Photo Walls – 7 things to consider
If you are thinking of creating a Photo Wall we’ve a few suggestions, tips and ideas that we would like to share with you. We’ve learnt a lot during our testing and experimentation with our Photowall concept. These tips will be useful to anyone considering a creating a Photo Wall, with Fridgi frames or with traditional hang on the wall frames. The tips are more about the look and layout of your photo wall as well decor rather than the type of frames you use.
1) A Static or Dynamic Photowall
2) The Location, Size & Shape of your Photowall
3) Frame spacing
4) Frame orientation
5) Frame colour
6) Grouping your photos together
7) Getting creative with a Photowall
1) “Do you want a Static or Dynamic photo wall ?”
A Static photo wall is one that you leave the same size. A Dynamic photo wall is one that you can expand and add to over-time.
Think about creating a Dynamic photo wall. Why? Throughout your life you will be taking new photos, many you will want to display, and there won’t be many that you’ll want to take down. A Dynamic photo wall lets you keep adding more photos over time. You can create a vibrant visual history that can be relived at a glance, often, with lots of smiles and laughter. The modular Panels of the Fridgi Photowall let you easily grow your photo wall over time. A Dynamic photowall is a great way for families to start and keep alive their photo history.
A Dynamic photo wall is also a great way to protect your favourite digital photos from being lost. A print is the safest way to store a photo. If you get in the habit of printing it and putting your favourite’s on your photo wall you will create a collection of photos that is well protected (from computer crash or lost files, cd’s & shoe boxes). You can use the Post-a-Digi service www.postadigi.com to have a photo printed, framed and sent to you to put on your photo wall.
Dynamic Photowall’s are suited to areas that are large and have lots of blank space, such as hallways, stairways or large family room walls. With a hallway or staircase you can start at one end and move down the hall, or up the stairs, adding more panels and new photos over time. For a wall in a room consider starting the photo wall in the middle of the wall, or having it centered above an object such as a couch, bookcase or bed. You can maintain a balanced look by adding panels & photos evenly to each side over time (you can store new ones on your fridge, once its full move them to the Photowall and start covering the fridge again)
If you choose to limit the size of your photo wall and create a Static photo wall you can still keep all photos updated by changing them as you need, with a Fridgi Magnetic Photo Frame it only takes a few seconds to change a photo.
2) When creating a Dynamic or Static photo wall you will need to consider the Location, Size and Shape of your photo wall
Location & Size; Where you put your photo wall will influence how large you can make it, plan ahead and think about where you will put any new photos. A hallway or wall offers lots space so it is easy to create a large photo wall. Smaller spaces may require a little bit more planning or a creative layout. A wide photo wall is well suited to being placed above a couch, bookcase, bench or table. A tall thin photo wall is well suited to rectangular spaces such as between doors in a hallway, a gap between furniture, or the corner of a room or end of a hallway. Make sure the location is well lit as you’ll need a good light source to bring your photos to life but keep them away from direct sunlight.
Height & Width; are important as you want the shape of your photo wall to complement the look of the room, decor and surrounds. If you are creating a photo wall on a large wall space try and cover a large area of the wall and match the shape of the photo wall to the shape of the blank space. Try and leave some empty space around the edge of the photo wall itself to “frame it”. If you are creating one above a an object, like a couch, try and create the photo wall to be about as wide as the couch and again leave some space above and below to “frame it”.
You will also need to consider the overall shape of your photo wall. You can choose to have a photo wall with a defined shape where the photo wall is defined by straight edges, rectangular or square. Or you can choose to have a photo wall where the edges are not defined by straight edges. With a rectangular or square shaped photo wall you can have all frames touching or spaced and still maintain definition of the shape of the photo wall. When creating a photo wall with undefined edges you need to be careful that you do not space the individual frames too far apart, this may lead a spread out and undefined looking Photowall, this will then appear unfocused. Keeping the individual frames close together will help “define” the shape of your photo wall and make it visually more focused and interesting. Smaller frames will need to be kept closer together than larger frames to maintain a defined look to your photo wall. A clearly defined edge and area for your photo wall allows the eye and mind to the focus on the photo wall and not be distracted by blank space.
For both tall and wide Photowall’s try and have at least 1/3 of your photo wall at or above eye height, this will provide a more balanced look to someone who is standing and admiring the Photowall.
Blank corner spaces can be utilized to create a photo wall. A tall thin photo wall placed in a corner will look impressive and make use of space that may otherwise be dead space. Odd shaped walls, cavities, protrusions etc can be transformed with a small photo wall. Sections of wall that were not wide enough to display a piece of hanging wall art can be brightened up with a tall, thin display of photos. An unsightly gap or protrusion can be transformed into a colourful photo display. Try and match the shape of the photo wall to shape of the space you are covering and remember to leave some space around the photo wall to “frame it” and maintain visual balance.
