos is from the first morning of our honeymoon. We were at breakfast and I set the timer on my small point and shoot. It captured us eating (so the photo rests on the counter in our kitchen) but it also captured our new wedding rings. We were in the most picturesque honeymoon site and somehow this random photo of breakfast is still one of my favorites from the trip.
I love framed photos that show the passing of time. I found the two on the left (from 2009 & 2007) while sorting through old photos. When I went to buy a frame to put them next to each other, I could only find frames with three 4x6 holes. So back at home, I found another photo from last spring and ta-da... three similar photos, five years apart.
Most of our framed photos are super normal sizes - 4x4, 4x6, 5x7, 8x10 or 11x14 - so they are very easy to frame. When I know I want to create a cluster of different photos, I tend to stick with frames that are all the same color (usually black). It's unifying without being limiting. (Everywhere sells black frames.) I have read many online tutorials about hanging gallery walls. Most recommend creating templates of each frame out of newspaper and playing around with them on the wall. I totally dig that idea and would go for it if I was worried about spacing, but usually, I just start hammering and adjust as needed.
When I have something that is a non-traditional size, like a photobooth strip that I want to frame, I buy heavy white paper (at an art or craft store), cut it to the size of the frame and mount the photo on the front and center with double stick tape. A large white mat in a black frame makes even small photos stand out and sets them apart as something special.
Recently, I have started to write (in pencil) the dates and locations on the white mats of the frames. This is partly for me, so I remember, but also for anyone who looks at our walls. It's funny - one of my favorite things to do at people's houses is look at their family photos. I think it's fascinating to see what people decide to frame.