Focus on: Fun with Family Photos

I have been sorting through pictures  and organizing them in my Photoshop organizer ever since we returned from our cruise to Alaska..  I love to  display my photos in interesting ways.  They can be found all around my home, but the main focus of my display is our “picture room.”  Our house is very long from the front to the back.  An entry hallway leads
past a couple of bedrooms and  a side staircase, through a small walk through room, to the main living area (kitchen, living room and master bedroom).  We weren’t sure at first
what to do with this small room, until we came up with the idea of making it a picture room.
We placed my roll-top desk in the room, which provided a shelf for my vintage pictures, and found innovative ways to present the pictures on the walls.

 First of all, you can’t beat collages as a way to present pictures, either grouped as a theme or just a random collection.  I started with a large collage above the desk, titled “memories” and filled it with pictures of family and friends over the years.  Around it are smaller collections, some themed, such as friends, family and  grandkids. The grandkids collage is especially clever. The word grandkids is spelled out, and pictures form the letters:
This is one of my favorite collages and it was fun finding pictures that would fit into the letters.  As I mentioned in my last post, my inspiration for displaying my photographs came from an Oprah show about getting your photos out of  drawers and  dusty attics and displaying them.  To me they are more valuable and interesting than

the most expensive pieces of art.  Photographs tell the story of one’s life.  They capture forever that special smile on a granddaughter’s face, the glint of mmischief in a grandson’s eye, the joy of  a wedding , the delight of a new baby, the gathering of a family separated by distance,  the reunion with old friends.

On two corners of the picture room, I have collages of my two grandchildren, which I update as they change and grow.  This becomes a chronology of their lives and someday, I hope, an heirloom I can pass on to them.

There are so many innovative ways to frame photographs these days. I have one that looks like a strip of film, one with a family quote inscribed on the glass ( a gift from my sister) and an array of silver and pewter frames for my vintage collection.

Innovative frames for displaying
photographs 

My vintage collection includes pictures of my grandparents and my parents, and pictures of my early life.  I find people fascinated by the old sepia toned photographs.  They form the core of my collection.

We were lucky to have this odd little room available to be our picture room.  It has become the focal point of our house and family and friends stop to look at the photos.  It becomes a gathering place of sorts.  Questions are asked and stories are told.  Or someone will spot a picture and say, “remember this day” or ‘That was the day we..”

But you needn’t have an entire picture room in order to display your photos.  Small groupings can be just as interesting.  

A top shelf of a small bookcase can be a wonderful area for a small display.


This shelf houses pictures of my friends, and scattered among them are small momentos friends have given me over the years. It’s my friend nook.

One final suggestion for displaying photos.  Again, this idea came from that Oprah show I mentioned before.  Find a vertical frame  with 5 to 7 openings in the mat for pictures.  Then form a chronological string of photos beginning with the youngest and finishing with the oldest.  What results is a timeline of  a child from infancy to, say age 18.  It is a bit of a challenge to find 5 to 7 pictures that capture important stages, recitals, little league play, graduation, etc. but they are fun to make and interesting to display.

This is a timeline for my youngest son from about 18 months old  to 14 years old or so. As a theme I tried to capture  his personality in the pictures I chose.

And finally, there is the fireplace mantel, long the favorite place to gather family photos.  And yes, I have photos displayed on my fireplace mantel. But keep in mind there are many other ways to present your pictures and tell your story.  After all, what could be more precious than  the face of your grandchild or a photo of a sleeping baby? I’d much rather surround myself with them, than with the works of the masters.  And with the advent of digital photography, sophisticated software programs, and quality printers you can buy for your own photography studio,  there is no limit to your creativity.


I look at the Mona Lisa and then at this precious face and I choose my granddaughter in a New York Minute.

Or how about this one? Melts my heart every time!

So organize those photos, shop for frames and “paint” your home with pictures that tell your story and fill your life with memories and delight!

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