Family portraits as wall art – a 60″ wide installation

Using several bespoke frames to display a collection of photographs

Last summer I did a lovely family portrait session for a family in Manchester. Mum liked the idea of having a collection of photographs on their living room wall. But she didn’t want one frame with a selection of images. She wanted something that would make a statement and would look outstanding on the wall.

We chatted about the options and I’d been investigating the idea of using several smaller frames to make a large installation. As we talked about mum’s favourite photographs from the session it was obvious that we’d need to make square frames to display the 12 photographs. Six were portrait and six were landscape. Six showed her two sons together and three each with them on their own.

One of the challenges of hanging a collection of frames is making sure that they all line up and that they don’t sag or move over time. To avoid this, my framer fitted two saw toothed hangers to each photograph. Saw tooth hangers are much better for this type of installation than string or cord. Cord and string tend to stretch over time, meaning that the pictures would become misaligned. Each photograph would be hung with two screws. That meant 24 holes needed to be drilled into the living room wall for the plugs and screws. Each screw had to line up perfectly both horizontally and vertically. And each screw had to be the same depth as the others. Fortunately the wall was flat! After very careful marking and drilling of the wall, the screws were put in to the same depth and the pictures were hung. Everything lined up perfectly first time, which was very fortunate.

I usually hang pictures for my clients. It’s usually quite quick job but putting up an installation is a different thing all together. It requires a wall plan to work from, accurate measurements and patience. Once it was done, it looked fantastic. Mum was delighted and I was too.

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