Growing up, my mother had our pictures displayed in the hallway leading to our bedrooms. Every day, we would walk by the current years school and dance recital pictures. Seeing those 8x10s was a reminder that our family was important and that we were growing and changing together.
In 2002, my husband and I bought our first digital camera and stopped sending out rolls of film to process. It occurred to me at that time that I didn't want the memories of my life to end up on a hard drive or floppy disk in the back of a closet. While some people were scanning old photos into digital files, I started creating photo albums from the digital photos. It was easy the first few years because we used our digital camera like we had our film camera. We pulled it out for special occasions, birthdays and family vacations.
As cell phone cameras came into everyday use, the number of photos we took increased. I stayed committed to printing our favorite photographs so that our children and grandchildren would have pictures to look at.
Through the years, I used several album making services, including Blurb, Shutterfly and Picaboo. Now as a professional photographer, I use WHCC, Millers and Renaissance for top-quality albums.
I firmly believe we should all proudly display our favorite pictures around our house and at work. There are several options for wall art and an unlimited way to display them. Here are some of the most popular.
Don't be afraid to go big. Growing up, 8x10s were the standard size around our house. Now that I have my own house, I believe in large art. Our house had one wall that we immediately knew would be a great place to display some pictures. We chose several of our favorite images from our travels and had them enlarged to 20x30s and a 24x36. As large as this seemed at the time, we still have room on our wall for more pictures if we changed the arrangement. When I was commissioned by To Honor You Weddings and Special Events to help them decorate their office, we went with a similar layout on a smaller scale.
Look at the space you are going to put your pictures and consider different possible arrangements. It's a personal decision if you want one large print as a focal point or if you want to use several smaller photographs to create a wall grouping that tells a story.
Having photos printed on canvas is a great option. It is a classic way to display your family images. Often you'll have the option to wrap the edge with the image, blur the edge, or have a solid color on the side. Remember that because the image is wrapped around a 1-inch to 2-inch wooden frame, you want to watch your picture edges and make sure that no important part of the image is going to be wrapped. If you want to make sure your full image is shown, choose a solid color border, which ensures your image stays on the front of the canvas.
Canvas is a great option for family photos as well as landscape art. Because of the texture of the canvas, every piece may be slightly different. It's also a good choice if you are enlarging a lower resolution image because the canvas texture will conceal some pixelation.
Canvas art is appropriate for homes and for businesses. When Cindy was preparing to open Island Optical in Venice, Florida, she wanted a customized piece of local art for her store. We created a 30x45 canvas using a photograph I took at the local pier. It's a recognizable landmark and great conversation starter with her clients.
The high-gloss surface of metal creates a great look for many photos. It is different from canvas because it's printed on an aluminum sheet. Advantages to printing on metal are the vibrant color tones that come through and they can be more water-resistant than prints. They are a good option for bathrooms and kitchens where prints may be exposed to humidity. No frames or glass are needed for metal art, so the slimline design is appealing.
Print your image directly on acrylic with a white surface on the back. This is a unique way to display your favorite family images.
Blankets, Wood Prints, Photo Standouts or Posters
Think outside the box and don't be afraid to try something different. When my husband and I got married, I was gifted a photo image blanket. We chose one of our favorite wedding pictures and have hung it as wall art for the past 19 years.
I recently discovered Photo Standouts, which are a different way to display a photo which is then mounted to a wood board. This is a fun option to sit on a shelf or hang on a wall. I have friends who have created customized wall murals of their kids playing sports.
There are so many options out there today besides prints. I hope I have given you some inspiration for ways to enlarge some of your favorite photographs and personalize your home.