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Five Tips for Creating Stunning Photo Wall Displays | Seattle Family Photographer

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Five Tips for Creating Stunning Photo Wall Displays | Seattle Family Photographer

You have had your family photos taken and received a gallery of beautiful images. But now what? When I first transitioned to an all-inclusive photographer my main struggle was that families would leave with a gallery full of digital files that just sits on their computer. This is, in part, why I include an album with all family and newborn sessions.

Yet there is still so much you can do with your gallery of photographs. I am a big believer in decorating my home with family photos. If you look around my home, my walls are covered with photos of my family over the years. It is my favorite part of my house, the photos are what make my house feel like a home.

It can feel overwhelming trying to decide which images to display and how to make the post impact. So today, I’m sharing five tips for creating stunning photo wall displays for your home.

Creating a Wall Display Tip #1: Size Matters.

This is first and foremost important. The most common sized gift prints are 5x7 and 8x10, however, on your walls, these will look tiny and disproportionate. You want to consider the entire size of the space, and any furniture it will be hanging over.

(1) 20x30 Canvas fills the space and makes a statement.

(1) 20x30 Canvas fills the space and makes a statement.

Creating a Wall Display Tip #2: Consider One Large Photo vs. Several

Now that you’re thinking about the size of the space your wall display will cover, the next thing to think about is if you want to display one photo or several. You can use one large photograph to really make a statement, or if you’re like me and have a hard time just choosing one photo, you can select several photos from your gallery to include.

Creating a Wall Display Tip #3: Use your wall display to tell a story.

It is easy to just want to show off a portrait of each of your children smiling at the camera. I do have an area in my home where I just have those nice portraits. However, in your more prominent areas (i.e above the mantel or living room couch, or even on the main wall in the dining room) by using your wall display to tell a story you will be creating a truly stunning sight that will keep people looking.

To tell a story, I use a mix of images from the gallery. When putting together a grouping of photos, I will often select:

  • 1 portrait of each child

  • 1 sibling photo

  • 1 photo of the family loving on each other

  • 1 wider portrait of the family that shows off the environment.

Now, to really enhance the display, do not simply pick images with everyone smiling and looking at the camera. Instead, look for images that make you feel. For the portrait of each child, maybe they are smiling big as they throw a rock or are running towards the camera. For the sibling photo, maybe they are laughing and hugging. For the family photos, look for one that shows everyone’s faces as they embrace, laugh or are snuggled up together and one that shows more movement and interaction. Together these groupings of photos will tell a beautiful story on your walls.

(1) 16x24 & (2) 11x14 Canvases

(1) 16x24 & (2) 11x14 Canvases

Creating a Wall Display Tip #4: Think about the space and your goals with the photos to decide if you want to use framed Prints or canvas wraps.

I love canvas wraps. They are like an all-in-one print, no need to find a frame, just hang. They standout, making them great statement pieces, adding dimension to your walls. However, frames offer a nice flexibility and ease when you’re wanting to update the photos on your walls.

In my home I use a mixture of both frames and canvases. I prefer framed prints for portraits of my children that I change out 1-2 times per year. I may also use a frame in a few spaces where I don’t need anything much larger than a 12x18 or 16x20 size as the large the frame the heavier (and more expensive) you get.

Again, think about the space and your goals with the photo(s) you want to display to help you decide if you want framed prints or canvas wraps.

(3) 11x14 prints mounted to 16x20

(3) 11x14 prints mounted to 16x20

Creating a Wall Display Tip #5: Use a quality printing lab for your photos.

We all love the self satisfaction of the one-hour photo lab. Yet this wall display is something that will stand out in your home, quality matters. You will see these photos daily, so invest in a quality print lab to ensure not only that the colors and tones are printed correctly, but that the prints or canvases themselves will last.

You can always order professional prints and canvases directly through me (or ask your photographer). I not only can order prints for you, but I can help you decide the right images to include in a display. If you prefer to order yourself, check out Artificat Uprising, or MPIX.com.

Bonus Tip: Five Sample Wall Display Arrangements

Just in case you’re still feeling stuck, here are five of my favorite arrangements for photos (most of these are already on my walls!). You can always adjust the sizes of the prints (keeping the scale) so that they are right for the space in your home. Again, remember tip #1, size matters!

#1: The 10x10 (or 12x12) Photo Grid

The photo grid is a simple design that is easy to customize to your space. The photo shown below is of (9) 10x10 canvases, however you can easily do 12x12 canvases if your space allows. Grids can be done in 9 or 16. I love the ability to incorporate so many photos from your session in one space. Try mixing in simple portraits with more playful and even detail images in your design.

The photo grid design is great for prominent spaces, like above your couch or mantel, or filling in spaces on walls where there is room.

(9) 10x10 Canvas Wrapped Photographs

(9) 10x10 Canvas Wrapped Photographs

#2 A 20x24 and Four 8x10s Framed

This design features a large 20x24’’ print with a 3’’ mat, surrounded by (4) 8x10 prints that are mounted too 11x14s. This design allows you to have your favorite family photo as the large, prominent image in the middle surrounded by either other favorite family shots, or (like shown here) individual portraits of each child.

