Archive for the ‘Wall Wednesday’ Category

Let’s talk scale

April 12th, 2012

Well, it’s not Wednesday, but I’m on the topic of walls anyway (albeit a day late!). Today, I’m talking about scale, the scale of portraits you hang on your walls. Most of us have been on Pinterest, we’ve seen great wall arrangements that feature 20 + smaller prints in frames in a great grouping. While […]

 

Well, it’s not Wednesday, but I’m on the topic of walls anyway (albeit a day late!). Today, I’m talking about scale, the scale of portraits you hang on your walls. Most of us have been on Pinterest, we’ve seen great wall arrangements that feature 20 + smaller prints in frames in a great grouping. While that’s a great aspiration…if you’re like me you don’t have 20+ smaller prints framed in similar frames, nor the willpower to mark our precise hanging spots for 20 or more frames. They need to be straight, they need to be evenly spaced, I need new frames….gah! Where do you even begin planning that?

I’ll tell you where you DON’T begin! You don’t begin at your portrait ordering session! Do you know why? Because 8x10s look lonely living alone on the wall, and unless you have a grouping, it can make your walls look awful lonely & sparse. If you’re already working on your grouping, then by all means, add some 8x10s in. If you are not and just thought to hang your 8×10 alone, let’s revisit my naked dining room. Yes, it’s spruced on one side…and naked on the other. So, it makes the perfect setting to illustrate “that room at your house where you have that empty wall”.

It’s bleak and what it needs is a portrait to liven it up. So, you go to your ordering session & sit down to view all of your images from your photographer. Of all the things you would like to do…you decide to splurge a little and get the 8×10 size. It’s very big compared to a 5×7, the crop is even different. You get it home and frame it & place it in the middle of the big, blank wall. You stand back and admire it’s….well…smallness!


What happened to the large photo you had in your head? It’s so tiny you must walk up on it to see it. The truth is, your proportion and scale is way off. 8x10s are nice on a side table, on top of your piano even, and they’re huge in an album, but on a large wall, they don’t have that same impact. Small wall portraits CAN have a larger impact, in a smaller space – a hallway, a narrow wall space or a powder room. But on a wide open wall and even above your fireplace, you need to go up in scale.

I had the photo above printed at a much larger scale to demonstrate the point. Larger image, better cropping and fills much more wall space. On paper, this size seems GIGANTIC. It’s a 24×36 sized Signature Print, mounted on heavy board. Imagine this size as a canvas, and the impact it would have on a wall.

To compare the two, it’s like apples and oranges! When you’re in your ordering session and you’re not sure of what size is proportional for you wall, let’s look at some sample images and compare, or better yet, take measurements of your wall space & be prepared to fill it the right way.

Many thanks to the Jacksons for being my model family (yet again!).

Side note: I went to link to the blog post I was quite sure I made months ago and found the blog post still hanging out as a draft! Stay tuned tomorrow for a very, very late post with the Jacksons from back in the fall!

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Wall Wednesday – Easy hanging for Signature Prints

March 21st, 2012

If you have recently ordered any prints from me, you’ll notice a new addition to my product lineup called Signature Prints. These prints are mounted on a rigid board for protecting larger images. Most people will take their Signature Prints to their local frame shop to have them properly framed, as it’s hard to figure […]

 

If you have recently ordered any prints from me, you’ll notice a new addition to my product lineup called Signature Prints. These prints are mounted on a rigid board for protecting larger images. Most people will take their Signature Prints to their local frame shop to have them properly framed, as it’s hard to figure what to do with unframed artwork that isn’t a canvas once you receive it.

I recently ordered a few prints of our home, I didn’t want canvas and thought that I actually might mount them in my favorite configuration around the house, black frame, white mat. After it came in I decided against it. I actually used a really simple hanging method for some framed work around the house and figured that with a hack, it might work really well on my Signature Mount trio. For the framing fanatics…you may want to hide your eyes.

First off, I present to you my stark naked dining room (as far as walls are concerned).


I plan to fill the wall with family photos eventually, and paint. I didn’t want to make many holes in the wall because once the collection grows, I may have to reconfigure. I took a photo of the wall I’m considering and took it into Photoshop to play around, and after settling on an acceptable arrangement for the three, I went back to my wall.


I’m good with visually lining things up, so there are no pencil marks or grid lines, I have no idea where the laser level is either, so this project is freestyle baby! My main check point is the chair rail (because it’s pretty straight).

