As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……….more family photographs! I am a total shutterbug. While I really like a beautifully posed portrait, I think I’m much more inclined to snap candid photos. A candid picture more accurately reflects a moment in time; joy, laughter, feelings of pride and accomplishment, competition, tender and poignant moments.
When I was a proud young mother, I displayed half a dozen 8 x 10 framed photographs of Nick and Amanda on our mantle. Once, a guest commented, “Wow. That’s a lot of pictures!” I was so dazzled by their darling-ness that I lost sight of the fact that good design dictates a more appropriate and pleasing arrangement.
My mantle is now so much more elegant and sophisticated, with an enormous landscape, beautifully framed, as the focal point. I’m a fan of balance, not necessarily symmetry. To the left I have a great floral arrangement in a fabulous stone urn. At its side, I have placed a gilded decorative plate featuring a butterfly. To mimic the height on the right side I chose two very tall iron candlesticks. Around the base of each, I tied a tassel for some details and embellishment. Capturing a whimsical moment, I have displayed a sweet iron statue depicting a frog on his pedestal throne alongside a sphere covered in decoupage butterflies. All very charming.
Family photos, however, remain extremely important to me. They tell the story of our lives. Instead, I have chosen to create vignettes throughout my home.
In displaying photographs, or anything else for that matter, it’s more visually appealing to feature items of varying sizes. Anything that is all the same size will feel like little soldiers all lined up in a row. The various sizes add interest and are more complimentary to one another.
I am totally sentimental and mushy, refusing to live without my favorite images, of which there are plenty. On an end table in my Family Room are a delightful collection of three photos of the kids. Framed, as a vertical 8×10, is a gorgeous close up portrait of Nick and Amanda from Christmas four years ago. I tend to prefer a close up, unless a landscape or a particular perspective is important to telling the story. One of my favorite snapshots is a horizontal 5×7 that I took of Nick and Amanda with Wrigley, their faces smooshed together. On display, I already have one vertical and one horizontal, so as a third, complimentary photo, I selected another vertical, but a 5×7. This shot is interesting because the perspective is different than the other two. It depicts Amanda doing a handstand, so it has a super vertical line. To offer some relief, I have displayed a youthful sculpture of a boy and girl playing leap frog.
Collections displayed in one place have far greater impact than those that are scattered about. A round skirted table in my Living Room contains my collection of black and white photos. When displaying pictures, a great organizing principle is by subject matter or tone. Another way to unify your grouping is by the style of frame. Black and white photographs are a stunning classic when featured in gorgeous silver frames. The frames shouldn’t be the identical. That would be so boring! They should look as if they have been collected over time.
Empty wall space is hard to come by in our home. I view it as the perfect place to display artwork and photos while not taking up valuable floor space. Every time that I pass a sweet little arrangement on a small wall space in a small hallway, I melt at the collection of fun and silly family memories.
The piece de résistance, however, is the Wall of Fame (and sometimes shame), heading down to our basement. Here the photos are hung floor to ceiling, side to side. I love it! It reminds me of Sardi’s; cool, hip, artsy and sophisticated.
The secret to displaying so many photos is, once again, the commonality of the framing and the subject matter. Another extremely important element is how you lay out the photos. If all of the pictures are the same size, then a grid like pattern could be interesting, though I favor a looser arrangement; one that looks as though it occurred over time. All it takes is some playing around with the various shapes and sizes. I might select a larger piece and start building around it until I come up with a pleasing design. Laying the pictures out on the floor allows you the perspective to put the puzzle pieces together. If you get stuck, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll give you hand.
More candid photos, more serious portraits, more family memories, more moments that tell the story of our lives……