How to Create a Photo Wall: Part 1

IMG_0478Most of us have lots of family photos tucked away – older ones in boxes, newer digital ones on our computer, phones or uploaded to instagram or the cloud. But sometimes it can seem overwhelming to display these photos on a wall in your home, even though you would like to. Here are some suggestions for going from a hidden photo collection to one you can share with guests.

Plan a theme. Lots of graduation photos and other professional shots are OK, but your photo wall can be much more fun to look at if you focus on more candid shots such as vacation photos or pictures taken at family events. You can also combine photos of your children at different ages so that people can see the changes as they get older.

Vary the size and shape of the photos. Include both horizontal and vertical shots and choose which photos to emphasize with larger sizes. Warehouse and drug stores can blow up your photos to almost any size.

Crop your photos. Often our pictures have too much unimportant background and the people can get lost. Use an inexpensive software package such as Photoshop Elements to trim the unimportant elements out and let the people shine.

Use simple and similar frames. Many art supply stores offer sales on stock image size frames such as buy one get the second for a penny. Keep your eyes open for those opportunities and buy all of the frames you need at one time. Having a consistent look for frames helps your finished wall look more professional and encourages people to focus on the photos not the frames.

In our next blog we’ll take a look at how to create an effective photo display.



Family Photo Tips

family_photo_tipsWhen you look back on your life, photos capture memories like nothing else. For our parents and grandparents, taking pictures was limited by the cost and effort. Now with the advent of digital photography, you can create a record of every event in your life. But are you taking the time and energy to take the best photos you can of your family and all of the important moments you want to keep?

We invite you to visit one of the Fulton Homes Pinterest boards: Family Photo Tips. We’ve collected a wealth of advice from professionals and skilled amateurs, on everything from finding poses that create interest to how to group photos on your walls and share them with other family members.

Do you have a little one or two with family too far away to see their progress as they change with every week, and sometimes it seems with every day? How about creating a series of photos using the same background with pictures taken every month to show the progress and growth? Or consider celebrating your infant’s first year of life with a special photo taken every month in appropriate garb for the season or various holidays. You can then turn those shots into a calendar for fond grandparents as a holiday gift.

Online companies will help you take your photos commemorating an important milestone in your or your family’s life to create a book that captures the moments and excitement of that time – something you can look at and enjoy long after the time is past.

Or how about commemorating your move into your new Fulton Home? Photos of the construction process, the move, and the progress of your decorating efforts can tell a story that you might want to share as part of a housewarming party.

When it comes to bringing the moment to life with photography, the only limits are your own imagination. And for more ideas and tips, we hope you will visit the Pinterest board we developed to help you make your family photos something special, at

Sharing Family Photos

14570371_SMany people love to collect and share photos of their children and grandchildren, and parents know that these are appreciated gifts. If you have people in your life who want photos of your family, it pays to think about the best delivery system.

A photo album provides the traditional approach to photos. If you are a scrapbooker, you might want to give key family members albums with removable pages, and give them updates to add regularly. This way they can enjoy the photos and also take part in the story of your trips or holidays.

14234026_SFor family members with limited space, consider giving a digital photo frame. This way they can have multiple photos within one small area. Updates are also easy – just load additional photos on the frame when you see them or send a flash drive for those family members who are tech-savvy. You may also want to give a pocket digital photo carrier so grandma can carry it in her purse to share with friends.

19428252_SOne fun gift for family requires some pre-planning. By taking holiday or seasonal photos of your child or children for a year, or even seasonal family photos, you can give personalized photo calendars in December with a different seasonally-appropriate photo for each month. For doting grandparents, aunts and uncles, this calendar is so much more fun and appreciated than a generic one picked up at a bookstore, and not that much more expensive.

Thanks to digital photography, photos of loved ones provide easy and welcome presents. You can share the joy of your family by giving thoughtful photos presented in inviting ways.

Taking Successful Family Photos

17538445_SWhether you have family photos professionally done or take your own pictures, a few tips can make the difference between a great set of photos or a bunch of typical shots.

Here are some suggestions for making your family photos something special now and for the future.

Avoid the traditional line-up or “grip & grin” approach. Look for ways to make the photo more intriguing by using non-standard poses and groupings. Take a look at the photo above. By placing the mom and daughter to one side, the photo draws you in.

14427973_SConsider depth of field. This is something professional photographers do all the time. In the photo above, the background is completely out of focus. This allows the viewer to pay attention to the two participants without the background serving as a distraction. In the photo to the right, once again the pose is different and charming, and the background is just slightly out of focus.

Coordinate colors without going matchy-matchy. In the photo to the right, all family members are in blue but the patterns, tones and styles differ, making them look coordinated but not too pre-planned.

26609668_SUse props. In the photo to the left, dad and daughter are interacting with favorite toys and a book. This can make a big difference with babies and toddlers. Their patience can quickly fade without some good distractions. Props can also help a child – and an adult for that matter – forget the camera and act naturally.

For more ideas to make your family photos special, visit our Fulton Homes Pinterest Family Photos board. You’ll be glad you did!