Often times, a client will tell me that they want “one of those big 16×20’s to go over the sofa.” Now, I understand exactly what they are saying, but I think as a professional photographer, it is important that I provide my clients with the best advice possible.
There are those that just don’t like “big pictures”. The truth is, I don’t want want you to have “big pictures” on your wall either. I want you to have the “right size” images on your
Planning for your portrait includes important considerations such as:
- Where will the portrait hang?
- Should it be horizontal or vertical?
- What are the colors in the room where it will hang?
- What are the best clothing choices for your portrait?
A beautiful portrait is as important as any piece of fine furniture in your home decor. Taking the time to plan and prepare for your portrait will insure that you enjoy your portrait for years to come.
Here are a few other important considerations.
Beautiful portraits are important elements of your interior design. Depending on your wall space, you may select a single portrait as the focal point of the room. You may also select several smaller images to make a wall grouping or use as accent pieces. The main thing to consider is that the presentation needs to fill the space where it is shown.
A single photograph over the sofa should dominate the wall space and be balanced to the size of the sofa.
Hanging an image that is too small over a sofa or love seat will look out of place and will get
lost if it is surrounded by a vacant space as seen in the example at right.
B. It is not the size of the photograph – it’s the size of the subject.
Once you have carefully considered the space where you will hang your portrait, you should consider the appropriate poses for the image size your wall requires. For example, if your wall requires a 40-inch print to fill the space, you would not want to select a close-up image. In the example at left, the face is three or four times life size and would be uncomfortable to view in an image that size.
Selecting an appropriate pose for your print makes all the difference. The subject is large enough that you could see the face from across the room.
Avoid selecting prints that are so small that you would have to get up and walk over to the image to see the faces.
C. The image size is dependent on the usual viewing distance.
An image over the mantle should dominate the space and fit with the vertical or horizontal orientation of the fireplace design.
An image that is too small will not draw attention away from the fireplace and will be difficult to appreciate from across the room where you would view it while seated.
An image over the mantle needs to be large enough to overcome the size of the fireplace with a pose that allows those seated in the room to see faces in the portrait without having to get up and walk up to the print.
Stairways are a great place to hang wall groupings that feature individual portriats of family members, or images that form a timeline. An example of a timeline would be your child’s portraits at 3, 6 and 9 months leading up to the one year portrait.
Narrow walls between windows and doors create a great focal point to hang accent prints and collages.