When it comes to displaying family photos in your home, how many is too many? If you ask me, personal photos are what makes a home home. Haven’t you wondered why gorgeous rooms in decorating magazines look aloof even when they are beautifully decorated? It is because they almost always are devoid of any personal photos, which are essential to add that lived in look.
That said like everything else photos too need to be used in moderation. You do not want the majority of your wall space to be filled with family portraits, especially the perfectly posed blah shots taken in a studio. Off late I find the usual studio shots and the poses very staged and boring while pics that are shot outdoors in natural poses feel more informal and reflect the personality of the folks in the pic. Is it just me or do you feel like it too?
Anyways the trick to making personal photos work is to group them into a nice size gallery wall either with other photos or by mixing in other family mementos and art. In the first case your wall will be more interesting if you mix in portraits with more natural shots. A wall full of portraits (especially if they have the same background and are from the same session) give out a school yearbook vibe. PS: This does not apply to a gallery wall featuring vintage or old family portraits. The second scenario is more like what is in our gallery wall in the office room.
You might’ve noticed, we don’t have a lot of photos around the home. Why? ‘Coz I’m down right lazy. Till 2008 every year in December I used to take prints of photos that I uploaded onto photo sharing sites that year. I think the whole move to VA put a stop to that ritual. No idea why, I just stopped doing it. Even now we keep telling each other we need to start taking prints again just for the sake of flipping through old photos many years down the line. Nope, nothing done that front yet. I think all we have are the one on the living room side table, 2 in the gallery wall, a few on the floating shelves, and in the “office area” of the kitchen.
You also won’t find any large family pics framed or printed on canvas in our home as B is totally against the idea. To him a large picture of you in your home screams out “look at me”, period! Actually back in the day that’s what I used to imagine above the fireplace, a nice big happy photo of the family printed on canvas. But I guess having stayed with him for so long, his tastes have rubbed off on me. I do think that pics of kids look fabulous when enlarged in black and white and hung in a kids’ room or play room. You know like what Mandy from Sugar Bee Crafts did.
I’ve also heard folks say the personal photos should be displayed in the private areas of the home versus the public areas. Nah, don’t buy that argument. It is your home and you should be able to display what you want were you want.
Where do you stand on this? Studio vs. Outdoor shoots? I know the studio shoots are cheaper but once in a while maybe you could splurge? How about the public vs. private space argument?
PS: I’ll let you in on a secret, we don’t have a single professionally taken photo of us as a family! Not at all by design, it just so happened. Many years ago we did book a session at a studio (Picture People anyone?) but had to cancel last minute ‘coz DD fell ill. I know we are long over due a professional session.