Your baby’s first wobbly steps, cake-smeared cheeks from that first birthday party all the way up to distinguished high school senior portraits - these are all memories to be cherished for years to come. Capturing these moments forever through photography is the best way to frame memories that have slipped into the past as quickly as they came.
But how can you display family photos without having them appear drab? The act of simply framing and hanging pictures on the wall has become a tad mundane. Tracy Page of Babycake Studios and Master Hair Artist Holly Moore of Imagine Hair Art Studio share some unique ways to display photos that say, “This is not your grandmother’s photo gallery.”
Do it yourself
Moore is always Jonesing for unique, cool and funky ideas to display art around her home and studio store. Taking old photographs and images from vintage catalogs and exhibiting around the store is no back-breaking chore for Moore. She finds fun in everything she does.
“Being inspired by it, we tend to do some fun things with old hair dryers,” she said, gesturing to a cool gallery of vintage postcards. “We’ve stapled the cord down the wall in a fun pattern and slipped photos and old postcards into the cord as a way to display them.”
Moore said any old household appliance would suffice to pull off this framing trick. She stapled the cord to the molding of a door frame in a looping pattern that is certainly eye-catching.
Adorning the walls of her studio are images of stars and pin-up girls from the 1920s to 1940s. She has popped them into frames that are simple and chic.
“We’ve also simply framed the magazines, but do it in a way that you can take them back down quickly and switch out with other magazines to change the color of the wall,” she said. “Most of these frames I’ve gotten at Michael’s.”
In the center of a creative photo display were three silhouettes of a woman’s head, which brought to mind the possibility of a generational display of family members.
“That’s an actual old display stand for hair nets and just fanning them out and stapling them to the wall was a fun way to display them and add a little pop of color to the wall,” Moore said. “You could do that with any photograph, just cut them out and go from there.”
Spicing up old frames is also a method of adding a kick to the mundane.
“We have one artist that has polymer clay on the frame,” she said, showing off a colorful frame. “And someone framed out a mirror, and decorated it with feathers. It’s very vintage inspired.”
When making her art and thinking how she can display her photos, Moore said she often just works with what she has on hand.
“For me, the ideas come out of a necessity. This is what I have to work with, so I have to make it work. And it’s just a matter of looking at something in a different light and working with have you have,” she said
When visiting IKEA recently, Moore said the store had hung photos from a clothesline, adding an interesting display.
“It was kind of like a clothes line, and they attach things to it, but you could hang things from it.”
Moore has used that idea to hang tubes of dye near her station at the studio.
“If we wanted to use that for photographs, you could just get the little clothes pins, the tiny ones at Michael’s, and you have an instant way to hang up your child’s artwork or photos.”
A professional touch
Page has recently come across interesting ways parents can show off their little bundles of joy.
One image on her website babycakestudio.com is of a newborn napping sweetly in what seems to be a hammock in the forest.
“Basically what I did was I worked really hard to get the baby to sleep. The baby has to be less than two weeks old to get them to pose for these types of photos,” she said. She gestured to the area where the baby’s body rested. “This is just a scarf that I have, and I have one parent on either side of the baby holding him up, and he is hanging just a few inches above a bean bag chair. He’s maybe an inch above the beanbag.”
Using imaging software such as Adobe Photoshop, Page cut the image of the baby out and pasted it into a forest setting. Then, she added a “painting technique” to make the whole photograph appear to be a watercolor painting.
Along with portraiture, Page is investigating ways proud parents can display photos.
“One of the things I’m seeing clients do is using whimsical frames,” she said. “They put groupings of these whimsical frames up on the walls.”
The whimsical frames can be ordered by Page through a Florida frame company, Blue Herron. They come in a variety of shapes and bright or pastel colors.
Page is also getting into “cubed décor.”
“These are big baby blocks, spelling out a child’s name, and there’s a print photo of the child on one or more side,” she said.
Matted photos, she said, are also interesting ways to frame photos. By adding graphics and other designs, the frames can be unique, but not take away from the image of the child.
“Now, they’re using this self-framed canvas wrap and layering it for display,” she said. “Also, by adding graphics you can make a wall-height chart used for the child’s room.”
Page also showed how a large baby announcement on a self-matted frame could be a beautiful work of art. “They’re taking a baby announcement and blowing it up to hang above the crib,” she said. “It has the baby’s name, the date, the weight and length and time of birth. It’s used as nursery décor.”
Page said that for parents who are looking for interesting display ideas, local photographers always have their eyes and ears open.
“Their family photographers can always give them leads,” she said. “We’re always traveling and finding what’s hot and new.”