Five Easy Steps To Frame and Hang Family Photos

Five Easy Steps To Frame and Hang Family Photos

This is the best time to frame and hang family photos in your home! Find yourself staring at blank walls lately? Yeah, me too. This whole social distancing thing has got us isolating at home and me with a whole lot more time on my hands. I thought that this is the best time to finally order the prints I’ve been meaning to hang up on my wall and share the journey with you.

Once I placed my order, my prints took two days to get to my mailbox. That’s it. So in two days, you can be hanging up your own family portraits in your home. Don’t be afraid to reuse old frames or check out my affordable recommendations from Amazon, Target, and IKEA and order your own to be delivered straight to your door. 

But let’s take it one step at time. Here are five easy steps I have found to have the best success in hanging family photos around your home.

1. Pick a Spot In Your Home to Hang Family Photos

Think about where you might want to hang family photos. For example, if you want a display above your dining room table, consider one large piece. My lovely family clients from Missouri printed their 24×30 canvas to hang behind their kitchen table.

Think about putting your favorite family photos in the place you’ll see when you first come in your home. So that the second you get home, you’re greeted with your favorite moments of your life. 

Trying to fill an empty hallway or entryway? Consider doing three large prints side by side that compliment each other. That’s one project that I’m working on right now. I love keeping things symmetrical, so I’m printing 11×14 prints to go in these three frames from IKEA. For our hallway wall, all of the ones I printed are from Fall, so that the colors compliment each other well.

Hanging craft paper before you hang your frames

Want to know a Stark family rule? No family pictures in the bathroom! It’s my only DO NOT DO when it comes to family pictures. Please don’t hang family pictures in your bathroom. Just don’t. No one wants eyes watching them when they’re doing their business! Maybe I’ve watched too much Harry Potter and think that the portraits are alive and can see and talk to you. That’s just my preference, so do what you want, but that’s a rule in the Stark house. 

2. Choose Your Arrangement to Hang Family Photos

How many photos are you framing? Do you need a collage frame or one large frame. How about no frame at all? My most popular product in the print store is 24×36 gallery wraps. Eliminates the need for frames all together! 

To figure out which pictures I want to hang together and in what order here’s what I did:

Use a program like Google Slides or Docs. Insert your images to one slide and make sure they look good together. Don’t be afraid to move them around and take out a picture you originally thought you would use for one that better fits. Use pictures from the same session, season, or at least have the same color tone. I also recommend changing up the dynamics of the images. One close up in the middle, with a far away shot to the left and a medium shot to the right looks really nice together.

How to hang three pictures together

These are not all from the same shoot. Put they were all taken during the Fall season. It helps the color tones stay more consistent which is important when pairing multiple photos together.

Black and White Prints

Thinking about printing in Black and White? I love black and white. Especially if you don’t want a lot of color in your bedroom or in a certain place in your home. I love prints with a lot of white in them so that there is a good amount of negative space in the image. If I didn’t edit your image in black and white, just send me a quick email and I’ll add a nicely edited black and white image of your favorites to your personalized online gallery. You can always request a color and black and white version of each picture before I deliver your online gallery, too.

3. Pick Your Style and Size of Your Frames

Once you have an arrangement in mind, you can choose your size and frame styles to hang family photos. Once you have a photo you want to frame, think about getting the frame before you buy. Your high resolution family photos look awesome when styled in a diptych, which is two pictures side by side. I like to style one close up and one further away.  

Pick a frame style that works with your home decor. If you have a traditional style, opt for a classic frame like these white frames at Target. For the minimalist, opt for the beautiful natural grains of wood like these from Ikea. When in doubt, a clean white frame or sleek black gallery frame work in most interiors.

Shouldn’t your home be a reflection of the people living in it? I’ve learned a few little things from the one and only Joanna Gaines in her 2018 Winter edition of Magnolia Journal. Her story about “Reframing Gallery Walls” taught me a few things about hanging up frames for gallery walls. 

Designing a Gallery Wall

You can read the full article here, since I’m not an interior designer. Though because I am a former English teacher, I’ve written a quick summary of the few inspiring ideas I learned from the expert:

  1. Mix it up to help tell your family story on your walls. A gallery wall is one of the most literal ways your home can tell your story. Mix in family portraits, candids from family trips or even moments in your home, and anything else that brings you joy. 
  2. Once you’ve decided on the art content, choose your frame sizes and color. Consider canvas prints for a more laid-back look, grid of identical frames in a symmetrical arrangement (this is my personal favorite), or a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The third option would have been my favorite about 10 years ago. 
  3. Your gallery wall can and should evolve over time, just as you do. Don’t get hung up on choosing your family portraits from your family session. You can change your prints in your frames out as often as you’d like!

Add dimension to your gallery by placing frames on a shelf or ledge. Think about using a picture ledge to rest your frames on. It also keeps you from hanging each frame on the wall and you can switch out the photos more often, layer the frames, and decorate the ledge with the change of season. My BFF Joanna says it helps to keep the overall look from feeling flat and brings the wall to life.

