Choosing Pro Photos For Wall Groupings | Los Gatos Childrens Photographer

Big is always better…especially when it’s going on your wall. That’s what I always say.  :-)

One of the things I absolutely LOVE doing with my clients after the shoot is working with them on what to do with the fabulous images I just took for them.  :-)  From portraits to storyboards to albums to gift prints – the choices are endless and it’s easy to fall into a state of analysis paralysis. I mean, it’s hard enough to choose which images to keep, much less decide what to do with them.

Because I love to give my clients several images from which to choose, I feel it’s my job to do some level of filtering for them, as well as coming up with a few ideas on which ones to enlarge and set apart in a wall portrait and others that would make a greater statement shown together in a storyboard or by itself in a series of smaller formats. I always mock up a storyboard or two as well as a wall display (or two or three or four…depending on how much creative juice I have stored up) to give us a starting point for our one-on-one meeting after the proofs are done.

Several friends and clients assume that I must have millions of photos of my own children (and I do!) and ask how I decide which photos to enlarge, group together and the like. It is a daunting task but so it is for each of my clients after a shoot. Here’s what I tell my clients (of course, I’m sitting there with them):

  • Rate the photos – Yes, Maybe, No. This is an exercise we may go through several times to whittle down the selections to a workable number.
  • Choose the one image (or two or three if there are multiple children) that is their absolute favorite. That is the image(s) that should be set apart and enlarged as a portrait. It will also serve as the “anchor” for the entire wall grouping.
  • Choose several other photos that you’d like to see on your wall. We will fill in space in between those portraits with storyboards or smaller individual portraits to add interest and complete the story on the wall.

Since I work on location, I decided it was time that I practice what I preach and turn my own home into a gallery or showroom so that clients may get ideas on what is possible for their own homes. I have begun redesigning all of the walls in my house with portraits, storyboards and wall collages on canvas and gallery mounts. I’ve never liked the weight of frames, so I’ve gotten rid of most of them. The style of our home is comfy and contemporary, so canvas wraps and gallery standout mounts work well.

I’ve done a couple of recent photo shoots with my girls playing in the park down the street dressed in outfits I chose (a rarity, to be sure, with my somewhat opinionated daughters). Here’s the grouping I created from those two shoots:


All three of the pieces are mounted on 1.5″ deep canvas gallery wrap with black edges (I prefer that over the natural image edge). The side portraits are 20″ wide x 36″ high. The middle storyboard is 24″ wide x 36″ high. Currently, these sit in our dining room but once the holiday decor is completely taken down this weekend, I plan to move them to our family room where I can enjoy them everyday.

I’m lucky that my husband and business partner is also an awesome photographer with quite a collection of landscape and travel images that will adorn our walls as well. Although, it’s the series of images he took of our girls playing on the beach in the Maui sunset that will grace our walls first. Here is the grouping I created from those photos:


All three of the pieces are mounted on .75″ deep gallery mount (standout). The side portraits are 10″ wide x 20″ high. The middle storyboard is 16″ wide x 20″ high. These pieces hang on a wall in our girls’ playroom leading to the bathroom. I think of gallery mount (standout) as a bit more casual than canvas gallery wraps (certainly still a professional finish with the black plastic edges) and opted for this mount for anything I put in their playroom. They are very, very lightweight.

I know what you may be wondering…what will I do with these canvases when I take new photos of my girls? Well, once I put something on my walls, they stay there for a very long time – years, even. After all, these portraits and storyboards are my wall art. I won’t change them out as I see them together as an art piece, much like the original oil painting and prints of scenery we have hanging elsewhere. So, yes, I will take new photos of my girls as they grow and one day, I may decide to create another few large art pieces. But I know that will be years from now. I do have several frames on my shelves and desks waiting to house future images documenting the latest changes in my girls and one day, they may find a home in their photo albums and scrapbooks.

More to come…stay tuned.

An original post to Life As We See It, the official blog of Solheim Photography.

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