Now, I don’t know if you’ve used these or not, but they are awesome. They’re by 3M, and they are Command Adhesives (with Velcro). They remove easily and don’t snatch off paint. If you’re in an apartment, or don’t want to ruin your walls with holes, or care to protect the paint, this is a great product. I bought this pack of medium strips for $5.50. I stopped by the art store and purchased these clear dots as well to give the art a little lift from the wall.  Turns out I didn’t need the clear dots because the Velcro was just the amount of lift that I needed – but, they are a good option.


So after planning what’s to be a really nice feature wall, I get to the photo prep. Four strips per piece seems fair, so I follow the directions on the Command package to get my Velcro lined up, and pressed onto the wall.


It holds like I thought it would (they hold up to 1.5 lbs), and didn’t fall off after ten minutes. In my world, that means I’m good to go, so I repeat the process on the others, all totaled it takes about 15 minutes more.  A good thing about these is that it makes it easy to change out photography seasonally, or as families grow and change, or you can rotate photos in a popular room in the house. I love the way these turned out, and it’s no real wall commitment that I’m making, so when my dining room changes, I can move these around for the cost of about $5.


I really love the photo in the middle, it’s a metallic print, and while the other two are matte finish, this one just jumps out and the color is so vivid. It’s always an option…just ask when you’re ordering!


They also make larger strips to hold work in frames, these have been on the wall since last summer, and just like the small ones, they remove with no problems.

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Creating a feature wall

August 17th, 2011

What do you do when you have the strong urge for color in a room, yet you know you can’t paint the entire room? You create a feature wall. Pick a wall, could be the odd wall that’s not exactly large enough for anything else, or the area above your mantle, or a narrow space […]

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What do you do when you have the strong urge for color in a room, yet you know you can’t paint the entire room? You create a feature wall. Pick a wall, could be the odd wall that’s not exactly large enough for anything else, or the area above your mantle, or a narrow space between two hallway doors. That wall is perfect to accent with paint, and add decor as a feature wall.

I’m pretty visual, I love collecting ideas, and I love to do projects. The problem with my method is that I’m not a planner. I’m the type to buy now, sort materials and ideas later. You can only imagine all of the things I’ve purchased for a potential project that never really made their way into fruition. That was long before you could do everything online…so, this week I’m going to share a few places online to help you get a project planned and priced before you ever hit the store. Today’s post is dedicated to the buyers…not the planners. I’m sure the planner-people are reading this now thinking “Duh – who buys first?”. Well, this post is for us!

Planning it online
So, you picked your wall, and the first thing you want to do is run to Lowes or Home Depot and get paint…right? Well, there’s a better way. Lots of paint manufacturers now have online paint color selectors so you can “try” colors on blank walls in a real room. My favorite is at Behr. Play with all of the colors in a variety of rooms – and if you like you can even upload a photo of your room and color that too. Sherwin Williams also has a similar paint selector.

After you choose a color, then head to the paint store — but only to buy a sample…or a few swatches that you can see from far away.  Most companies sell tiny cans of paint in order to let you test colors.  Take it from me…sometimes a test is good.  Thanks to no test colors, the Apple Green I picked for my son’s bathroom dried and turned into Shocking Shrek Green!

Gather Online Inspiration
There are many websites online that allow you to save a notebook, or favorites for later.  One of my favorite sites is Etsy.  Everything there is made by hand, and you can find some really great craftsmen and women there.  I also find myself frequenting these sites for ideas:

Apartment Therapy
Ikea
Offbeat Home
Tip Junkie
Pinterest

Sketch out your plan
While the paint dries, or while you’re getting used to looking at your swatch on the wall, pull out the paper & pad & start sketching.  If you’re a magazine page collector, pull those out too.  Getting a visual from somewhere usually helps jump start your own thought process.  What do you want to feature? One photo, a series of photos? Word art & photos?  There are so many possibilities!  I am trying my best NOT to accumulate paper these days, so I browse for ideas & save them online at Pinterest.

The thing is, this planning phase can go on for a long time, sometimes you decide you’re not ready for that next step, or you just like your walls the way they are for the time being.  Either way, knowing online resources for design & inspiration are always a good thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wall Wednesday (yes, a day late!)

