Do you want beautiful framed portraits of your family in your home but feel overwhelmed by figuring out what photos to use, what frames will look best, or even where it will all go? If that’s you, know that you are not alone. Many of my clients have said the same thing to me over the years. After putting all of the what if’s aside, investing in education, and choosing to build a business and experience I am passionate about (read more about the why here), you no longer have to make those decisions alone.
My goal is to make it as easy as possible for my clients so that they can be constantly reminded of the beautiful family they have built.
Step 1: Select a Wall
Deciding where you want to display your portraits is the first step. Do you want your portraits in the center of your home where you can see them every day? Do you want your portraits where guests can see them? Or would you prefer them somewhere more private like a bedroom or playroom? Do you want a statement piece or a gallery of images collected over time?
Once we decide on a space, I’ll have you take a photo of that wall. The photo needs to be taken as straight on as possible and tape up a piece of computer paper for size reference. This is something that you can do prior to your reveal and ordering appointment if you have an idea of what wall(s) you want to use. If you aren’t sure, we will go through it together during your appointment.
Step 2: Digital Design
I use an online design program that allows me to import the photo of the wall(s) from your home and insert possible design options. We will determine if you prefer an asymmetrical or symmetrical design and if it will need to be a stand-alone gallery or grow with your family over time.
What I love most about this program is it allows me to be able to show you a finished digital design to scale so that you can really visualize what it will look like in your home, with your furniture and paint colors!
Step 3. Select Your Portraits
This is probably the step that is hardest for clients, especially for newborn sessions! I get it, you want every photo on your wall, but that’s just not practical! Usually, once we have the design that looks best on your wall and know the photo orientation we need (portrait vs landscape), everything usually falls into place pretty quickly.
First, we narrow down what type of photos you want – family, siblings, individuals of children, etc. Then we will go through the gallery and pick similar photos and start putting them into the digital frame design. I have found that once we get to this point and start putting them into frames, favorites tend to become obvious!
Step 4: Select a Frame
While finalizing your favorite images, we will also start to see what frames you gravitate towards. I think this may be my favorite step in the process (up until the final reveal!). Selecting the frame really brings your portrait to life. When selecting a frame, we will consider the portraits you’ve chosen, the style of your home, your furniture, and overall decor style. We have several options to choose from including whites, silvers, distressed, grays, golds, and a farmhouse style.
Step 5: Prep Images for the Lab
At this point, I take care of the rest. I go through the portraits to be printed with a fine-tooth comb and apply any final editing touches. We make sure they are 100% perfect and send them off to the print lab to be printed and framed. All of your portraits are printed on fine art paper and then matted with a conservation mat board before being framed!
Step 6: Quality Check
Before you ever see your frames they will have gone through multiple quality checks between the lab and then once they arrive at my studio in Darien. I go over them very carefully to make sure they are flawless. In the event that there are any damages during shipping, I send it back to the framer to be fixed or replaced.
Step 7: Install
Finally…the day we have all been waiting for – your install! Many of my clients have told me that hanging frames was too stressful and they would either avoid it altogether or were not 100% happy with the final result. I get it. I used to feel the same way. But after investing in education and spending many hours learning how to professionally install frames, I really enjoy this part of the process.
Prior to your install appointment, I will have you prepare the wall we will be using and make sure I am able to access it easily. Once I arrive in your home I’ll lay out your frames for you for one final approval before I begin installing. After that, I encourage you to go spend time with your family or do something fun while I do all of the work! Once I have completed the install I will have you and your family come in for the final reveal!
Can I change the photos in the frames myself?
No, you cannot. Professionally framed prints, like the ones we offer, will come with a dust cover on the back. This protects your image from dust or other particles that could damage it. You can, however, still, have your prints switched out by me or a professional framer.
Where do you buy your frames?
All of our frames come from a custom framer!
Do I need to have the same color scheme?
There are two things to consider when thinking about a color scheme – the colors in your home and then the colors in your wardrobe. The latter is especially important when doing multiple sessions.
Neutral or soft, muted colors not only photograph best for my style but also produce more timeless portraits. This is important for making sure they will work in your home for years to come regardless of any decor changes. In addition, when doing multiple sessions, it’s easier to coordinate and ensure they will provide a cohesive look throughout your home regardless of how much time passes between sessions.
What do you mean by designing a wall gallery that grows with my family?
If we are going to design a wall for your family to grow, we are often looking to fill a large space, and/or the client is doing multiple sessions with me. For example, many of my first-year collective clients know they want to select 1-2 images from each session but have it be one big gallery. During their first design appointment, we will design the wall gallery in its entirety so we know what the end result will look like. Some clients will choose to wait and install at the very end while some clients will want to install as we go.
Interested in custom framing for your family’s portraits? Contact me here!