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Best Ways to Display Family Photos: DC Photographer

Article and Images contributed by DC Photographer Marie Elizabeth Photography.

Today, let’s discuss how to display family photos (and why this is something you should consider during the planning of your photoshoot.) Have you ever thought about how your children will view your family photos 20 years from now? In this digital age, it is so easy to get access to an online gallery full of digital files to do with as you wish. Online galleries are perfect for sharing with family or saving images to your devices or social media.

But is that the end game? Is that where we want our images to land and stay? When I first sat down to think about this, I knew that I wanted my children to be able to hold images in their own hands when I’m long gone. The aspect of physically touching a photograph is different compared with viewing online. Why? 

Digital Galleries: Not A Perfect System

When we view media on devices, our brains are programmed to scroll and keep moving, thus forming a lack of appreciation for simply soaking in the content. When we physically hold a photograph, it actually forces us to slow down, and in turn, allows us to take in the imagery with the feeling and intention behind it. 

This is all easier said than done. Oftentimes when we opt for the digital gallery option from photographers, we make a mental note or reassurance that, “I will make my own album/wall gallery/prints someday.” Of course, we are busy, and this doesn’t always happen. 

Our images then live in the cloud or Dropbox or a hard drive. And that’s a good time to ask the question – how will my children view these images 20 years from now? 

It’s a serious logistical question. Will you leave a Dropbox password for them? Even so, your children will then be responsible for housing your digital memories and having the burden of printing the images themselves.

I faced all of these issues myself until I began offering artwork for clients four years ago. I had not printed my wedding album or newborn albums for each of my children. The printing to-do list began piling up relentlessly as my children and family only continued to grow.

DC Photographer Marie Elizabeth Guide Clients Through The Printing Process

This begs the question – how to display family photos in the best, usable way? The answer is – it depends on how you like to enjoy viewing photos! I have this conversation with all of my clients because it’s often not something we spend a lot of time thinking about. 

Albums, my personal favorite way to print my family photos, create an experience for the family. Children join their parents on the couch. They look through an album together, as a collective experience. They smile, laugh, and cry together. Albums are often one of the lasting ways we view images of our relatives long gone. When physically moving through the pages of an album, we are touching the images. This creates a more tactile and meaningful experience compared with digitally scrolling.

I also love the beautifully ornate features of fine art albums available now. Many photographers offer albums in quality linen, velvet, or leather with ultra thick pages. Thus, they serve the dual purpose of being aesthetically appealing while being built for longevity.

Wall art is an equally beautiful option for displaying family photos. Framed and matted fine art prints are the perfect way to print your photos if you want to experience a quick dopamine hit while walking by your images daily. It serves as a small act that can truly alter a mood.

Additionally, there is research that shows that children who see themselves in family photos develop a strong sense of identity, confidence, and comfort. Seeing themselves represented in their home with their loved ones internalizes the feeling of belonging.

There is no wrong way to print your family photos, yet when you opt for an heirloom album or fine wall art, you can ensure your images will be viewed and preserved for generations. Providing this legacy is a gift for us, our loved ones, and the generations to come.

Book a Full Service Photographer

Still overwhelmed by the thought of printing your family portraits? When booking a photography session, look for a photographer who is “full service”. These photographers either include printed artwork in their pricing. Even if printed products are an add-on, it will be worth hiring them to help you choose how to display your family photos and take care of the printing process. Professional print products are designed to last for decades, even centuries. Trust your tangible legacy to a professional. In the Cradle & Folk Directory, look for “Professional Print Products” under the list of Amenities.

About DC Photographer Marie Elizabeth Photography

DC Photographer Marie Elizabeth Photography captures Maternity, Newborn, and Family session. Marie also serves clients in Northern Virginia and Maryland. She strongly believes in legacy and has a flair for the timeless, nostalgic, and romantic. She is also a founding member for The Kindred Path.

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