This design works well in living rooms (above the couch or mantel), dining rooms, or even in master bedrooms where there is plenty of space for the framed portraits to shine.

(1) 20x24’’ print with a 3’’ mat and (4) 8x10 prints mounted to 11x14s

(1) 20x24’’ print with a 3’’ mat and (4) 8x10 prints mounted to 11x14s

#3 A 16x24 and Two 11x14s

This is a simple design that makes all three images standout. It features a 16x24’’ canvas centered between (2) 11x14’’ canvases. This design works well in any space from the living room to baby’s room!

(1) 16x24 Canvas & (2) 11x14 Canvases

(1) 16x24 Canvas & (2) 11x14 Canvases

#4 Four 11x14s

This is a great design for a smaller space, such as an in office or hallway. Because they are smaller in size, this design can make a great gift for grandparents.

(4) 11x14 Canvases

(4) 11x14 Canvases

#5 A 20x30, 16x20, 12x18, & Two 12x12s

This is my all time favorite wall display. It not only provides five opportunities to display images, but as a whole this design makes quite the statement. I, personally, have this layout above my couch in the living room. It could also work well in the master bedroom.

(1) 20x30, (1) 16x20, (1) 12x18, & (2) 12x12 Canvases

(1) 20x30, (1) 16x20, (1) 12x18, & (2) 12x12 Canvases

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The Newborn Photo Session Experience | Seattle Newborn Photographer

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The Newborn Photo Session Experience | Seattle Newborn Photographer

You have looked through my newborn portfolio and you’ve read about lifestyle newborn photography. You may be convinced that this is the style you want for your newborn’s photos and maybe even know that I’m the photographer for you. Or maybe you’re still not sure. Either way, you may be wondering what is the newborn session experience like? I am here to walk you through what to expect when I arrive at your home to capture your sweet new babe.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Newborn Photographer,  Newborn Photo Session Experience,  Photo of dad with newborn baby girl

I will ask for a tour when I arrive at your home.

This isn’t to check out your square footage, or how clean (or how not clean) your home is. I am merely looking for the areas in the home with the best light where we will be spending our time photographing your family. I also use this time to check out the nursery (if there is one). Typically, sessions take place in the master bedroom, living room, and the nursery (or a mixture of these rooms). Again it completely depends on light .
Once we have decided on the right spots within your home to photograph you, I check for distractions (that bright pink water bottle by the night stand, phone cords, etc) and have dad help me move them.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Newborn Photographer,  Newborn Photo Session Experience, Photo of father admiring newborn baby girl

While mom finishes getting ready I focus on dad and baby.

Mom has spent all morning nursing the baby and getting baby ready, I do not expect you to be ready the moment I walk in the door. Usually, mom is touching up makeup, putting on a clean top (that hasn’t been spit up on), or doing any other last minute things. I use that time to not only take a little tour, greet that sweet new baby, but also focus on just dad and baby.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Newborn Photographer,  Newborn Photo Session Experience, Photo of family with newborn baby girl

Once mom is ready, we focus on the entire family.

Photographing just dad and baby leads naturally to adding in mom wherever we are. If there are older siblings we capture the entire family while they have the greatest attention span. And, of course, if you have fur babies, they are welcome to join in too!

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Newborn Photographer,  Newborn Photo Session Experience, Photo of newborn baby in moms arms in nursery

There is a general flow to a newborn session however, baby leads the way.

I have specific images I am after - such as dad and baby, entire family, mom and baby, siblings (if applicable) and just baby. However, I expect baby to need to stop for a feeding, diaper change, or even an outfit change. If baby is rooting too much to be just held by mom, we let her nurse. Or if baby is wanting to be snuggled instead of just laid down in her crib or on the master bed, then you snuggle the baby. I have no “rules” for what your baby must do.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Newborn Photographer,  Newborn Photo Session Experience, Photo of swaddled newborn baby girl

Your baby may be awake or asleep during your photo session.

Again, I have no expectations. It is okay if your baby is awake the entire time, if your baby sleeps the entire time, or if your baby is awake and then naps. Since I let her guide the session, I ensure she is comfortable and happy (yes she may cry, but that’s how she tells us she’s hungry or needs a new diaper). So do not worry if she was up all night and is now super sleepy, or if she’s wide awake. Your gallery will be full of gorgeous photos of your new baby either way.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Newborn Photographer,  Newborn Photo Session Experience, Photo of family snuggled on bed with newborn baby

We will take breaks for feedings, diaper changes, and even a cup of coffee.

As I mentioned above, if baby needs to eat, we let her eat. If mom needs another cup of coffee, brew one and take a few sips. During this session, dad brewed me some coffee and we sat and chatted while mom nursed a hungry baby girl. And with full babies comes full diapers.

Nursing photos are up to you and your comfort level.

