Was to hang pictures of some of my best photos. Granted, we take a lot of snaps and most likely than not, they sit on the disk. Some have them as screen savers and that is refreshing. On many other hard drives, they sit unseen and soon forgotten. Best thing to do is to at least buy a digital photo frame (I have a Pandigital 10″). There is a problem with these digital frames too. Though they randomize displays, I somehow NEVER get to see my best shots, even after two years of running the frame. However, I wanted to display my best shots in my home and make a gallery out of it. After all these are the ones I am proud of taken and they make a good conversation start. Here is how I went about this project. It took about two months overall that is only because I took my time.
1) First off, whenever I go on a vacation after I come back I always mark my best shots and keep them organized in ‘My Starred Photos’. These are really my best shots. I have about 80 or so from the twenty thousand plus photos I have taken. These are worth displaying in a gallery – my own gallery at my home.
2) I found Nations Photo Lab in one of the magazines I subscribe to on photography. I uploaded a four or five or these and ordered metallic prints. The photos came back quickly and they just looked fantastic! I didn’t do any more research who else I should try out. The prices were reasonable, including shipping, I paid about $18 for these.
3) After getting these photos, I went to Michael’s and Target and got some frames. These frames averaged about $10 each. But the problem with these are you can only get standard sized frames (8×10 or 5×7). Most of my shots were 6×8 or 6×9 or 8×12. The bigger the size, they get more expensive. I did some research on the Internet and found some sites where the cost for each frame I thought would be nice turned out to be between $35-50 per frame. That was way too expensive for me as I had in mind about 40+ photos to hang.
4) Then I found FrameUSA (www.frameusa.com). This is a wholesaler and they have many frame types and colors and they are inexpensive even if you buy a few frames, But you will need to pay freight. I ordered the Value-added series in white for the samples. After receiving them, I found the photos looked great and went along with our home decor. The four samples I added, along with freight cost about $50.
5) I went ahead and placed my order for the remaining 40 frames for an additional cost of $412.When you think of frames for your photos, NEVER put one in a frame without a mat. A mat makes a lot of difference. First off, it keeps the photo from sticking to the glass and in the long run protects it. In addition, a mat adds a whole of beauty and structure to the photo. Just see a photo in a frame with and without a mat and you will see the difference immediately. A mat adds to the space a frame will occupy but that’s what makes the difference on the wall.
6) My shipment arrived yesterday (Saturday) in three box. The packaging was well done. Each frame comes with the hardware needed to hang the picture – usually a saw tooth hanger. It is hard to press or hammer the saw-tooth hanger into the back of the frames. Best thing to do is to drill small holes and push it into place. Of course, you have to take the time to find the center of the frame and drill the hole just deep enough so that the hole doesn’t go through to the front.
7) To hang the pictures, have some idea how you want to place them. One tip to keep in mind, lining the frames horizontally or vertically isn’t the best thing to do. Staggering them adds to the interest and you will never get the lining up perfect when you have a lot of photos unless you spend a lot of effort and time. With 45 frames to hang, I didn’t want to spend weeks to finish these up. This weekend was going to be it.
8) When you position the sawtooth hanger in place, place it so that it isn’t near the top of the (back of) the frame. If it is at the top, then you will see the hanger on the wall; to mask the hanger (or the nail thereof), you want to be able to hide it with some of the frame itself.
10) By the time I finished up hanging all the pictures, it was Sunday evening and almost time for the Oscars. My empty wall in the family room was now the ‘Wall of memories’. There were so many though that I had to spread them across on other walls in the family room. It gives the impression of too-many-photos on the wall, but in this personal space I wanted to have memories than anything else.
11) When you hang pictures, they easily move while dusting. Minor visual adjustments don’t make then exactly horizontal – you will be surprised how one’s perspective differs once you get away and look at the position. So you must do this – get a spirit level and find the exact horizontal. Then get one of the 3M photo mounts and use it to keep the frames horizontal. You will notice what a difference it makes by looking at the last two shots in this blog. The one where you are looking straight ahead with the two spotlights shining upon them, you will see some alignment issues on the horizontals. However, look at the very last one where the shot shows the frames from the side. These are with those ‘stickies’ putting the frames in place. There is much more alignment.