Make that a photo finish

If you have often felt the need for a less-cumbersome way for your guests to view your cherished photographs than impatiently turn the pages of a heavy album, there’s indeed a lovely alternative. Create a photo wall.

A photo wall is a well-chalked-out display of multiple photographs on a chosen wall, most commonly in the living room. As for the pattern, there’s a lot of flexibility. Opt for geometrical shapes like the conventional rectangle, a square perhaps or even a rhombus. Or, pick funky shapes if you are game for innovation. Arrange the chosen photographs on the basis of a theme or randomly.

They could be your recent wedding photographs or your child’s birthday party. Perhaps you have just returned from a vacation and would like to put up pictures that remind you of the wonderful time you’ve had. If nostalgia is your cup of tea, opt for old family or school photos. Most people like to display black and white photos for the enhanced artistic quality it affords.  

Arrangement of photos

Those who’ve taken to photography as their hobby would love to display their work. Choose your photos on the basis of their quality or content. You can even photograph your paintings and array them if you’re an artist. Pay attention to composition, context, lighting and point of view when selecting photos for display. The photos may either be framed or otherwise. Black frames go well with black and white photos.

If you’re choosing coloured ones, coordinate or contrast them with the wall colour. Use mats for display. It facilitates constant changing of photos. Whatever your choice may be, take care to print only copies for display, retaining the originals safely. Check if the quality is good enough to allow the photos to be blown up. You can even use image manipulation software to heighten the beauty of your photos. If this is beyond your potential, seek the help of a capable friend or a qualified professional.  

There are a couple of decisions regarding the location you can choose for your photo wall. Make sure the place is adequately lit. If natural light is scarce, you’ll have to make up with enhanced accent lighting. Wall sconces are able assistants here. If the selected spot is beside a window, remember, the photos will not show up well without appropriate artificial lighting. A wall facing the window can diminish this need to some extent.

But, if the window channelises direct sunlight towards the photos, they’ll fade out real quick! Some photo walls display the pictures from top to bottom. This, however, will score on the aesthetic factor only if the wall is a narrow one.
Displaying photos along the top level of the window all along the room is another alternative.

But, it’s best restricted to a personal space, say, your bedroom. The stairway wall is another favourite location. Clear the spot of all dust, grime and cobwebs before you begin.

Usually, it’s recommended to start from the pattern’s centre, keeping it at eye-level (about five-six feet from above the floor) and working around it. You can first tape together old newspaper sheets to form the approximate size of the wall-portion chosen, lay it on the floor and play around with the photo-arrangement until you hit upon the right combination. Then replicate it on the wall. Or, if you’ve digital formats of the photos, do this on the computer. You can also display a collage of photos. Again, the computer is your best ally here.

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