Someone once said “a photograph is the pause button of life.” I can’t think of a better way to describe the power of capturing beautiful moments. When you become a mom, the obsession with taking photos of everything your child does, every milestone and every experience, grows exponentially. I think the same happens as we age. Memories take on a new meaning and new importance. It’s tempting to plaster our sweet photos all over the home for everyone to see. But, have you ever visited someone’s house and felt like you’d just walked into a life-sized scrapbook? It doesn’t exactly scream sophistication. So, exactly how can we display our family photography and maintain elevated interior design? I’m glad you asked. Let’s talk about it!

Family Photography on a Gallery Wall

One of the best and probably most common ways to display your family photography is by creating a gallery wall. But there are right and wrong ways to do it if you’re looking to create a curated space. The first thing to determine is scale. How large is the space you’re working with? If you have a huge wall and you hang four 5×7 prints on it, the wall will appear unbalanced. Gallery walls require a “go big or go home” approach. Remember, you’re after the look of an art gallery. Think about the most effective way to exhibit your photos for viewers who aren’t you. You want guests to be able to walk by the wall and appreciate the moments you’ve highlighted. For this reason, bigger is usually better as long as your wall has the right dimensions for it.

Another thing to keep in mind is uniformity. If your goal is to create a wall with coordinating prints, using the same frame can greatly increase the beauty of the grouping. If you plan to go with a “similar but not identical” approach, ensure the frame theme is distinct. For instance, if you use all antique frames, don’t include one random modern one. Or, if you plan to use various shades of brass, adhere to that hue throughout the gallery wall. A cohesive, clean effect is what we’re going for when we use gallery walls for family photography.

Get Picky With Placement

If you’re like me, your phone, computer and other devices are full of photos you’ve taken of your loved ones. I’ve even commissioned independent artists to turn a photo into a customized painting! When we go to actually print these gorgeous shots, where do we put them? I mean, sure you could simply set them on any available surface and call it a day. But, if you want the space to feel carefully designed, you’ll need to be more intentional than that. I recommend seeking unique ways to present your photos. I love the use of floating shelves. You can mount them in an otherwise empty space, and it instantly becomes an accent wall! One of the biggest benefits of using shelving in this way, is that you can house several photos in one place without a cluttered or haphazard look. You definitely create a featured visual library with this method.

When you’re brainstorming places for your family photography, don’t be afraid to try atypical locations in your home. I love using hallways to display photographs. Stairway walls are also excellent places to position photos. Everyone has to walk through these areas; why not give them something sweet to view? 

Make it Personal

I recently shared a tour of my home on my social media, and I spoke about one of my favorite hacks for family photography. I like to hide individual photos in books so they fall out and start conversation when my guests come to visit! While that’s not a choice that would work for everyone, the sentiment can! Family photos are personal mementos. They’re meant to callback pleasant memories from years ago and tell a story. When you’re incorporating family photography in elevated design, don’t shy away from making it interactive. 

I love using entryway tables to house photos, because it turns into an artistic moment that will undoubtedly catch the eye of all who enter. Arrange photos in stunning frames around florals and other decorative elements. Your home should display bits of your personality. By configuring your photography this way, you give others a chance to notice it, go pick the frames up for a closer look, and ask questions. Isn’t that what we hope for when we capture these special moments with our cameras? 

Family photography deserves to be seen and felt. But not at the expense of your perfectly designed space. Keep your refined home looking and feeling polished with these tips. You’ll never miss an opportunity to both wow with your design and pull at heartstrings!

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