March 17, 2013

Saratoga Springs Portrait Photographer//Three Easy Steps to Planning a Wall Portrait

Decorating your home with portraits that have been personally designed for you can help to bring a sense of intimacy and vitality to your space.

Why hang a generic print or another piece of mass produced “art” on your walls when you can create something unique and beautiful with your family portraits? I strongly believe that family portraits should be heirlooms that are passed down for generations.

People have been hanging portraits on their walls for many, many years. The example below is an image I created documenting an architectural interior. It shows a portrait painting on a wall that has been carefully framed to match the proportion and colors/tones of the interior. Even the subject matter is in perfect concert with the time period of the room. By the way, one of the biggest “objections” I have heard over the years is that people “just don’t have the wall space.” The portrait on this wall is an oval, but would be approximately 20×24 inches in size. The wall it is hanging on is not huge, but I think it looks just right.

Saratoga Springs Commercial Photographer Blackburn Portrait Design

So how do you go about creating a wall portrait or a grouping of wall portraits that fit your home and your lifestyle? There are several easy steps in the process that will ensure your success.

1. Start with a consultation with your photographer to determine what mood or feeling you would like to capture. For example, do you want something casual or formal? What is the overall color scheme of the room in which you wish to hang your portrait? The more you can communicate with your photographer, the more successful the finished art will be. If the room you are thinking of has mostly dark tones, then maybe the background should be darker and more subdued. If your home is light and airy, perhaps a pastel palette would be better.

2. Size and placement are very important in the impact of the finished work. Below is an image I made of my family several years ago. It is 16×20 in size and is in the entry way of our home. The canvas print takes up approximately two-thirds of the width of the wall, but does not seem overwhelming at all. Anything smaller would have seemed a bit silly–the childrens’ heads would have been the size of M&Ms.

Saratoga Springs Portrait Photographer Susan Blackburn
Entry Way Portrait

3. Framing is an important consideration. It is like the icing on the cake. If you are going to invest the time and money creating a family heirloom, take a little care in the framing aspect of the portrait as well. The size and color of the moulding should be complimentary to both the portrait and the room in which it will reside. I chose the black frame in the previous example to compliment the black console table in the hall. If you have mostly modern decor, an ornate, intricately carved frame would probably not look right in your space. Likewise, if you have a more rustic looking style, a super sleek modern frame would not be appropriate.

A wall portrait is an investment that you will want to live with for a long time. Therefore, taking the time to properly plan and create one is very important. Take the time to discuss your ideas in detail with your photographer and you will not be disappointed.