I’ve been going through some family pictures and getting inspired to re-design our photo gallery. I invited one of my favorite family photographers, Bentley Waters, to share her tips on creating a spectacular family wall. Enjoy! – Sue
As a family photographer, I love working with clients to curate their images into beautiful photo galleries. Highlighting a few favorite images can really enliven a room, and I always encourage people to be inventive. As a starting point, I often suggest picking a wall in a master bedroom, child’s room or playroom to brighten up the space.
The first step is to consider your home decor and choose a frame that pairs well with your style. Is your home traditional or modern? For a traditional interior, I like a molded frame with a matted print. If it’s modern, perhaps a metal or simple black frame, or, as a fresh alternative, photos mounted under plexiglass on aluminum for a “frameless” look.
If the room has a lot of visual interest, I would suggest keeping your photo gallery simple, and vice versa. Black and white images have a nice way of making a room feel calmer, but color photos are a great way to invigorate a neutral space or play off an existing palette.
Next step is narrowing down the images and deciding on a configuration. When you are selecting images, I recommend choosing the photos that stand out from the mundane. Go with the photos that capture a moment or really show off your little one’s heart-melting smile. Then, ask yourself: Do you prefer a grid or more of a loose configuration? Maybe you want to do a series of three or four large images? There really is no right or wrong answer.
Here are a few examples of how I’ve incorporated my own family photos:
I wanted to use mostly color photography that complemented the purple paint on my wall. We selected some of the special moments from our last two photo shoots with Tara Whitney. I focused in on the corner where our desk sits and chose a combination of silver and black frames that coordinated with each other and the room.
I knew I wanted to create a grid of photos that covered most of the wall. I saw the image below on Pinterest (a great resource for photo gallery ideas) and decided this was the route I was going to take.
I highlighted 12 of my favorite vintage photographs that I collected from both my family and my husband’s. This gallery was easier because all of the images were vertical and all were 5x7s and 8x10s. I chose two of the same frames, in different thicknesses to accommodate the two photo sizes.
I went with three of my favorite images that also coordinate with the colors in his room. I printed them on canvases and framed them in shadow box frames to go over his couch.
S.B. Long Interiors shared a few images from their portfolio, to show how photo walls can really bring depth and interest to a beautifully designed home: