Family Photo Display Tips

Set the stage for your precious family photos! Your photos tell a story and add interest to any space. It also immediately and, when done well, attractively personalizes any room.

Some problems with displaying family photos

Family photos span a wide range of time. If you are simply talking of just one generation, the photos taken when your children were still babies and when they have grown into adulthood will all have different looks and feels. One of the main problems of displaying family photos is how you can unify thee different styles and looks while maintaining visual interest for your family picture display.

Also, family pictures need to be carefully selected to provide a visual narrative about your family and each member. This involves a combination of candid pictures and posed portraits, which, again, poses the problem of how you can tie them up so that they do not look cluttered or disorganized.

The Game Plan for Displaying your Family Photos

  • Narrow down your choices. Go through your family photos to make the proper selection. Remember, you have limited wall space. Thus, you want a curated collection of photos that are both meaningful and pleasant to look at. You can choose your photos based on the following criteria:
    • Sentimental value. A photo can be priceless to family members in terms of its sentimental value. Do you have a portrait of a well-loved family member who has already passed on? Or do you have a photo of an event that you treasure in your family’s collective memories?
    • Visual appeal. How good does the photo look? How do the photos complement or match the others in terms of tone and color?
    • Theme. You can have a theme to tie the photos together into one coherent story or “look”.
    • Level of privacy. Some photos such as those from your boudoir photo session or your topless pregnancy photos may be of a more private and intimate nature. These photos are best left to your bedroom gallery rather than your living room gallery.
    • Ratio as per family member. No one member should hog the spotlight in your gallery. Doing so makes it seem that you are creating a shrine for a certain family member. Make sure that all family members have their proportionate share in your family gallery display.

If you are going through your digital photos, you can create several folders to segregate those that make the first cut. Then, you can go back to these with a stricter set of criteria in mind.

  • Consider going for black and white or sepia toned photos. You can convert old colored photos into sepia or black and white through various photo editing programs. Using black and white or sepia toned photos can help to provide the display with a unified look, especially if you are displaying photos from various periods in your family’s history. You can pair these photos with textured frames or use antique picture frames in gold or white finish.
  • Carefully select your picture frames’ color and style. Of course, your display should match the rest of your room’s décor and feel. For a modern, contemporary look, choose black or silver picture frames with simple and straight lines. For a shabby chic atmosphere, you can use wood frames with elaborate moldings and a white or wood finish. To match a classically designed room, use vintage picture frames in a combination of gold leaf and white finishes. Depending on your sense of style and aesthetics, you can use matching frames. There are others who want a break in the monotony and who use different picture frames – but in similar styles or in the same colors.
  • Insert additional decorative elements. You can add pops of color to a monochromatic theme. You can also add mirrors, monogram letters or your children’s artwork.
  • Plot your arrangement before you bore any holes. To avoid having a pockmarked wall, take some butcher paper and trace the various picture frames and cut these out of the butcher paper. Be sure to label the papers with the matching frame and photos. Now, you can experiment with the ideal combination that will look best on your wall – all without creating one too many holes.
14th Feb 2016 Eric Morgan

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