Lauras Daily Madness

Monday, January 31, 2011

Decorating with photos

I know a lot of people decide to do photography for the artistic aspect. I’d love to tell you how creative I am and how I just wanted to share that with the world but the truth is I went into photography because I wanted certain types of portraits of my children and the places I could afford weren’t getting them.  I have always had a camera for as long as I remember.  I loved photos and I loved taking photos but I’m not one of the artsy, mind blowing photographers of our days.  I’m just a mom with a camera.  Two years later, I’m a mom with a camera that takes pretty decent photos.  And I like them to not just live on my computer.

One of my soap boxes is to get your photos printed. You don’t want to print everything as a 16x20? Fine. Get one of those old timey albums and get some 4x6’s.  Back up your photos and put your cd’s in a fire proof safe or in a safety deposit box.  These memories cannot be replaced if something happened.  

When we took Rett to get his newborn photos taken pre mom-with-a-camera, I had a 10x20 printed and it is on our stair well. It still sits along. I haven’t gotten anything else printed to go along with it but I WILL.  Anyway, I fell in love with that picture. I would look up at it and think about when he was that tiny and we all look so happy.  I love looking at it!  So I had more big prints done and I love looking at all of them too. When I think about the money that was spent, even I as a cheap skate will say its worth it.  All except one which I will go into in a minute. 


When you are planning your attack on your walls one thing you have to consider is all the options.  You have size options, printing options, framing options, color options and by the time you’re done, the option to bang your head against the wall because you are so overwhelmed. Take a deep breath.  Its not that difficult.  If you are wanting to do some sort of artistic cluster on a long or large portion of your wall, cut apart a cardboard box in sizes you may want to use and arrange them on the wall to see how its going to look.  You can get ideas online from different retailers trying to sell you the entire collage.  Here is one site with ideas. Then just go order wherever has the best prices. 

When considering options, remember that some of the larger prints will come ready to be hung, such as gallery standouts or wraps which means you won’t need to add in the price of a frame as you will if you get just a typical print done.  Also if you get a print done is a more basic size, the frame will be easy to find and relatively cheaper then an odd size that you may have to get custom framed.  10x20 and 16x20 are pretty typical sizes that can be framed easily.

I get most of my wall prints done in black and white.  Its easier to know what they will look like and you’re not taking such a big chance on the colors coming out correctly.  Also they match any color of décor.  

Here are the examples hanging on my walls:


  This is a 10x20 that hangs in our breakfast area.  Ignore the blind cord, just trying to keep the toddler from strangling himself during meal time.  This is just a regular print and I bought the frame from Hobby Lobby. The print came with a cardboard piece to keep it from getting bent so I took that and my photo up to Hobby Lobby and they framed it for me for free in a few minutes.  I ordered this print from WHCC which caters to professional photographers. Here is a place that does 10x20 prints for $5. Add a few bucks for shipping and $20 for framing, this print would probably cost you around $27.  It’s a decent size that looks large enough on the wall but still small enough that you don’t have to have a massive stair well to find a spot to hang it.  The color treatment was done with Creamy Chocolate B&W photo action available for free here.







  This print is a 16x20 gallery standout.  It required no framing, just stick it up there on the wall.  Its printed on extremely light framing so you don’t have to worry about it ripping a nail out of your wall or anything.  I had this printed at WHCC.  Searching on the internet I couldn’t really find anything like it but I did find these gallery wraps here. They are also on sale. Looks like you could get this one printed, ready to hang for around $50 or $60.  Same photo treatment on this one.




This is the big bad boy at our house.  And my only regret.  This monster is 16x30. It is printed on unstretched canvas and had to be custom framed.  When I originally ordered this print, I assumed it would come on canvas, stretched and ready to hang.  I spent $85 on the print and that was on sale.  I then had to get it custom framed at Michaels. I won’t go into the cost but it was astronomical. Unless you just desire unstretched canvas for some reason (I personally do not believe this looks any better then the other prints that I’ve had done), be ready to take a blow to your wallet when it comes to framing.  At least pick a size that you can frame yourself.  Photo tratment is the same again.








My mom bought me this frame for Christmas and we finally got around to filling it up. Never underestimate the power of small pictures in larger quantities put together. If you don’t want to devote 16x20 or wall real estate to one print, printout several 5x5’s and cover the same area.  You will still have a nice sized area covered in prints and the same eye catch but you’ll have more photos displayed.  Good for families with lots of kiddos too. I recommend going to Hobby Lobby or some other place that sells frames and seeing what is available before ordering your prints.  You don’t want to be surprised with a bunch of prints that you now have to get custom framed.  And like I said, see if the framers will frame it for you.  In my case they did and it didn’t cost me a penny!



This is the one print I’ve done in color. I tried to find this on my computer but I only have this on facebook or at least all that I can find.  I planned this photo out to match her room so I could get a large print done to hang.  This is another 16x20 gallery stand out.  The colors really are gorgeous and I am very happy with the way it turned out. Sometimes less editing is more when it comes to getting your colors to come out how you want them to. 


So there you have my decorating with photos in my own home.  I still have lots of wall to fill but I hate the thought of filling it all now with just one age range so I’m slowly filling it so we have some variety of photos. Plus we still have two kids to go! They are going to need some space as well.  I hope I inspired you to get some prints done and up on the wall.  It really is an investment you won’t regret.