5 Easy Steps to Choose Photos For Your Walls

I’m a visual perfectionist who takes photography and family photos very seriously, so again, here’s a few quick tips to choose and hang family photos in your home your home. 

  1. Choose frames first or print canvases so that you don’t even need frames
  2. Pick where you’re going to hang the photo and if it’s going to be horizontal or vertical
  3. Choose your favorites in your gallery and order your prints straight from your gallery
  4. Print pictures from the same shoot, time of day, and season to hang together

Here are some of my favorite ways my clients have styled family photos:

4. How To Actually Hang the Frames On the Wall

Now to the fun part! I use craft paper and painters tape to plot out my plan for hanging the pictures. Nothing is worse than being the one who’s trying to hold up the frame to the wall and stretching back to see if it’s going to look good. This way, you can step back and see where the frames are going to look best without putting a single nail in the wall. 

It’s easy to create these paper templates. I just got a roll of craft brown paper from Walmart and measured each frame by tracing them and cutting it out. When you’re ready to hang, mark where the nail goes on the paper, and hammer the nail through brown paper. 

How To Hang Family Photos On a Wall

Andrea Stark Frame and Hang Family Photos

Use craft paper on the wall first before hanging your prints

Sorry, my kid lives in just a pull up these days.

How to hang family photos

5. Where To Get the Prints Made and Purchase Frames For Your Family Photos

Get the look:

IKEA

Light wood single picture frames

White Three picture collage

Target

Black Frames

Amazon

Natural wood magnetic frame

I print through the same print lab that my clients use in their personalized online gallery. My clients photos come from Millers Lab, and they are my favorite for all high quality printing in pretty much every size you could want. Choose your favorite family photos from our session, order them to fit the frame you like and that fit your space, and you’ll love having them around just like I do every time I come home.

Having these family photos all around the house is something that makes me so happy, and I love that we were able to frame them all in such a simple, classic, and timeless way. Hopefully, my tips will help you with your own family photos.

To get you started, use the code STARK10 to receive 10% off your next print order in your online gallery. If you’re not a client yet, and you want to schedule a family session, I’m starting to book Summer sessions starting June 1st. Now’s the time to get on my calendar because summer sessions fill up fast. 

Thank you to all my clients who sent me a peek into their homes of what their prints from our session look like! I love them and am so honored to be able to create memories for your family!

What to Know About Having a Snowy Photography Session

What to Know About Having a Snowy Photography Session

A lot of my couples are Southern like me. Some of them have never seen snow before. I love the opportunity to document the first trip to see snow in our beautiful winter town of Breckenridge. When planning for a winter session in Breckenridge it’s good to know a few things before. Hint, there will be snow! I wanted to cover what to expect, how to stay warm, and what looks best for a snowy winter session.

First thing I want my clients to know is dress warmly! Absolutely wear that cute winter outfit, but also wear thermals underneath and a big coat. Most of my clients will shed their coats and gloves for photos, and immediately put it back on in between photos. Staying warm ensures that we get to shoot longer and you get more pictures!

Also, the location I’ll suggest will be accessible and walkable, but I’d still wear tall boots or snow boots with wool socks as you’ll be walking in the snow. I’ve been known to come to a location after a fresh snow fall and pack down the snow while wearing my snowshoes. I want to make sure you can walk to our locations without getting buried knee deep in snow.

Styling Suggestions For Winter Photo Sessions

Some of my clients like to know my styling suggestions, too. As far as styling your session, a statement coat with a beanie, scarf and gloves or a warm, oversized, snuggly sweater with tall boots and a hat is super cute. The great thing about snow is it creates a beautiful white backdrop, so even though it might seem counterintuitive, soft pastel, muted colors like soft pinks and powder blues still look great! And, remember, regardless of the setting, you can never go wrong with neutrals!

Seeing Snow For the First Time

When India emailed me, she made sure to tell me this was her first time to see snow. She just wanted to document her and her husband, Matt’s trip with a playful couples session. We had the best time with all the new fresh flakes and I just love how their images turned out!

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Here’s to my couples who end their session with snow angels and a snow ball fight! If that sounds like fun to you, let’s chat!

Rocky Mountain Bride Feature – Bachelorette Weekend in Breckenridge

Rocky Mountain Bride Feature – Bachelorette Weekend in Breckenridge

I was featured on Rocky Mountain Bride’s Instagram! This was very exciting for me because Rocky Mountain Bride is a very big deal in the wedding publication industry in my area. They publish gorgeous weddings from the Rocky Mountain region, from Colorado to Canada.

It was awesome getting to take these 10 girls up to one of my favorite spots to capture them during Abbi’s bachelorette weekend. This was such a fun shoot! When planning locations, anything wintery was a go, so I took them up to one of my favorite places in Breckenridge to capture a snowy, wooded landscape. I knew they were going to be wearing faux furs, but I didn’t know how amazing they would be until I saw them in this environment! Even in the frigid temps, no one complained and we had the best time! 

Their entire bachelorette weekend was all flawlessly planned by Jetset Bachelorette (formerly Blush and Bashful bachelorette) which booked the girls an awesome victorian home right off Main Street Breckenridge, a personal chef, in home private yoga session with my favorite local yoga studio, Meta Yoga, and tubing at Copper Mountain. If you know someone who is looking for an all inclusive planning for a momentous occasion like a bachelorette weekend, reach out to Jetset Bachelorette. She plans fabulous bachelorettes around the country.


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A few more of my favorite images from this shoot:

Contact Me For Your Bachelorette Party

If you are planning your bachelorette party in Breckenridge and want some fabulous pictures with all your best gals, let me know! I could do these fun sessions all day long!

My Feelings About going Full-time and Leaving Teaching

My Feelings About going Full-time and Leaving Teaching

I counted it up just now. 40 photography clients in 2019! (and growing as I’m still booking sessions for the Holiday season) That’s 40 brides, families, mamas, and graduating seniors that have trusted me behind the camera. It is so humbling to get to do what I do now. For the first half of this year, I was still teaching full time. I worked my butt off to get here, and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity now to do photography full-time.

Full-time Photographer in Colorado

In June this year, I left my teaching job. Now, I can say, I’m a former English and Journalism middle school and high school teacher. For almost a decade, I taught students how to write their own stories and also analyze other writer’s. I would celebrate with my students when they went off to college and got their journalism degrees or published their own work. I have several students that are now professional photographers or writers of their own accord.

I loved [almost] every moment of being an educator. I spent my teaching career working towards that next award for my yearbook and newspaper programs, or increasing my students’ growth in Language Arts. One day, something clicked. My students were getting to achieve their dreams, and they wanted me to do the same. It was time to rewrite my chapter.

I left my local teaching job to become a full-time photographer and wedding professional. I’m determined to make a difference in every one of my client’s lives by providing them an amazing experience and giving them a product that will be their family heirlooms. My clients’ images will live on. Now, that’s my goal.

Similarities Between Teaching and Photography

Last night, I had the most amazing dinner in Denver with Julie Hill, owner of Elysium Productions, and Emily and Samantha of Bella Design and Planning. We got to talking about how we got into this wedding industry, and realized 3 out of 4 of us have Master’s degrees in Education. I think that says something amazing about teachers! Sure, we left the classroom, but that doesn’t mean that we left the attributes and training we gained, and love for students/people, and life-long learning when we left. We just brought all of that into our current professions.

Because I was a teacher, I can manage large groups at weddings, make a teenage boy laugh, connect with my clients and build relationships. My wedding photography timelines are flawlessly planned out (just like my old lesson plans), and I can keep everyone on schedule no matter how crazy a wedding day gets. I also have a thirst for learning, and I’m always signing up for a workshop and following prominent blogs and educators in the photography industry.

Though I sometimes miss being in the classroom, I love living out my passion everyday and going after my dreams of being a wedding and portrait photographer; telling my clients’ story in whatever season of life they are currently in.

Booking Photography Sessions for 2020

I’m already booking weddings and photography sessions for 2020, and I’m so excited to work with more amazing people out of my home of Breckenridge, Colorado and other mountain towns!

Annie and Connor Engagement Session Breckenridge, Colorado

Annie and Connor Engagement Session Breckenridge, Colorado

Annie and Connor’s engagement session was one I’ll never forget. These two were just so easy going right from the start. I believe it translates through their engagement pictures just how in love and relaxed they were.

Planning is a big part of the prep leading up to any of my sessions. Annie, Connor, and I had been emailing about locations to shoot at around Breckenridge. Annie was interested in engagement shoot with mountains, lakes or rivers, while Connor said a good overlook or rock outcropping would be good. All the planning paid off!! We had a perfectly overcast day to go play atop Loveland Pass. Then we drove back towards Breckenridge, where they were staying, and stopped along Lake Dillon to get the overlook and rock outcropping location that Connor specifically asked for!

Here’s the sweetest and BEST review from Connor and Annie, they voluntarily wrote on Google, that I could ever ask for:

“We were both blown away by the time and effort Andrea put in for our engagement shoot. She scouted out areas ahead of time based on my fiancee and I’s requests in order to find us locations we would love. She was willing to be adventurous and had knowledge of the local area and weather patterns. She immediately made us feel comfortable in front of the camera and genuinely seemed to care about us as people. She got to know us in the short amount of time we were with her and this added to the overall experience of the shoot. Couldn’t say better things about her. Wonderful! Her eye and talent for photography is evident from the start and the unedited sneak peek she gave us was already amazing. Not only do we have great photos, but also a new friend! If you’re looking for a photographer of any sort in the Breckenridge area, she’s definitely the one to go with!” -Annie & Connor

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