Displaying a wall grouping in your home is a wonderful way to tell a story with multiple images. It can be a fantastic centerpiece and talking point in any room, and something you find yourself coming back to look at over and over again. But figuring out how to create a wall grouping – where to hang it, how many images to use and what sizes they should they be – can be an extremely daunting process. But with a little planning before your next photo session, this process can be streamlined and even fun! Here’s what you need to know.
1. Find your canvas
There are probably several places in your home right now where you could display a wall grouping since there are really no size or shape requirements. The most common spaces are in your main living areas, such as above a sofa or mantelpiece, but walk through your house with fresh eyes and look at all of the available wall space. Is there a small hallway where you can stack three different images or could you add photos leading up your staircase? Don’t dismiss any wall space. Think about what types of images could work in your bedroom, kitchen and even bathroom.
2. Measure your space
Once you’ve found your space for your next wall grouping, determine the maximum width and height of the hanging area and plan to use about two-thirds of that space. It’s a good idea to use painters tape to define the space and look at it from a distance to make sure it fits well with the rest of the room (this does not have to be an exact science). Keep in mind the optimal viewing enjoyment is at eye level, about 5’ 6”. Measure the dimension of the tape when you’re happy with the placement so you know what you’re working with.
3. Decide on symmetrical or asymmetrical
What shape do you want your grouping to take? Do you like symmetrical rows, rectangles, and squares that neatly line up or do you enjoy a staggered or diamond shape? This choice is often determined by the space you have available (narrow spots generally require straight lines) or the images you want to display. For instance, if you’re planning to hang your family’s wall collage including your group photo and each of your three children, the group photo will be the large centerpiece with the individuals placed on one or both sides. They won’t be symmetrical due to the uneven number of children, but you can balance the images with strategic placement. If symmetry is a must, consider adding a photo of mom and dad or a favorite pet to balance the other three. When choosing a style, think about what types of images from your session will belong in the grouping and which, if any, will stand out from the rest.
4. Shoot for the wall grouping
Now that you’ve marked out a spot and have an idea for your next wall grouping, you’re ready for the photo session! Talk with your photographer beforehand and share your ideas with them, including specific groupings, individuals or detail images. Sharing your vision will help them cater the experience to you and bring additional ideas to the session. It’s a good idea to take several types of poses or groupings during your session beyond what you imagine will be in the wall grouping to give you the flexibility for creating later. Your photographer can help with this.
5. Fill your space: How many images and what size
This can be one of the hardest steps in planning your wall grouping, but since you’ve already identified how big your space is and what types of photos you want to hang there, this will be much simpler for you. Start with your largest image and figure out how big it could be without crowding the rest of the images. One way to visualize how it will look is to make some rough estimations and then measure, cut and tape pieces of wrapping paper to the wall. Keep in mind that there should be 1-2” between each photo (or more if you have a large grouping).
When choosing your photo sizes, it’s generally best not to hang anything smaller than 8×8” since it will be too small to view from across a room. Also think about how many faces or details you have in an image and what size it should be to have the most impact. An 8×10 of your family of five would be too small for a grouping. Images with more people demand a larger size. If you’re planning to have some or all of the images in your grouping be the same size, it’s a good idea to match number of subjects and the crop for each photo, like you would for the children in the family grouping.
If you find that your images are not working in the space, consider simplifying the grouping by using less images or grouping subjects. With the family example, you could use the large group photo of the whole family, one of the children together and one of mom and dad together, eliminating one image.
For an even simpler way of visualizing your grouping before making an investment, ask your photographer if they have the tools to show you what your grouping would look like on your wall if you provided them with a picture of your space. They should have software that shows you what your images look like at various sizes and groupings on your very own wall.
You don’t have to do it alone
When selecting a photographer for your next photo shoot, ask them to work out the details of your wall grouping with you before, during and after the session. They can use their expertise to bring you fresh ideas and help guide your instincts.
We love wall groupings at IN-FOCUS. They are a refreshing, creative way to showcase what matters to you. Working with us from the photo shoot to the product design makes it easy for you to find what you want and speeds up the time it would normally take to get it on the wall. We’d love to help you create your next wall grouping – contact us to get started. It’s a rewarding endeavor you’ll enjoy for years to come.