what to do with all the photos
is little bit of a hobby of mine. I admit I am bad about procrastinating when it comes to getting prints I’ve ordered displayed in my home – so I keep myself inspired with ideas and tools that I can put to use easily to get our photos into our life. If you’re wondering what to do with family photos, I hope these ideas get you moving toward a big happy love affair with your prints!
::Photo Wire & Clips
I love this one! I’ve done this is my son’s room, at about his eye level, and we change out the photos often (he keeps the ones he likes best the longest). It’s got photos of him, of us together and him with friends and cousins too. Keeping this up to date is great motivation for me to not only shoot his every day life but also to PRINT the photos so we can enjoy them! I have one of these over my bed too. Confession: my husband is secretly afraid a heavy framed photo could fall off the wall while we’re sleeping under it. The wire and clips weigh virtually nothing so we enjoy an array of family photos AND sleep easy knowing nothing will come crashing down. Pro-tip: order the highest quality photos you can – professional labs will be using archival paper and treatments to ensure that your prints last as long as possible and withstand daylight and fingerprints.
There are as many ways to do this “right” as there are decorating tastes out there. Prints and frames in small sizes are the least expensive options, making it easy to slowly build up a wall full of photos. Mix in a few larger images if you want to vary the image sizes. And choose a variety of family members, activities, and emotional moods – get laughter, tears, concentration, playfulness, locations that you love, hobbies, extended family, pets and more. Choose photos that reveal characteristics of each person in your family. Pro-tip: make a habit of noticing when frames you like are on sale, and stock pile a few at a time, so they’re already on hand when you order prints – then get them up on the wall right away so you don’t put it off!
Great sources for frames: IKEA, Target, Michaels, Etsy.com
I’m obsessed with this idea and foresee it replacing the more typical framed prints gallery in my hallway one day. Photographer Danielle Hatcher hung three long rows of 6×9 clipboards, and put a 5×7 print into each. Once the clipboards are in place (I can’t tell from the photo how she hung them but I would recommend using the removable 3M strips – easier than nails, and no holes should you decide to change the display in the future!) you can change out the photos as often as you like, as your own wonderful visual life stories grow and change. Pro-tip: request a white border around your photo for a wonderfully finished look even without matting and framing.
::The Photo Box
This old classic is coming back with some lovely new options. Forget the dusty shoebox of one-hour-photo prints tucked somewhere no one will see it until they’re clearing out your house after your funeral! Think beautiful, sturdy and accessible. One of my favorite vendors sells a wooden photo box with a sliding top AND the prints to put in it. You can also find sturdy cardboard boxes like the ones in this really sweet and inspiring post from A Bowl Full of Lemons – with helpful directions on organizing your photos so you can really enjoy them. Don’t hide your photo box away or keep the kids out of it — put it out where it can be opened. Give it to the kids when you’ve had enough of screen time, or on a rainy day, or when extended family comes to visit. Make a habit of opening it, and watch your kiddos fall in love with their story. Pro-tip: The Photo Box is a great compliment to a Clipboard Gallery or Photo Wire + Clips, because the box can hold all the photos you haven’t put on your wall display.
Photo boxes: Pictured above from my a la carte product menu; other sources: Artifact Uprising
::A New Twist on the Old Album
Photo books are SO very easy to create and print these days. Whether you make your own or work with your photographer to create an album through a professional lab, I encourage you to view albums as something to be used. That might mean selecting a sturdy cover instead of, say, hand-dyed silk, and asking for a matte finish rather than something that will fingerprint more easily. And, honestly, put aside expectations that your album should remain pristine: make an album that you’ll be happy to see get used. These photos are for enjoying, not for hiding away! Each year I make a simple photo album from a consumer vendor for my son – it’s a mix of professional images and Instagram photos from my iPhone, of things we’ve done together through the year. I choose a layout with wide borders around each photo, and once in a while we sit together and I ask him about the pictures, and write his comments in the borders of the photos. Down the road, we’ll have the photos AND his own words to go along with them. Pro-tip: consider ordering a high-end album to preserve, and getting an identical album in a sturdier and less expensive format just for the kids, that way the heirloom stays safe, and the everyday album gets loved.
Follow my Pinterest boards for more ideas that keep me enthused about displaying family photos!