Show Your Shots! Creative Wedding Photo Displays

I read in many on-line forums that couples often don’t hang their wedding photographs in their homes as wedding photo displays. On the other hand, many couples do put up their engagement pictures. They may love their pictures but the don’t display them. Why?

“My wedding pictures, particularly our portraits, seem a bit formal and feel artificial hanging in my home. Our engagement pictures are more us, relaxed and connecting with each other.”

Often wedding photos are shot fairly formally. That can make them feel artificial, particularly as time goes by. They just don’t represent the personalities of the couple. Historically, wedding photography was quite formal. Today’s lifestyles, on the other hand, are more relaxed. Your home reflects your lifestyle.

So, to have lasting photographic keepsakes, it’s all about picking a photographer who’s work reflects you – not a picture in a magazine. So when selecting your photographer, look for one who’s pictures remind you of . . . you. Equally important, give him/her the permission to create something special. You will have a better chance of getting something lasting.

“My friend’s portrait pictures were rushed – taken as fast as possible so we could get to the reception. They were pretty much ‘deer in the headlights’ style. You know, forced smiles and rigid poses.”

The bad news is that good portraits take time – there’s no way around it. So set aside the time to be relaxed with the photographer – without a crowd watching. You’ll be glad to have done it, it’s your day! The party isn’t over until you say it is.

“I’ve already had my wedding! Our party pictures are a bit over-the-top to hang on the wall and many of the other pictures, like getting-ready and reception shots, are nice but just snippets of the whole day. One picture can’t really capture the whole day.”

Easy. Do one of those frames with multiple mats in it and do your ‘story of our day’. Line up several along a wall. They make great conversation pieces. By the way, some photographers create composites of your photographs in a single print. This can capture a whole day’s story in a single frame. These sort of story displays can be much more meaningful than the single shot.

“I liked my photographs and framed several. However, my tastes changed, they seem out of step with our home. I don’t want to just buy new frames but they just don’t seem to fit in my design scheme any more. I’d like to freshen how everything looks.”

Another easy one. Make them a decorator item. For example, if you haven’t already done it, have black & white or sepia conversions made of a favorite color shot. You’d be surprised how dramatic a change like that might be. Actually, you might do this yourself at your local print shop presuming you have the digital files.

Many photographers now offer lots of alternatives to the color pictures in an oak frame so consider re-mounting them more like art work. It surprising how much difference a creative mounting can make. There are canvas wraps, pictures printed on metal and even on slate. Most photographers have access to vendors who do this. If yours does not, Google canvas wrap and you’ll find tons. Here’s some examples. Notice the color matching with the wall paint from talented west coast studio Stephanie Ann Photographer and Advanced Photo Lab of Canoga Park California?

Farther along the creative road, consider having an artistic manipulation done to convert a favorite shot into a piece of art. Check with your photographer, most have ways to do this sort of thing. However, it takes a talented eye to make it work. If they offer the service, they probably have access to vendors who can. If that doesn’t work, check your local Craigslist under Services > Creative. Lots of starving artists out there.

Word of caution, if you choose to work with someone other than the photographer who did your wedding, you will need permission from your her/him to have someone else manipulate your photographs, in writing. Best gotten before you sign a final contract.

A final thought. You made a significant time, emotion and financial investment in the selection of your photographer and the taking of your pictures, don’t let them gather dust in your closet. Show them off!

About the Author:

Dan Derby, Wedding Photographer

The spirit of a wedding day lives in fleeting events, unfolding without direction. Wedding photojournalism is how the story of a wedding day can be captured artfully. Trained as a designer (BA & MFA) and skilled in visual story telling, Dan Derby works quietly throughout your wedding day making sure this happens. He is based in New England but travels where ever he’s needed.

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