Last weekend our family attended a funeral service where we said our final goodbyes to my husband's grandmother and laid her to rest. As we entered the small chapel inside the funeral home, I spotted several picture frames filled with photos that depicted her life - from toddlerhood until age 85. Though there was a slideshow of images playing too, we were all gathered around these printed photographs, some as old as 1935. Some of the pictures, specially those from her childhood, had never been seen by the grandkids before. Everyone tried to identify the people in them and told the anecdotes behind each photograph. Granny's (as my children called her) vast collection of family photos told so many stories. Not just her own, but four generation's worth! As my children stood there pointing at the photos of themselves with their great-grandmother, I gained an even deeper appreciation for printed photos.
In the digital era we live in, it's now easier than ever to capture special moments. The camera rolls on our phones are filled with snapshots of our everyday life, but how often do we print them? While digital photos are convenient, they aren't forever. The average life expectancy of a digital file is only 10 years. Hard drives crash and servers fail, but printed photos can last over 100 years when cared for and stored properly. Above all that, printed photographs give us a physically tangible capture of our memories.
Remember the days when you and your parents would flip through family albums and they would tell you all about each photo. Or you'd sift through a box full of old pictures with handwritten inscriptions on the back. You'd hear stories of your childhood, how your parents met, or even learn about ancestors you never got to meet. I don't know about you, but I don't often go back to look at digital photos with my family the way we do albums or prints. When you can touch them in your hands, you are instantly transported to the time when those photos where taken. That is exactly why I encourage every client to print or better yet, to order a custom designed album from me, so they can revisit those memories over and over again and eventually pass them down to their kids.
My takeaway from all this is: Have your photos taken with your spouse, with your children, your parents, and all those you hold dear, to print and display. In the end, when we are gone, these reminders of us is what our loved ones are left with. Photographs are a recollection of our existence here on earth. They are a legacy to those we leave behind when we part. They tell our story and keep our memory alive. They become treasured heirlooms to those who loved us most.
This post is made possible in with Canvas Press. All opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with their products.
We recently painted our downstairs. After the job was completed, we began to hang all the art and decor back up i the living room. That was when I noticed something was off. While our collection of quote signs and wall art looked great together, none of them told the story of us. Our walls needed more personalization and I knew that a lovely set of wall portraits was the way to go.
Family photos have the power to transform a house into a home. They create a sense of belonging and add a nice welcoming touch that is unique and customized to your style. Anyone can buy the same piece from the home decor store, but only you can have your family photos on display, and that is truly special.
When using family photos to personalize your home, you want to start with a large statement piece and then build around it to create that gallery wall effect. Whether you choose a framed print, a canvas, or another medium, I recommend going with at least a 16x20 art piece, anything smaller than that will look underwhelming in comparison to your furniture.
For my wall, I decided on a classic 24x36 canvas of my absolute favorite portrait of me and the kids, taken by my sweet husband. When selecting the photos that will adorn your walls, be sure they contain colors that compliment your existing home decor well. You want the images to look intentional and not like they were a careless after thought.
I partnered with Canvas Press to help me create what I had in mind. Canvas Press is a proud USA made printing lab located right here in Houston, producing high quality products, with amazing customer service and the fastest turn around I've ever seen! They have so many beautiful options to choose from, including fine art prints, canvases, and modern metallic prints.
My canvas arrived in just two days and to be honest, it was so much better than I anticipated. The image was tack sharp and colors were spot on, without any strange color casts or tints. The canvas was tightly stretched over a real wooden frame, the corners seamlessly fitted without gaps or bulge, and the back came equipped with ready to hang sawtooth hardware. Needless to say, I was excited to get it up on the wall!
To complete my gallery, I then added four 5x7 prints matted and framed to 8x10. Matting your photos, gives them a timeless, archival look. It also allows you to place them in a larger frame, so you are able to fill more wall space without looking cluttered or overdone.
Before hanging my photos, I played with the layout a bit to find the one I liked most. Place your picture on the floor and try different configurations. You'll need to decide if you want an neat even look -- like me, or a more ecclecting arrangement that doesn't involve any measuring.
This corner in my living room truly came alive with this simple change. It's the first thing visitors mention when they come into my home now. They always ask where I got the canvas from and I simply could not recommend Canvas Press enough. You can currently take advantage of their fall sale to start personalizing your home with your own family photos. Use code AUTUMN60 for 60% off canvas prints up to 48x36. I'm ordering one huge canvas with my favorite photo from our fall family session, can't wait to show you all soon!
As a Houston and Cypress family photographer, the number one question that I receive after someone books a session is always, “what should we wear?” I thought I would share the Hu’s family session with you to give you a visual. Kristine and I found each other through Instagram. Like anyone else who books a professional portrait session, Kristine wanted her family looking their best on camera. She mentioned that she had viewed my portfolio and noticed lots of neutral tones in my photographs. She had already done her homework by previewing my work and making sure it lined up with her personal taste. Kristine did an excellent job following my recommendations on what to wear and had her family looking absolutely perfect! Below you'll find some of my best tips on what to wear for your family session.
Remember that the ultimate goal when having professional portraits done, is to display your photographs in your home. Your taste in decor may change in a few years, that is why a classic look that can withstand the test of time is best. You want portraits that you can always show off, no matter what the newest trend may be. Choosing a simple wardrobe over the latest fashion craze, will keep the attention on you and your sweet bunch.
Stick to neutral or muted tones for a fresh, natural look. Coordinating outfits shows that you are a family and creates cohesiveness within your group. This does not mean that everyone should match from head to toe in white t-shirts and khakis. (`Please don't put me through that!) Instead, choose outfits that play well off one another. The images from this session are the perfect example. A great rule of thumb is to choose 3 complimenting colors and spread them throughout everyone's outfits. When it comes to patterns, keep it simple and no more than two. In this case, the kids are both wearing simple patterns, but parents clothes are solid throughout.
In my years of experience, I have found that ladies look most photogenic in flowy dresses or layered outfits. While gentlemen look most maContactsculine in fitted pants and solid shirts or even plain cotton tees. Children are already beautiful in their own purity and don't need much, keep their outfits simple. As always, a styling consultation is included when you book a portrait session with me. Visit the 'Contact' tab to schedule your own family session this spring.
For even more wardrobe inspiration and ideas, visit my Pinterest board >> HERE <<
Located in Cypress, Texas and serving the greater Houston area; Tender Nest Portraits is a family, newborn, and maternity photographer specializing in simple lifestyle portraits, with a minimalist approach. We focus on capturing the natural state of motherhood from pregnancy thru every stage. Our all inclusive portrait service provides digital images with the option to add printed art and photo keepsakes. See the pricing tab for details.
Hey there! I'm Anel. Houston photographer, wife to my high school sweetheart, and mama to four wild kids who I homeschool. I love nature, capturing motherhood, and living a slow simple life. I also blog over at Tender Nest Blog
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