MARIE KONDO YOU’RE MY HERO
I recently have been watching a show- Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. I gotta say, it’s inspired me. I bought her book. I’m reading through it (I’m over 83% through it already in a few days!). I have rewatched her series episodes and I’m delving through my own house right now, ready to tackle this new idea of how to truly keep my space tidy, while creating joy in my own life. I know, it’s addicting, and I love it. So the big problem I knew that would come is- I have SO many photographs. I’m a photographer, but I also know this is a big “mind drain” for other moms and dads and anyone who loves to take photographs too. It’s further down on the list of categories, but I’m a planner and I like to plan things before I tackle them.
So I thought, I gotta find some of the best ways to really DISPLAY the photographs that I love, the ones that bring me joy right? So I decided to have a plan in motion, a plan in my mind before I tackled that category (another great tip from Marie Kondo is to really think about what you envision in your space before doing this!) For me, my family is important, especially my little girl, and sure I have tons of photographs of growing up of me while I was a child and I feel that it’ll be important for her to see them too as she grows up. So what’s the best way to honor those memories, keep the heirloom photographs that I want, and give my little girl a spotlight too? Let’s go through some easy ways to display and protect those truly important photographs.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Why would I say that photographs are a “mind drain”? Think about the last time you looked through those social media “albums” or found a CD of images in a random drawer, maybe even scratched up, and you have NO idea what all is even on there. First things first: If you haven’t printed your photographs PRINT THEM. We always say, “I’ll do that another day”, “I have all of these photographs…in STORAGE….online….” or you are scrolling through your online Facebook or social media albums and you start seeing these photographs that you completely forgot you even took. It takes you back, you get lost in memories…you start thinking about other things and by the time you’re done reminiscing, you’re completely off track, you feel defeated or guilty because you forgot about these images, and you don’t have any of them printed. Stop the cycle right here right now.
Sit yourself down, it may take a few days, but go through the images that you have in storage, and choose a few images that really capture THAT specific event in your life, a vacation, a trip, a conference, a date, whatever it may be. Choose the ones that really jump out at you, only the ones that are thought provoking or engaging, like Marie Kondo suggests ‘the ones that bring you joy’ and trust me- you’ll know which ones just by looking at them. Put them into a new folder on your computer, save them onto a USB, send them to a new destination and designate that folder as “PRINT NOW”. Once you have this folder, you have the images you want to print, now go and take them to be printed.
If you want some advice on where to print, how to print, etc. You can click here to ask for our suggestions on printing, and why printing from a professional is best. But the important thing right now is that you have chosen to PRINT your images. You’re taking digital files, which aren’t physical tangible images, and creating physical photographs that you can TOUCH.
DECIDING ON DISPLAY
We’ve seen the tons and tons of ways to display your photographs on Pinterest, from Mod Podging them to random containers or even WALLS, to hanging them with cute little clothespins from a draped clothes line, to wacky…goofy ways that seem…cute, but are those ways of displaying really practical? Ask yourself if this seems practical, does it really feel like something you are going to keep for a few years to come or is this just a cute idea that you’ll NEVER get around to doing because let’s face it, we all have projects that we plan on doing but never really get around to doing them! If it is something you truly love and want to do, and you know you’ll see it through from start to completion, then by all means do it for your happiness! If you’re like me, who has had a lot of those unfinished projects that are still in drawers (and will soon be thanked for serving their purpose and donated lol), then let’s focus on the simple, effective, protective and safe ways to store, display, and really ENJOY your photographs.
To me, there are only a few ways that are proper to create happiness, harmony, and really protect the photographs that you have carefully chosen to print. These three main categories are truly the most practical. They can be enjoyed while sitting down, walking through the house, or by taking out and enjoyed with friends or family and a nice cup of coffee (or tea).
These are for the larger prints you might own. We specialize in Gallery Walls at the studio and I absolutely love creating and contributing to these for each client. These legacy statement photographs are the singular, individual, moment stand still images that you have printed, framed, and ready for the wall. Enlargements like these are for the beautiful, captivating, inspiring photographs that make you feel proud, happy, content, and bring you joy to look at every time you see them. They are to be displayed on your wall PROUDLY because your mindset, your self worth, and your value deserve to be happily remembered… reminding you each time you see it that you ARE BEAUTIFUL, your FAMILY is beautiful, your friends are BEAUTIFUL.
Gallery walls are Self-Esteem Boosting Powerhouses!
Celebrating these enlargements by placing them on prominent areas of your home can bring immediate joy. Seeing photographs in the family home has also been proven to enhance a child’s self esteem as well as make them feel important within the family structure. Dr David Krauss notes "What it says to a child is, 'I'm important in this family.' " It also shows a child he or she is meaningfully connected to others in the pictures. Favorite photos in a child's room can enhance the feeling of safety, or offer stimulation.”
You might think that this category is pretty self explanatory, but also keep in mind this can easily become over-complicated. Here’s some easy tips- keep it simple! From start to finish, scrap booking or album making, unless you are dedicated to it, doesn’t have to be fancy. You don’t need a whole bunch of stamps, do it yourself embossing kits, or ink pads (unless you have all of those already and it’s joyful for you to do) in order to create some lovely albums. If you really want to make them ‘uniquely yours’- grab an already made page kit that can be put together fairly easily from your local hobby store. If you have some albums already- add to them, or start a new one!
Thrift stores and hobby stores are a great resource for finding beautiful albums- grab one that really speaks to you. Think about how you want to order your albums- do you want to categorize them by events, vacations, family events, or by dates. The most popular is by dates; seeing progression through the years gives me a sense of accomplishment and happiness. Whatever you choose to do, be consistent and once you have an album finished place it in a prominent area, such as a coffee table or side table, in a gathering place within your home.
The last category is storage boxes. I’ll go ahead and say this is for photographs that are really important. You don’t usually take things out of storage boxes as much as you do any of the other categories, but you can think about doing a few things differently to make it more appealing for you to open up your storage boxes more often. First, get a NICE box- I’m not talking about a plastic storage container with a flimsy plastic top… I’m talking about an eye-catching, something I’m drawn to, needs-to-be opened box. Perhaps a nice vintage box that you found in a thrift store, something sturdy but with a nice pattern. Maybe it is a handmade wooden box that is more your style. Find a place to store your photo box, perhaps on a shelf or display case, but make sure it is a PART of your display. Remember the idea is that you want to see it in order to open it MORE OFTEN. What’s the point of having photographs if you can’t see them, feel them, look at them?
After you have chosen your box, and chosen a nice space to display your box that is easily accessible, start organizing your photographs into your box. If you feel you have too many photographs, take a quick look back through them and if there are any that you don’t really feel a strong pull to, or perhaps old family photographs that you may not even recognize anyone in, you can think about throwing these out (or if they are really old check and see if there is a historical society that might benefit from your donation!). Remember that you have a lot of memories already, happy ones, playful ones, great ones that you have chosen to print, so if you need to take one or two photographs out from some events it’s okay to let them go. The point of storage box displays is to have a keepsake box, a special memento area. Make sure your photographs are stored vertically- this ensures the least amount of damage to them, and you can also look into these nifty slip covers to protect your images individually!