Printing Your Digital Photographs To Decorate Your Home

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Ballon FestivalAs a photographer I feel like I spend too much time enjoying my work on a screen.  What ever happened to viewing your work on a wall, printed, in a physical form. I’ll go out of my way to hang a nice painting on my wall but I rarely put in the effort to give the same care and attention to my own work.  So time to change that.  The time to  to pick out of few prints and get then properly printed, mounted, and hung had finally come.

Last December I printed a couple of test prints from a supplier so I could compare some of their prints.  I hung one on the wall and lived with it for 2 months. Now this weekend I finally put together a set of images I wanted to hang, uploaded them, and place an order for the complete set for the hallway.  I’ve learned a few things about hanging your own work along the way.  Here are my lessons learned.

Look Around and Explore

Today there are so many options for displaying printed digital photographs.  You can frame your images in the traditional sense, have them printed on high quality paper and mounted on a backing board, or even have your prints made on a canvas.  Look around, visit some galleries, if you are a photographer check out what your peers are doing.  Some of the newer options are great for more modern decor and they are often reasonably priced.


Looking for some interesting examples.  here are a few:

Size Matters

Consider the space you want to fill.  Grab a tape measure and see what size will look good in the space. Use tape to hang a sheet of posterboard or newspaper the same size to get a feeling for the print size.  I have even been known to make a 3D model of a room and furniture in SketchUp and hang my photo’s virtually before I decide on a final size.  Fill the space, go big if you can.  Nothing has more impact than a great print in an impressive size.

Consider the Environment

Will your image be viewed in low light, indirect shadows or the blazing sun?  The lighting in the room can have an impact on your final image.  If you are going with traditional framing think of if you want to include glass in the frame or if that high gloss paper will reflect the window from the other side of the room.  These are small points but if you don’t consider them your final print my not have the impact you are looking for.  I like fabric or cloth for my living room because of the large windows.  With the fabric prints there is no glare.  For a hallway I like metallic based paper, it seems to help the colors pop.

Experiment, Give The Mistakes Away

I’ve made a few mistakes in selecting prints as well.  Somehow I get something and it just doesn’t look right or the paper doesn’t suit your taste.  This is on of the reasons I like to order smaller test prints first to see how the final image might look.  If the prints are nice, but not right for my space, they make great gifts.  Save them and when you need a Christmas gift for Aunt Trudy you can dig into your closet and find a nice mounted print that she’ll find adorable because, well, you made it.
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