Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Series: Photo and Art Display - Snapshot Solution

Snapshots tell stories. Our stories, others stories, random memories and moments frozen in time. When framed alone, they can be too small to capture attention. To give them more presence try this creative display idea.

Displaying photos by color

Grouping photos by color gives them visual unity (often not easy with 4x6 or 5x7 size prints), and it leaps outside of the traditional, "just-another-photo-getting-lost-on-my-wall" placement. If you've got more small prints (4x6, 5x7) than you know what to do with, this is a project you can put together in one afternoon.


2 poster frames, 22 x 28 in (56 x 71 cm)
Poster board or gator board (sold in art-supply stores)
Archival glue
Measuring tape

A note about photo adhesives

Photo-safe adhesives include archival-quality photo corners, acid-free linen and paper tape, archival glue, and wheat and rice starch pasted hinges which are the best option for fragile, valuable images)

Do not use cellophane tape, rubber cement, or any hobby glue to adhere
photos to a backing as these will all damage photos over time.

How To:
1. Cover a table with newspaper and gather all your unused photo prints that have yet to find a home in an album or frame. Sort the images by dominant color, blue for sky and water, red for the flowers from your last summer garden, etc. Try to have a good mix of people, places and things in each color stack.

2. Create a rough layout on your poster (or gator) board, keeping in mind the depth of your poster frame. Layer the photos to "crop" out parts your are not as partial to and to highlight the more interesting features.

3. When the arrangement is to your liking, use the archival glue or tape to secure the images to the board. Roll the edges of all the prints with a brayer to ensure they are firmly in place.

4. Let dry overnight, then set your finished collage into the poster frame and measure from the frame to the wire (as shown), to determine placement on your wall.

Last week I posted a simple question in the community forum on Etsy: "Why don't YOU buy fine art photography?" The response was overwhelming! The answers were varied, and there were some that popped up multiple times in the course of the thread. Most were about display concerns (ease of install, lack of space), size of prints (larger is popular--who would have guessed?!), and issues with framing (what to use, how to do, how many to choose, etc.)

This post is PART ONE in my new series called Creative displays for photography & art. I am writing this series with the hope of sharing fresh ways to look at your fine art and fine art photography pieces and to inspire you to seek out more. Please visit again for future posts with ideas, how-tos and photos to push the traditional "frame-it-hang-it" aside and have more FUN in your space!

Photo credit: Matheson, David. "How To Images." Photographs. Moss, Samantha. Singapore: Weldon Owen, Inc., 2005, 38-41.


Mulchandmore said...

What a great way to make a physical collage instead of a digital one.

Char said...

very nice article - I always have the dilemma of what to do

Hey Harriet said...

Great idea for a series! Thanks for sharing & I'll be back. Lovely blog you have :)

Anonymous said...

Very innovative idea...By the way, I LOVE, LOVE your Cirque du Soliel music..I've seen four of their shows live and have almost all their DVD's. They originated in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and we are very proud of their representation...amazing artists from all over the world in their ensembles..wonderful!

Julie Magers Soulen said...

I love the idea of a collage by color instead of the usual event theme. Great idea!

Pfeiffer Photos said...

mulchandmore: Isn't it, tho? Thank you for stopping by--hope you come back again for more of this series. :)

Pfeiffer Photos said...

char: Thanks! You're not alone, so that's the beauty of my new series...stay tuned for more posts on this topic!

Pfeiffer Photos said...

heyharriet: You're welcome and thank YOU for the nice comment and do visit again for more in this series about art/photo display!

Pfeiffer Photos said...

marg: Hubby and I both LOVE Cirque--he's seen five shows, I've seen four. Our favorite so far was La Nouba at Walt Disney World--but they are all so creative and wonderful! I have 5-6 CDs but found this music for my blog on

Pfeiffer Photos said...

julie: I love the color theme idea--especially in a larger frame like these! :0)

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