On the subject of me

Your images as art

I really do loathe starting blogs with questions but sometimes it is the ONLY WAY. Do you have a stack of printed images sitting on your desk, but no idea how to display them? Do you (like me) consider yourself a creative person who values beautiful spaces but somehow missed the Pinterest talk on how to hang a gallery wall?

My physical ‘to do’ list in my living room. Cue Frozen 2 music ‘I can hear you…but I won’t…’

I’m not an interior designer. I’m a photographer, obviously. My husband and I have accepted that when we renovate, we will be paying someone to decorate. However, I LOVE being in a space that makes me calm and inspired at the same time, so here we are…

How to display your art

We have a few options. In fact, the world is our oyster but I’m narrowing it down for those of us who get analysis paralysis.

  • We can focus on a classic gallery wall
  • We can stylise a book shelf
  • We can hang ‘stories’ in different areas of the house to create different vibes

The gallery wall

A tried and true way to display your images that alas, always had me pulling my hair out. How do you know how to arrange them? What is the right amount of space between frames? Which images look good next to each other? Well, I found this answer freeing so I’ll share it with you:

there is no magic bullet.

This is how it happened for me. I sent my photos away to be printed professionally and looking at them brought me so much joy that I knew it was time to conquer this fear. As mentioned previously, I don’t have the ‘interior eye’ so I invited two photographer friends over to give me feedback. Here was my first attempt:

Yes, I waited until 7:45pm to take this photo so the light was right and I could make a fun shadow.

As you can see, I had this artwork from my wonderful friend Rox front and centre, and three pix of my kids to the left. I launched into my fears around not having got it right or that it looks terrible. My friends were both weirded out I was spending so much time thinking about this – their feedback was just that, you’re overthinking it.

I really was.

For the next hour I played around with what I had, and the frames I’d had lying around. I tried an arrangement that almost worked but then didn’t (shrug). I realised I liked the large artwork on a different wall so I settled back on prints. My checklist was this:

  • Is everyone in our family on the wall?
  • Is there a mix of photographs and artwork?
  • Does it feel imperfect but correctly aligned?

The first one is easy – I found photographs of my husband and me that I could hang around the new images of the kids. The second one was a little trickier as I have so many artworks I haven’t hung yet, so choosing the other pieces that matched my wall was a personal choice. In the end, I went for the beautiful piece by Kelly Thompson that says ‘Take time’ and a framed print by Jenny Siaosi that is earthy and serene. Both these images match the tone of this wall. And the lucky last was the hardest, eyeballing the distance between each frame so I’m happy. Perfect is not the goal, visually satisfying is. I definitely did not use a ruler…

My finished (for now) gallery wall

The decorated Shelf

A stylised bookshelf with strategically placed frames to make them stand out.

One of my absolute favourite options is the book shelf. This industrial style unit is steel edged and I think cost around $100. The owner painted the MDF boards white to match her personal aesthetic. Throw in some draping plants, some book stacks and BOOM – your images become the icing on the cake. Guests will be immediately drawn to the frames you valued enough to give pride of place.

Stylised bookshelf display

Doing this option is also really safe as it’s totally portable, it does not involve putting holes in the walls AND you can swap out images any time. My personal feeling is that it’s also a more modern approach. When we renovate our house this year (fingers crossed) we’ll definitely be implementing one of these!

Stylised bookshelf display


Not a super clear heading but the pictures explain…

‘Stories’ are just that – a group of images that tell a story and evoke emotion.

Pictured above are two images of my kids playing in the ocean. One is colour, one is black and white. They both make me feel nostalgic, summery and joyful. I definitely want to feel these feelings in a bedroom! Probably a little too personal for a guest bedroom, but that’s just me. I had two cheap Kmart frames that I used here so I don’t commit to buying frames that will last (the black is already peeling on these) before I’m 100% sure they’ll live here.

In the first picture, you have what one of my friends would call ‘an anointed spot’ – a beautiful chair for pondering in. If I had a cat, this is where I would sit and stroke her until I forgot about my problems. Here, the framed print is of a woman who was indeed inclined to ponder, and is joyfully locked in her own mind. It’s one of my favourite images largely because other people would gloss over it in an album but given space, she shines. That’s quite comforting to me and makes me feel cosy, a perfect feeling for sitting and petting.

In the second, we have the dining table. Main living areas are always a great place for dramatic imagery. I’ve put this one here because it reminds me of receiving an oferring. This is the place in a home where you eat together, you host people, you share about your days and your hopes or – if you’re at my dinner table – who said what really inappropriate thing at school that day but how it wasn’t their fault cause they hadn’t eaten yet.

be confident

There’s really only one way to see if it works, you just do it.

Print that image BIG and print it WELL. Put it in a quality frame and hang it pride of place in your living area and watch how conversations are stirred around how it makes other people feel.

If reading this has made you realise you don’t have photographs you want to print, get in touch.

I know I can harp on about this (if you know me that is, lucky if you don’t) but printing your images is the only way to get the most out of your investment. I want you to walk past a space everyday and feel the joy you felt when those pictures were taken. That is the power of art – it makes you feel. It remembers for you when you forget. It places you in a space you might need to reconnect with when you’re having a tough day.

So please, don’t let ‘not being good at design’ stop you from enjoying your photographs.

End rant.

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