If you have a room that has lots of objects along a wall, such as a couch, bookcase, TV etc you can create an effective photo wall by placing a strip of photos along the length of the wall above the objects and furniture. A photo wall about 1ft tall (about 3 frames high) running along the length of a wall or down a hallway can look quite stunning, especially in a small apartment where the rooms are small. A long thin strip will create the illusion of length. Choosing alight coloured frame will let the photos stand out.
Lighting is important, you want to have you photo wall in a location that is well lit, you wont do the photos justice if they are in a poorly lit area. Be careful not to place your photo wall in an area that is subject to direct sunlight as the UV rays and heat from the sunlight can damage and fade your photos.
Remember to keep your Photowall away from sources of heat (direct sunlight, fires, heaters) and moisture.
3) Spacing between Frames
Don’t leave too much space or gaps between the frames, too much space will let the viewers eye subconsciously “wander” around and your photo wall will appear less interesting. One of the advantages of using Fridgi’s is that you can leave some space between the frames or you can leave none at all. If your wall space is limited you can tighten up the frame groupings without affecting the overall look. A Fridgi Photowall looks great with all the frames touching each other, it also looks great with a little bit of space between the frames, this is possible because the frame borders are all the same colour, texture & thickness; this gives you lots of flexibility in laying out your photos. With Traditional hang on the wall frames you will need to leave some space between the frames to create visual balance. You can always experiment before putting up your photo wall by laying some frames out on a table or on the floor to see what you prefer; big gap, small gap or no gap.
4) Frame Orientation
The 3 standard options are 1) all Horizontal, 2) all Vertical or 3) a Mix of Horizontal & Vertical frames. The most common layout is a mix of Horizontal (Landscape) & Vertical (Portrait) photos as most of us have a mix of both types of photos. All the same orientation, all vertical or all horizontal frames, can look quite spectacular. In the end your favourite photos will determine the mix and you can always experiment with various layouts on a table or the floor (or your fridge) before putting them on the wall. With Fridgis, because they are magnetic you can easily change the layout. There is a fourth option “quirky” where all the frames are slightly rotated and offset, on a large scale this can look quite interesting (and is often how your photos end up on the fridge).
5) Frame Colour
Try and have your frames all the same colour. All the same colour creates a visual constant that lets your eye focus on the photos and not be distracted by the different coloured frames. From a distance frames of all the same colour will look more unified than a mix of colours. If you have a mix of frame colours the different colours can distract the eye from the photos and from a distance make the photo wall look unbalanced. The neutral colours of silver, black or white look great on most walls. With traditional hang on the wall frames, white, black or dark wood frames look best.
6) Grouping your Photos
Having groups of photos together can add and extra dimension to your photo wall. With Fridgi’s it is easy to create groupings of similar photos. You group photos by trip or event t or by years or decades. You can also group your photos by colour, by subject, by theme etc. If you have some Black & White photos you can create an artistic photo wall of your favourite B&W’s. B&W photos look great in either Black or Silver frames. You can also split your photo wall into separate sections, with different sections for different groups of photos. For example you can have several separate tall thin photo walls down your hall with each photo wall containing photos from a different year (trip, decade or adventure)!
7) Getting Creative
If you want to get creative with you photo wall the only limit is your imagination. If you have an artistic touch you can use the flexibility of laying out Fridgis to create a Photowall of whatever shape you like, it is easy to create something “outside the square”.
If you are a photography enthusiast you can use a photo wall to group you photos together by theme, subject, colour, orientation etc. One photographer we know has a collection of “Blue Door” photos that they have taken over the years (every time they came across a blue door they took a photo). They now have an amazing collection of “Blue Doors” from all over the world which has made for an amazing Photowall. Some other example of creative Photowall’s are B&W portraits, sunsets, shadows, clouds, people at work, sports action photos etc. The modular Fridgi Photowall system makes it easy for a Photographer to inexpensively showcase their favourite’s.
Authors note. Please note these are not “rules” rather things to consider. Every room, frame layout & photos will be different, what one person likes another may not. Use your personal judgment and creative skill to create a photo wall you like, don’t worry about bending or breaking any “rules”. So, to use a phrase that rarely gets used in an artistic sense “Just Do It” and make a photo wall you love !!!
We also have a Fridgi Photowall Suggestion Service. If you are thinking of putting up a Fridgi Photowall and would like some help, suggestions or advice please let us know. Send us a question or a photo of where you want to put your Photowall. We’ll have a look and come up with some suggestions to help you out. If you have several spots you are considering, send a few photos. If you send a photo please shrink them down for emailing and also give us the dimensions of an object that is in the photo and next to where you want to put your Photowall we’ll be able to estimate the size of the space.