The Digital File
You might think that you want the digital files, but I think that a family gallery wall is one of the best ways to showcase family portrait . Clients sometimes start the process of getting family portraits taken because they know they want pictures taken. Often they are only thinking of the images themselves. Our current culture has trained them to ask for digital images. They search out a photographer that will take their pictures and give them a disk of every image that was taken. The customer thinks that by getting every image, in digital format, they are getting the best possible product from their photographer. They get their disk… or usb drive… or digital downloads and they share some of Facebook. They get lots of likes and comments… They are happy. If it is near Christmas time they might order Christmas Cards with a couple of the images and maybe a print or two for the grandparents. Then the files sit… on a disk… maybe on the computer… You may or may not be able to find them when you want to reference them again.
You aren’t seeing your pictures on a daily basis. The ideal family portrait shows your family in idealistic fashion… not the “find your shoes NOW, we are already late” reality that we often live in. Sometimes we need reminders… VISIBLE… PROMINENT REMINDERS that we do, in fact, actually love each other.
Large Prints, Canvases and Other Art
Often people think that it would be best to get the digital files and order their big canvas themselves. Sometimes people are successful in doing so. They sort through all of the digital images that their photographer gave them, choose their favorite and go an order a huge 16×20 canvas from their local warehouse store.
They are mostly happy…
well… they saved a bunch of money, so it’s okay…
It was harder than they thought it would be pick their one favorite…
And the image wrapped around the canvas funny… so it kinda cut off everyone’s feet…
And 16×20 is WAY smaller than they thought it would be.
Honestly, they are a little disappointed…
The Family Gallery Wall
In reality, there are usually many favorites from a family session. It is hard to choose just one. aThat is why, often, a Family Gallery Wall is a better option than a large artwork piece to showcase your family portraits. Great idea you say… I will order some 8×10’s and some 5×7’s and make a gallery wall! But, in reality, ordering portrait art products is more difficult than you expect, and correctly sizing them for a galley wall is even harder. In my earlier post about designing this family gallery wall, I talked about some of the elements that go into a successful gallery wall. Getting the balance and scale right is harder than you would expect. This little exercise put to use some of my skills from architecture school.
In ordering each piece, I had to make sure that the both the print size and the finish framed size it into my design properly. We mixed a few of my clients old family favorites in with several of her favorites from her family session to create this gorgeous Family Gallery Wall that makes her smile every time she passes by it.
The scale of this Family Gallery Wall is deceptive. It is 8 feet across and 4 feet tall. I think that most people might have been overwhelmed by thinking that would be way too large. I think that most people in trying to design a gallery wall for themselves would err on the smaller size, but the barn picture, itself, is a 16×20, but as you can see fits perfectly with the space.
As you can see this space was visible from the downstairs. A smaller display would have looked undersized and awkward. It would have been disappointing.
If you are going to go to the effort to have professional portraits taken, also go to the effort of having artwork professionally designed for your individual space.