August 11th, 2011

Last week, I challenged you to jazz up your walls (or at least make plans to jazz up your walls on Pinterest!). I personally framed one photo (yay me!) and have my eye on about five photo frames that I am going to spray paint & use in an arrangement somewhere. I actually collected the […]


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Last week, I challenged you to jazz up your walls (or at least make plans to jazz up your walls on Pinterest!). I personally framed one photo (yay me!) and have my eye on about five photo frames that I am going to spray paint & use in an arrangement somewhere. I actually collected the frames from thrift shops for less than $10, and invested in a can of black spray paint. I bought the frames as wooden frames, but in actuality, I don’t like wooden frames, I like black frames/white mats. I’ve stared as this gang of off-colored frames for long enough, and hopefully before next week, that will be done.

On to this week’s topic. For about a month, I’ve been working on creating my Wall Guide for clients. It’s basically a catalog of ideas to jump start my clients in the ordering process. The guide features illustrations of 18 wall collections that I offer and all of the available options. So many times it’s hard to get a handle on what the sizes are just by reading them off of paper. This way, it’s a nice visual reminder.

So, feel free to browse the gallery guide, and if you like the fun background designs, check out my friend Shirley’s site, Wild Blueberry Ink. If you have ever purchased an image disk from me (or another photographer) and you never did anything with it, definitely stay on her site for a while and check out her awesome album designs & scrapbooking supplies.

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Show off

August 3rd, 2011

When you take photos, what do you plan to do with them?  These days, chances are your main goal is to have something nice to post on Facebook to share with your friends, but while entertaining your friends with your photos, have you left your walls bare? There was a time before easy access to […]


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When you take photos, what do you plan to do with them?  These days, chances are your main goal is to have something nice to post on Facebook to share with your friends, but while entertaining your friends with your photos, have you left your walls bare?

There was a time before easy access to digital images when photos were treated with dignity.  There may have been a few 4x6s kept in boxes, but the majority of photographs came from a photography studio with intentions of being placed in a frame on a desk or the wall. Even when personal 35mm cameras were in the height of popularity, and every drug store had a photo lab, photos still made it into an album to share with friends.  But today, where are your photos?

I’m not just asking you…I’m asking me too.  Unfortunately, I can give a number (give or take a thousand stragglers) of how many photos I’ve not done anything with.  According to my search, about 43,532 photos live on my computer, and probably 10-15k are my personal photos. Yikes.  I look around my office right now and count 4 photos on the wall. I have 1 canvas in the hallway, and a few 4x6s in frames out there as well.  In the living room, I doubt if I have 30 photos displayed.  So, I’ll ask again…where are YOUR photographs?  I’m a photographer and less than 1% of my own photos are on display in my home.

I suck, pretty much.  I document everything, I have a camera everywhere, I love taking photos of my son & husband.  I’ll share them online with friends, and the rest are on file for ‘later’, for me, it’s that mystical point in time I’ve designated to deal with making my son’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, no…really his 6th year photo album. It’s going to be a huge undertaking, so later seems like the best time.

On the flip side, as a photographer, I see so many clients who only want to purchase a disk of images.  Every time, I want to shout “NOOOO!!! Don’t do it!!!”, because I know what happens…it goes into the desk drawer for later. Or maybe one or two images are printed out for Grandma — who luckily still believes in framing photos.  Deep down inside, I feel like I’m giving my bad habit to you in a “handy to hide” way.  A photo disk is not going to be used nearly as long as an album, and won’t get the exposure as your prints in a nice wall arrangement.  Computers are great, every one has a CD Rom or DVD Player, and it seems like they’ll be around forever….but let’s take a moment of silence to remember all those 8-track tapes you’ve ever seen around your parent’s house…and not an 8-track player in sight.  The point is, technology gets old. It seems like a good idea to have things on disk for ‘later’, but if you’re like me, later is never scheduled on the calendar, it’s stuffed in the junk drawer.

So, I dedicate this post to the folks with camera phones…the ones who post 1 out of 100 photos on Facebook, the people who have photos that never get deleted from the camera (because how ELSE to show your photos??), and the procrastinators.  We need to take action, and every Wednesday, I’m going to post some inspirational walls, and some cool things to do with your photos there.  I need it, and you probably do too!

The following photos are some ideas I pulled from Pinterest.  If you’re there, check out the board in more detail here.  If you want an invite, email me & I’ll see how many I have left!  For those who want the ideas fast, check out some of these walls.  They put my walls to shame times ten!