How to Turn Photos into Wall Art for Your Home

March 10, 2021

Since taking pictures is something everyone can do these days with a quick snap on their phone, it has truly made professional portrait sessions (and wedding pictures) a luxurious special occasion, so you want to really make the most of them, right?

This article is going to focus on how to turn photos into wall art that decorates your home. But, if you feel like your walls are already taken and you’re not ready to change it up, you might wanna check out this post about albums instead!

Okay, let’s get started! The best time to start thinking about how you’re going to use your photos is actually BEFORE you have your session! Why? Because it empowers you to create something that will really compliment your space! If you’ve already had your session, don’t worry, you can still apply most of these tips!

Here’s how you can make the most of your photos:

Pre-visualize

The best thing you can do to turn photos into wall art is to start thinking about what you want BEFORE the shoot ever happens. As your photographer, I can help you with this! Discussing your goals, vision, and desired use for the images will have a huge impact on how the shoot needs to be approached! If I know what your goal is ahead of time I can tailor my shooting style to your specific needs and it will ensure you get a much better experience. As you pre-plan, consider the room and decor where you plan to hang your photos. For instance, it might look a little strange to have a bright and soft beach photo hanging in a room that’s decorated in more contemporary or moody colors. If you take into consideration the space where your wall art will hang, you can plan your locations and outfits accordingly.


Sizing 

When picking sizes to turn photos into wall art, you’ll want to think about how far away most people will be standing when they view it. An 8×10 might seem “large” up close, but if you were to hang it all by itself behind your couch, it looks more like a postage stamp on an envelope. Having appropriately sized images for the space will make the most of both your photographs and your home decor!

Typically this requires you to get out a measuring tape and do a little math (and maybe eyeballing the space) to figure out what will look good in your desired space. To make this process easy, I have special software that I use with my clients that allows me to create mockups of any size wall art you’re considering and will let you see it in your OWN home before you make your final selections. That way there are no surprises when it comes to selecting the right size print for your space. Additionally, I also offer a la carte design consultations and printing for clients who already have photos that they’re looking to turn into wall art.


Choosing Images

If you’re going to create a wall display it’s smart to choose images from the same scene so that the lighting and color of the images is consistent. Typically, a session will consist of a few “mini-stories” that include both close-up and wide angles of the same scene. This is perfect for creating a gallery wall in your home and allows you to tell your story with more detail and personality. Alternatively, you might select one epic image to share in a large format instead. If you know ahead of time what you might like, we can aim to shoot based on your individual goals. 


Type of print

There are so many incredible ways to display your images! The most classic formats are framed prints and canvas wraps, but there are also more contemporary options like metal prints and acrylic prints! Of course, the type you choose will depend on your tastes and the overall decor style you’re trying to achieve in your space. It’s never a bad idea to chat with your photographer about what options are out there so that you can get something that works best for your needs. For each of my clients, I offer a complimentary design appointment where we walk through sizing, styles, layout, and more so that you can get the most out of your images, without the stress of trying to figure it out on your own.


Protecting your Prints

You’ve made an investment in your photography. You took the time to find a photographer who understood your vision, you spent money hiring them, and you devoted a lot of time planning your session, picking out your favorite pictures, and figuring out how you would display them. The time and money you’ve already invested in this session were worth a lot! So it’s also important to make the most of that investment by protecting what you worked hard for! 

But how? Like most things we purchase, there is a vast array of quality levels among print papers, canvas construction, frames, and so on.  The quality of paper and ink on a print can have a huge impact on the lifespan of your print, and the frame you put it in can affect its longevity as well. Professional labs, like the one that makes my client prints, offer archival-quality printing that ensures your wall art will stand up to the test of time. While it’s perfectly fine to make one-off drugstore gift prints to share casually with friends, it’s definitely worth investing in higher quality products for the art pieces that will hang in your home for decades.

Additionally, where you hang your images matters too. No matter the quality of the print, it’s best to keep all of your photographs out of the path of any direct sunlight, as this will fade the image over time. Certain lower quality canvas materials may also warp if you live in an area that’s prone to humidity. Taking these things into consideration will allow you to enjoy your images for many years to come!


Hanging Your Wall Art

I’m getting excited just thinking about it! You are FINALLY going to see your images on the wall! Your prints and frames are here (and if you ordered from me, they’re even pre-assembled, so that’s one less thing you have to worry about! 😉), you’ve got your hammer, your nail, and because you’re a smart cookie you even pulled the leveler out of the garage! But as you go to start hanging your collection of images, you might be wondering how to get everything evenly spaced before you start making holes in the wall. You DEFINITELY don’t want to wing it – trust me. I may have made this mistake the first time I hung a grouping of frames in my own home. My husband was NOT thrilled with the Swiss-cheese look on the wall 😹 

Here’s how you can avoid my mistake: First, get yourself the following supplies in addition to your hammer, nails, and leveler: a large roll of butcher paper (or even a generous stack of old newspaper will do), painter’s or masking tape, a pencil, scissors, measuring tape/ruler

Then, trace your frames and cut out one piece of paper for each photograph you plan to hang. Use the masking tape to fix your paper cutouts to the wall where you think they should go. Use the measuring tape to ensure that the spacing between each “print” is equal (this is vital to your gallery looking the way it’s supposed to, so take your time with this step and get it right!). Once you know exactly where you’re going to hang each piece, you can leave the paper hanging, mark the spots where your nails will go, and you can hang the photographs right over the paper. Since the paper is affixed with only painter’s tape, you’ll be able to pull it right off once your photographs are hung. TaDa! You just hung your wall art like a pro! 🍾 🎉 


Now that you know how to turn your favorite photographs into wall art, what are you going to do next? Have some old photographs you need to put to good use? Is it time to make some new portraits? If so, contact me, I’d love to help!

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