First I will address some of the questions I received -
What size are the pictures you used in your photo wall?
I used 11x14 pictures. I have seen this done with larger photos and love it! I stuck with 11x14 though because I was a little bit unsure of how it would all turn out, and I was looking at price for the prints and frames.
Where did you get your frames?
I ordered the frames on line from Quadro frames. I just did a Google search and Quadro frames seemed to be the most reasonably prices for what I was looking for. These are clip frames, which means it is basically just glass that is clipped to the back panel. This particular company sells the 11x14 frames only in sets of 6. A set of 6 was $19.74, plus shipping. Even with shipping though, they averaged out at $5 per frame. Good!
-Which brings me to our next question.
How much did this photo wall cost, total?
I spent around $70 total for this project. I thought that was pretty decent. I got the prints made at our local Sam's Club. They were $2.78 apiece.
How did you choose which pictures to use?
It took me quite a while, perusing through folders on my computer, considering different combination and narrowing it down. My advice on this would be: do not be a perfectionist and go for the best photos from a technically photographic stand point. Look for memories. Look for meaningful. Look for images that evoke emotion. Look for color, and feeling, and family.
That said, you will have to find pictures that are in good focus, since you will be enlarging them and details will show up more.
Once I had a pretty good idea of the photos I would use, I went into photo shop and played with the lay out. I started with a blank canvas and placed the photos in rows to get a visual on how it would look. I changed it
My photo wall is random. I'm going to own that. :) Yes, I mixed black and white, sepia and color.
I choose things that represent "us". Part of that included images of each of us - that's the obvious part. Even in that though, I tried to go with photos of each member of our family that were non-traditional and non-posed. Jay's photo is the only one that is head on. In Kai's you can't even see his face. I like it.
In addition to each of us I choose items that may seem eccentric. An old water pump? A hot air balloon? cowboy boots? Steeple? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. :)
I've always been drawn to the photo I took of that red water pump. It's old, has some rust on it, but a few years ago we painted it a deep red. To me, it represents a really big blessing in our lives; our home.
Our two story brick farmhouse on 135 acres, and handful of outbuildings is a project. Like the pump, it's old and has needed/still needs much TLC. But we have invested so much of "us" into this place. This wonderful homestead belonged to Dave's grandparents, and a part of it is our inheritance from them.
The cowboy boots might be kind of obvious; we have lots of boys. I remember when we got those boots from some friends. Jay was beside himself with the excitement that he now was a real cowboy. He wore them everywhere. The image of them represents boyhood to me. The boyhood that God has blessed us with multiple times!
The hot air balloon says summer and family togetherness. to me. Every single year our family goes to a local festival type event called the Hot Air Jubilee. We watch mass balloon launches, eat greasy food, watch air shows, sometimes ride an elephant, walk around alot, and people watch. This is us. We like free fun, but mostly we like to be together outside in the summer. Good, good memories.
The steeple and cross obviously represent our faith. It stands regally on top of a building made for worship and it points upward. I want our family to point upward.
So, now go do it!! Pick your pictures, make your prints, find some wall space.
If anyone has any more questions, or would like any help with editing photos, enlarging, etc I would love to help out!
Mostly, just focus on what makes you recognize how blessed you are! That's how my photo wall has affected me. Having these images right there - big, bold, large, unmissable - helps me on days when I can't see past a difficult moment to the richness in my life.