July 15, 2020

4 Stylish Ways to Hang Family Photos

My passion is capturing photographs of heartfelt moments for families to savor forever as keepsake memories. Whenever I'm not helping your family, you can find me loving on my own. Camping trips, boba tea, and card games are our favorite ways to connect!  

I'm Kelly

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Indiana Family & Lifestyle Photogapher

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Are you wanting to finally get those family photos hung on the walls but wondering how should you arrange your gallery wall or display your family photos? Here is the ultimate guide to hanging family photos! Kelly McPhail Photography is based in Laf…

Getting Your Photos Off Your Computer and onto Your Walls

Does this process sound familiar? You book a family photo session, fall in love with your images, and share a few shots on Facebook or Instagram. You might print out a few 8x10s for a small frame on your nightstand or bookshelf, but that’s where things hit the brakes. Those stunning photos, the images that perfectly capture your family’s unique bond and connection sit wasting away on your computer. You adore them… but you have no clue what to do with them!

In a photo-filled world, what makes the wall?

Photos, particularly family images, are a huge part of modern life. They mark important moments and milestones. They drum up old memories and tell our family story in a way words never could. Is it any wonder we collect them by the thousands on our cell phones?

However, the sheer volume of those images can paralyze us. How can we choose just one? What differentiates wall-worthy art from a candid snap? That’s where this post comes in! There is a method to hanging family photos – and we’re about to walk you through it with concrete examples. But first…

Why should I display family photos?

A family-focused gallery wall or set of prints will certainly help beautify your home, but there is a more profound reason to get those images off your computer.

Psychologists and other child development experts have found personal/ family photography can help children grow their self-confidence and esteem. How does it do that? Experts say family photos, particularly printed images on a wall, help children see their family as a unit. They provide a visible reminder that they are loved and a valued member of that unit.

Additionally, family photography gives children a sense of genealogy. By gazing up on the wall, they will begin to discover who they are, where they fit in, and what it is that makes their family unique.

Digital vs. Printed

Although we can enjoy family photos in digital form—via social media or laptop—experts say digital images don’t have the same impact on a child’s self-esteem. Why? Youngsters see the wall as a place of honor. Prominent family images in your living room, hallway, or their bedrooms are a signal they are cherished. It tells them those memories are worth preserving. Now, let’s dive into those examples…

Hanging Family Photos: 4 Stunning Options

Prints displayed over a couch from a summer family session in session in West Lafayette, Indiana

1. Large & In Charge – Oversize Family Photo(s)

 Go big or go home! Just kidding… I don’t want you to go home—but seriously, I can’t recommend large images enough. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is trying to fill a wall with photos that are too small. In contrast, oversize dimensions will transform a photo you cherish into a museum-worthy work of art. It’s by far the easiest, most streamlined way to hang professional printed family photos.

You can go with a single large image, pair two 16×20 photos side-by-side in coordinating frames, or go with a trio of two 16×20 and one 20×20 over a sofa, sideboard table, etc.

Another gorgeous family session in West Lafayette, Indiana displayed in large archival prints over a desk

A beautiful summer family session in Carmel, Indiana displayed in large prints with mats from Millers Lab

 2. Grid Greatness – 4-9 Images

Families looking for a modern take on the “gallery wall” concept will love a grid layout. Think big frames and oversize matting. It injects cohesion and unity into your space, while offering plenty of opportunity to tell a story with your family photos. Remember how we talked about how tough it is to narrow down your images to one? With a photo grid, you can have your cake and eat it too! Go ahead and include that stellar group shot, the close up of your toddler’s chubby-cheeked grin, the romantic moment with your spouse, AND your daughter’s dance among the wildflowers. You can choose 4 favorites or expand the concept all the way up to nine images.

Kelly McPhail is a premier newborn and family photographer in Lafayette and West Lafayette Indiana and she has a passion for getting your family photos on your walls.

A grid is a great way to display family photos on your walls. Here is an example of 9 square photos displayed as a gallery wall in the dining room in Lafayette, Indiana.

 3. Eclectic Gallery Wall

 Feeling creative? An eclectic gallery wall offers ample flexibility for customization and personalization. Gather a mix of frames, varying shapes, sizes, and levels of intricacy. While you can certainly keep your frames in a single color family (e.g. painting them all white), you can achieve a more modern look by employing a mix—wood, metal finishes, and white.

The trick is finding some thread that ties it all together. Designers often use white matting to create this sense of cohesion or they may stick with black and white images. However, you don’t need to limit yourself. Color photography can be equally stunning with the right layout. Take your time. Experiment with different arrangements, making sure to step back regularly so you can view them at a distance.

·    Pro tip: When selecting your outfits for your photo session keep your home décor in the back of your mind. Choose styles that will complement your home’s color palette  (e.g.  don’t wear punchy, saturated colors if your home is all neutral).

An eclectic wall gallery is a great and stylish way to hang  family photos when you can’t narrow it down to just a few! Kelly McPhail Photography in Lafayette, Indiana helps  her clients choose and hang family photos after their family photography s…

A gallery wall is a great way to display multiple photos from one session or choose your favorites from over the years. You can also easily switch out photos after you’ve had new family pictures taken.

4. Shelf It

Finally, you could try a floating shelf. This is another great option for hanging family photos and utilizes some of the same techniques as the eclectic gallery wall. To nail this look, you will need frames of different sizes and shapes (square & rectangle).

You can use a similar frame finish or mix it up. The difference here is you will most likely be stacking your frames, leaning them into place up against the wall. This arrangement is particularly lovely above a sofa of office space. You can use a single floating shelf or go bold—totally filling a wall with a series of three shelves.

A real floating shelf example from our bedroom! We used the Ikea floating shelf and the picture of us is a 12x18 in.

A real floating shelf example from our bedroom! We used the Ikea floating shelf and the picture of us is a 12×18 in.

Another floating shelf example from Andrew’s room with adorable photos of the kiddos.

Another floating shelf example from Andrew’s room with adorable photos of the kiddos.

I hope these ideas are helpful as you get those gorgeous images off your computer and onto your walls! For all of my clients, I am totally happy to offer free framed art consultations. I can stop over after your session and help offer suggestions as you plan out your walls and how to best enjoy these photos and precious memories!

  1. Sarah says:

    where are the storage cube shelves from??

  2. Megan says:

    GRID GREATNESS – 4-9 IMAGES What size are the pictures?

  3. Misty Bane says:

    in the top left photo, what sizes are the frames over the desk? How do you think it would look to add one more of each frame to make 2 rows of 3?

    • Brian McPhail says:

      The frame sizes are:
      (2) 24×20 frames with 20×16 matted prints
      (2) 16×20 frames with 11×14 matted prints

      I think you could make 2 more frames work, but you’d have to switch which frames were portrait and which are landscape. Otherwise, one edge wouldn’t line up. I suggest playing around with some rectangle shapes (digitally or pieces of paper) to find an arrangement that you like!

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My passion is capturing photographs of heartfelt moments for families to savor forever as keepsake memories. Whenever I'm not helping your family, you can find me loving on my own. Camping trips, boba tea, and card games are our favorite ways to connect!  

I'm Kelly

Hey!

Indiana Family & Lifestyle Photogapher

Categories