As a photographer who sells wall art books and albums, my own home was very much lacking a photo wall display until recently. I had framed photos sitting on my dresser and end tables. I’ve got photo books and lots of scrapbooks, but I didn’t yet have any large photos on my wall.
In addition, it had been five years since my husband and I had professional photos taken together. It was time for us to get on the other side of the camera, because somehow 5 years had flown by since our wedding day and that was the last time we’d been photographed! So I reached out to my talented friend Tiff, of Tiffany Scarlatto Photography, and she created some really awesome portraits for us.
We loved our photos, and could not wait to have them printed! Letting them sit on a hard drive and sharing them only on social media was not an option for us! I knew that a photo book of all my favorites was a MUST and a wall art display for our home was long overdue as well. I was eager to make this happen, so I got to work as soon as my images were available.
Here’s how I approached the project…
- Picked out the wall space I wanted to decorate with our portraits
- Decided what type of wall art best fit that space and my own taste
- Considered different sizes and configurations within that space and picked our favorite one
- Experimented with different images in our selected layout
- Researched the ideal type of hangers for our art and wall as well as methods to ensure everything was spaced correctly and hanging straight
- Hung our wall art
1. Decide where to hang my portraits
Everyone’s style and taste varies a bit so there’s no “right” answer on where to place a wall art display in your home, but you might find this video about the “rules” of decorating with wall art helpful when planning it out.
We happened to have a few bare walls in our home that were just begging to be decorated with portraits.
- Our living room above the couch
- Our spare bedroom that my grandkids use often
- Above the headboard in our bedroom
In this case the photos were of my husband and I. We really wanted to enjoy them in our bedroom since its our own personal space together, so I decided to save our living room wall for photos of the kids and grandkids. I thought the images would create a nice romantic atmosphere in our room and hey, our guests probably don’t want to look at photos of us kissing and cuddling anyway! ?
Is there a space in your home you’d like to decorate with photos of you and your loved ones? Did you know that I can show you what your photo wall display will look like to scale, before you even order??!
2. Select a type of wall art
After choosing the wall space, the next most important thing was to decide which type of wall art we wanted. There are so many options these days, from the traditional framed prints, to canvas wraps, to the latest trends in Metal, Wood, and Acrylic.
Your existing home decor and personal style preferences will help direct you to the right options for you. Don’t be afraid to frames or even types of wall art for your own photo wall display! You can get as creative as you want with this!
Bob and I decided that we loved the clean and modern look of metal prints best. They are available framed but we preferred them unframed. They come in glossy and matte finishes and we preferred the vibrancy of the glossy finish.
3. Choose a layout and photo sizes
With that a decision out of the way, we had to decide on the layout. I uploaded a cell phone photo of my wall and experimented with different arrangements, sizes and images in the iPad app that I use with my clients. It was so much fun sharing some of my wall display ideas on Facebook with my friends and family. I think they had a blast weighing in with their opinions to help me narrow them down. Below are the configurations that made the final cut.
Trying the different photo sizes and arrangements on our wall gave us a true preview of how each one would fill the space. This helped us make our final decision confidently. We both liked an arrangement of 3 photos with the center one being larger than the others. So we chose the two 16×16 pieces arranged on either side of a 20×30 in landscape orientation. This configuration broke the 2/3rds rule of wall art above a piece of furniture, but we still liked the way it looked and that’s what matters most, right?!
4. Decide which photos to include
The iPad App let me try all my favorite photos in our chosen layout, so that we could see which ones looked best together. I picked out an arrangement that I liked, and showed it to Bob at dinner. He surprised me by wanting to try a few more options, and I was happy that he was into it with me. My wall art app made the whole thing easy and we quickly found a combination we both loved. Yeay!! I was ready to order our wall art display!
5. Watch “how to “videos on picture hanging
When it came to physically hanging my pictures up, I was a little unsure. I knew I needed a little help with getting photos onto the wall without making a mess of it, so watching a few videos on YouTube made me feel much more confident and helped me decide how to approach it.
Here are the videos that I found most helpful.
- Top 5 Picture Hanging Tips by Coral Hoyt
- How to Hang Pictures by Lowe’s Home Improvement
- High & Mighty Hangers
6. Hang the wall prints
I shopped Home Depot for my hooks and referred to the packaging and instructions to find hooks that would work well for the…
- weight of my prints: very lightweight
- style of my hanger: wire
- type of wall: drywall
After the metal prints arrived, I could not wait to get my wall display assembled, so I got to work the very next day. This part of the process only took me about 30 minutes and I think with more practice it would have gone even faster than that.
Tools for the job
- Tape Measure
- Painters Tape
- High & Mighty Tool-Free Wall Hangers
- Hang & Level Picture Hanging Tool purchased on amazon.
Arranging My Photos
The videos above offer numerous tips and tricks that you can use to hang your photos. Because they employ a wide variety of hanger types, you’re sure to find something helpful! Here’s how I got my own 3 prints on the wall.
- With painter’s tape, I marked off the area where I wanted to center the entire configuration. I used the edges of my headboard for my left and right borders.
- Next, I found the center of that space using my measure, marked that spot with a pencil.
- Then I used my hang and level tool to place my center piece at the height I wanted above my headboard and marked that spot.
- I pushed the hanger into the wall where my mark was and it went in easily! Note that the High and Mighty wall hangers can be harder to push in to some types of drywall, so a tap with a hammer could be helpful in those cases. Also, keep in mind that they aren’t meant to be used with plaster.
- I used the hang and level tool to place the second piece at the height I wanted; centered within the height of the first piece. I used my tape measure to make sure it was exact.
- I repeated the process on the other side at the same distance from the center piece.
The Finished Photo Wall
I couldn’t wait to show Bob our completed wall! Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was working from hom, so I only had to wait until he got a break between meetings. He was really impressed! In his words, the metal prints are “sick”. Which in “Bobonics”, translates to really awesome (or something like that! ?). I’m fairly certain that he was just happy to have me take over the task of hanging them on the wall so he didn’t have to!
If you’ve done photo sessions with me in the past, but never put your images on your wall, I’d love to talk to you about a display in your home. I can take you through everything from designing the right configuration for your space, to selecting images that will look great together, to helping you install them in your home! It’s alot of fun. So give me a call or send me an email if you’d like to get started!