In this day and age, most of us take photos every day and have thousands of photos of our children and families (or pets - let's be honest, some of us have more photos of our pets than our kids) to sort through every year. It can be overwhelming, knowing what to do with all of these images. As a result, here's what most of us do with our amazing, but enormous, collection of snapshots each year: nothing. The idea of choosing the very best ones and deciding how to display them is just too much, and many of them aren't print-worthy even though they definitely can't be deleted. So they live on our phones and computers, a digital security blanket reminding us that the moments we want to remember happened and could be called back up with a swipe, tap and a glance. But they don't surround us in our homes in the way that family portraits are meant to. Which is one reason why professional portraits are so important - they are meant to be displayed, and enjoyed.
A professional photo session should produce artistic and beautiful images of your family, as well as beautiful decor for your home. Snapshots are wonderful, but they capture everything that doesn't need to be captured - the cheesy guy photo-bombing you on your cruise to the Bahamas, the glaring sunlight as your kids squint into the camera while picking strawberries, the sweat and dirt coating everyone (as well as the random kid who adopted your family at the campground) on the campout in the Blue Ridge. When you choose photos to grace the walls of your home, the cheesy photobomber dude need not apply: you want just your family looking their very best in a beautiful setting, nothing more, nothing less. Wouldn't it be incredible if someone could help you produce a wall gallery of custom-framed, beautiful images of your favorite people? It would, and we can help. We're going to walk you through the process with a fun client (and now our awesome co-worker) in a two part series designed to show you how we get it done.
To start with, we visited Beckie's home to get an idea of the space that she ultimately wanted to decorate with photos from her upcoming session. In the light and bright kitchen, this family has a cozy eating nook with a big empty wall calling out for something to personalize the space and to say something about their family. Looking at the decor throughout the home, it's easy to see she prefers a classic, comfortable, but clean and uncluttered look to her decor, we try out various frame samples against the walls and step back to see how they look.
Using our software, we can show her exactly how her wall would look with images in various sizes on it to help her visualize what size prints would achieve the desired result. In the past, Beckie had defaulted to choosing 11x14 prints of her family, but it left her feeling like things weren't pulled together. She really didn't know what to choose, so we laid out a few options for her. We were even able to show how it would look with the frame she selected.
This is her wall with a single 11x14. Meh.
Next we tried three 11x14s. We knew this was a size with which she was familiar and comfortable. She loved the idea of three, but this still didn't have the impact she was looking for.
Next, I suggested a single larger image with a mat. Whether or not a client chooses a mat is purely personal preference, but we do highly recommend it when displaying a single image alone. This is a 24x30 image with a 2 inch double mat and 2.5 inch frame.
She liked this, but was really drawn to the series of three images, so we created these options, based on the same 24x30 portrait, now with two smaller images on either side.
She loved both of these, and we knew were on the right track. At this point, we have enough information going into the photo session to provide her with several options for these layouts, and she is feeling very comfortable knowing more about what the final display will look like. The final decisions of whether or not to including matting, or which of the two final layouts, will be decided after she has seen the images and has chosen her favorites.
Next, we talk color scheme. Because the photos will be used as decor, they need to fit in with the color scheme exisiting in the client's home. Beckie leans towards classic, somewhat muted colors, so we help her choose clothing for the family in colorways that will blend nicely when the photos are printed out and displayed throughout the home. Thankfully, the family's caramel-colored mini goldendoodle perfectly coordinates with the color scheme we're going for, so we have an excuse to use him in the photo session (i.e. take Logan cuddle breaks whenever necessary.)
Finally, we look at the clothing Beckie has chosen for the photos and add and subtract pieces for each family member until we feel that the outfits will look great together, but not overly matched. Colors and patterns can look great together, but it's important to make sure that there are some solids in the mix to break things up. We take one of the shirts Beckie has chosen for one of her sons and replace it with another shirt that will complete the group better, laying everything out on a bed to help us see how the colors and textures look all together.
And that's it! Beckie is now ready for her photo session (minus the fun part, wrangling 5 kids and the husband into the cute clothing). Stay tuned for our next blog post on this topic when we'll show the gorgeous finished result!
Do you want to look fabulous in any photo? Find out here.