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Design

Our Favorite and Design-Friendly Ways To Display Family Photos (So That Your Home and Family Look Their Best)

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What makes a house a home? It’s the little things that allude to the fact that a person (i.e. you) lives there. For example, it could be the coffee maker that’s set to brew at 7 am every morning, or even the row of hooks to hang your dog leashes on. It can be anything specific to you and your lifestyle, but there’s one simple thing that’s totally universal to each household & we’ve deemed it the easiest way to add a touch of hominess to your space (yup, you guessed it): family photos.

We’re all here on this blog because we just want things sprinkled around our houses that makes our hearts happy, so it makes sense that most of us want to frame and hang up pictures of the people we love most. But in order to achieve this, you don’t have to go to the beach to take photos with your family in matching white shirts and jeans…in fact, please don’t. That’s a lot of work. We’re firm believers that candid, fun family photos are your best bet to bring energy and life into your home (and capture the essence of the folks that live there), so today we’ve rallied up a few designer-approved techniques to framing them. Let’s make those hearts happy…

The One Big Photo

Go big or go home. Well you are home, so go big and hang it in your home. This works well when you’re not blowing up a giant photo of your toddler’s face, and instead go for a more scenic family photo (like the one pictured above) from a special moment in time. Sara took this photo of Emily and her fam on an iPhone, so no you don’t have to have some fancy professional camera to blow up a photo to its max capacity. If you do this with an iPhone shot however, we just recommend making it black and white or something that can hide graininess. Sara also photoshopped a little section of this picture out to make the background more scenic, so if you want a full tutorial on how this was done…check out this blog post.

Little Moments (vary frames)

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from “4 ways to style a credenza for everyday life”

Okay so I just said “go big or go home” but now I’m gonna tell you about “less is more”. Tomato tomato, go with whatever is right for your family and your space. Just make sure if you’re going for smaller family photos (like the ones pictured on the credenza above) you vary the standing frames to bring in more visual interest. This is a good time to experiment and play around with fun and flirty frames in all shapes, sizes, and materials!

Same Frame Family Photos

You have two options here if you want to do a wall of family photos moment…

Option A: Go for the grid

This is a clean and simple option, and in my opinion looks GREAT when all the photos are in black and white. Oh, which brings me to a sizzling hot tip coming in so hot it’s burning my fingers as I type this…

Hot Tip

If you want to do a wall of family photos with the same sized frame, make sure your photos are either all in black and white or all in color, this will make the wall look more cohesive 🙂

Also since we were chatting about candid fun photos in the intro, another hot tip that Emily used for the grid above, is to take videos of your family or friends and then screenshot the moments you like the most. This works ESPECIALLY great if you have small kids and it feels impossible to take a photo. This will make your mission accomplished.

Option B: The classic gallery wall

photo by melissa oholendt | from “the curbly family dining room makeover”

The gallery wall is always a classic and always a favorite of ours, so if you’re into this idea, GO FOR IT. You can do no wrong (well just make sure you don’t go too small on the frames and space it too far apart — otherwise they will look bitsy). If you want tips for how to build a successful gallery wall, check out this gallery wall formula post we swear by.

Polaroids and Photo Strips

These are both no-fail options.

Remember when I said go for candid, fun photos about 1,000 times? Polaroids and photo booth strips are at a 10/10 on the fun and candid scale. They’re also the perfect art piece because no one ever knows what to actually do with them once you get them back from the camera or photo booth printer. Just slap them on the wall people! It’s a win-win for everyone and you won’t regret it. Here’s a photobooth strip AND polaroid example (in the same shot!) that Em has in her personal gallery wall in the mountain house:

photography by sara ligorria-tramp | from “our ultra kid-friendly mountain house family room reveal”
Hot Tip

When in doubt, float mount

If you have an abundance of polaroids because you bought the polaroid printer that Emily is very obsessed with because you can print polariods from your IPHONE PHOTOS, then here’s a way to frame them so they look awesome (and make you feel good):

Both Arlyn and Sara achieved this polaroid grid family photo look in their MOTOS (Arlyn’s grid isn’t technically polaroids, they’re actual square images printed by Artifact Uprising and put together by Frame It Easy, which is also a great option). We’re all super into this kind of thing and if you are too let us know in the comments 🙂

I hope this helped and that you grabbed a couple of ideas from this so you don’t have to coordinate matching outfits with your family this year (or if you do that, by all means go for it and do you!). Wishing you all the best with your family photo framing and be sure to #showemyourstyled so we can see how they turned out!! Ta-ta for now.

Opener Image: Photography by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From “How We Shoot, Edit, and Hang Family Photos with Framebridge”

Fin Mark

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Dani

If you like the grid polaroid look, some printing companies have the grid templates where you just plop your digital photos in the template, and then they print it all out together on poster paper.

Noelle

Yes! Social Print Studio in San Francisco does this — and I am obsessed with their wood prints.

Anon

Where should we be putting our family photos? I have some on the bedside table and on the media table. I have more photos that I don’t know what to do with. I actually put a few framed photos in the closet so that when I open it up… I see my spouse.

Also…

Does anyone know where to get “metric” or “European” size frames in the USA?

We may have to save some of our best photos from our European vacation to visit family until we can go back post pandemic and shop for frames there. We have professional photographer prints that are 31 x 22 cm, 12.5 x 19.5 cm, 5 x 7.5cm.

I almost fainted when I got a quote from one of the often mentioned custom framing sources on blogs and podcasts.

Anon

I have a bunch of photos displayed in my closets too and every time I open the door it makes me SO happy. Like, not a design feature to jazz up my home, but just something super personal for me, which somehow makes it even extra special and I still see every day. It’s my new favorite place for photos.

Erin

I had this issue too and bought myself a mat cutter. You can buy standard sized frames and then cut the mat to any size you want. The price of the mat cutter is equal to 4-5 custom mats, so it pays for itself if you have a bunch of photos to frame.

Beth

I usually find similar sized American frames that are at least 1″ larger on each side than the photo/artwork I’m framing, then order a custom-cut mat from Etsy (doesn’t have to be even on all four sized as long as it’s not super thin top/bottom and super thick on the sides). I recently got one that was around $10 for a 11×14 sized mat, so it’s affordable too! This is where I got the mat: https://etsy.me/3kLolbp and then I just ordered a frame that was on sale from Michaels.

Carrie

Many years ago when I was a teenager taking art classes and entering my creations into art contests I would order all of my frames from picturesframes.com. They are still around and you can customize size down to 1/8-inch which should get you pretty darn close. You can also get mats from there.

Susanna

that entry table styling seems a bit busy, busy, busy
the eye doesn’t know where to go

Erin

Your timing couldn’t have been more perfect on this post. I just painted our hallway and am going to hang a gallery wall of family photos. Definitely love the varied frames look. The example over the credenza is the look I am going to go for. Thanks for all the inspiration!

wallart

Wow! The ideas are unique and wonderful. The human creativity is unlimited, the video really fascinates me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and immediately ordered decorative items on the website: https://daisycorners.com/product-category/dinning-room/dining-tables-dinning-room/. Really the rooms like completely changed bring a completely new space. Great.

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