Speaking of nursing breaks. Feeding your baby is such a special time for bonding. If you would like me to capture that time of you together, I am more than happy to do so (I do not share those images online even if you’ve given me permission to share photos from your gallery). However, if you are wanting privacy, I give you as much space as you need - in the other room, or just chatting with my camera down.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Newborn Photographer,  Newborn Photo Session Experience, Photo of newborn baby feet

Newborn Photo Sessions take 1-2 hours.

Depending on how many breaks or needed, if there are other children involved, and how much I snuggle your baby (just kidding on that last one….sort of!), you're session can take anywhere from 1-2 hours. Two hours may sound like a long time to schedule out, but I promise, it never feels that long.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Newborn Photographer,  Newborn Photo Session Experience, Lifestyle newborn photo of family of three

Newborn photos are easy like Sunday morning.

You just had a baby, you’re getting little sleep, and you’re figuring out life with a sweet new baby. While I know how important having this time document is, I do everything I can to make sure the process is as relaxed and easy as can be. I want it to feel like you’re spending the morning chatting with an old friend, showing off your love for this little life who has turned your world upside down.

Are you expecting? Contact me to book your newborn session and get your due date on the calendar.

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Grey Skies Make for Beautiful Family Portraits | Snoqualmie Family Photographer

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Grey Skies Make for Beautiful Family Portraits | Snoqualmie Family Photographer

The Pacific Northwest is one of the best places on earth, wouldn’t you agree? The evergreen trees, mountains, rivers, lakes….the list goes on for all of the beauty that surrounds us here. I feel lucky that I see a beautiful mountain daily out the windows in our home. This area is a photographer’s dream come true with all of the natural beauty around. However, if you live in the Seattle area, you know with all that greenery comes rain and grey skies.

While I LOVE myself a gorgeous sunset for a family session, that isn’t always possible here in the great PNW.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family Photos with Grey Skies, Photo of family of five sitting on park bench

However, grey skies can make for gorgeous family photos.

I want to first remind you that despite the beauty around us, having family photos is not about showing off the landscape. Instead family photos is about documenting YOU, your family, your love, your connections, those dynamics within your family, this stage that you are in right now. While I put emphasis on location and the time of day your session takes place for both light and to accentuate those things, those are just details working in the background. So if the sun isn’t going to shine on your photo session day, rest easy. We will still beautifully capture your family.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family Photos with Grey Skies, Photo of mom tossing daughter in air as dad with twins watches nearby

Grey days mean fewer people at the park.

The evening of this session we had this park to ourselves. The entire time we saw probably three other people, and while on the beach, it was just us. If you have ever been to Lake Sammamish State Park you know that is quite the miracle. Having the place to ourselves meant not worrying about people in the background, not waiting for people to move, and just letting the kids have the run of the area.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family Photos with Grey Skies, Lake Sammamish State Park, Photo of family looking out at lake

Stormy skies can add drama to your photos.

If the skies begin to turn a little, those stormy skies just add even more depth and interest to your photos. The sky started getting darker and stormy and it was so beautiful as we played on the beach. The deep colors made this family really pop!

Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family Photos with Grey Skies, Lake Sammamish State Park, Photo of mother and daughter walking towards lake on stormy day

Kids love playing with umbrellas.

Just in case it starts to rain a little, having an umbrella on hand serves a few great purposes. Kids love to play with umbrellas like it’s a game, plus you can stay dry and extend the session a little longer. (At the end of this session the skies did OPEN up, but it was at the very end, we took a few last shots with the entire family under the umbrella and headed in!

A bonus tip, is that a clear umbrella photographs beautifully. Not only can you see through it, but it lets light in and does not give off color casts (like a yellow or red one will do).

Res easy knowing that grey skies photograph beautifully too. I know I show off a lot of strongly backlight images, however, this session just goes to show you it isn’t about that at all (make sure you scroll down and click through a “few” more favorites)! Of course, should it actually be set to rain we can always reschedule or pick a covered location (I have suggestions or we can do it in your home).

With the weather as one less worry for your regarding your session, no more excuses. Book your family session now. I promise you won’t regret it.

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What is the best age to have my baby photographed? | Seattle Baby Photographer

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What is the best age to have my baby photographed? | Seattle Baby Photographer

You’ve had your baby’s newborn photos taken, but are already seeing how much she has grown and changed. So what is the best age to have your baby photographed after that newborn stage?

There is no “wrong” time to have your baby photographed.

I want to start by saying, if you want to have this stage your baby is in photographed, do it. No one has ever regretted documenting their baby. If this stage is so adorable, irresistible, and you don’t want it to pass then contact me now and we will get you on the calendar asap.

With that, let’s talk about great ages to photograph.

Best Age to Photograph Baby, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Baby Photographer, Photo of Baby girl and mom in beautiful golden light

Six to Nine Months is a great age to photograph your baby.

One of my favorite stages for my own kids was from 6-9 months old. This is the time when their own personality is really starting to show, they can sit up on their own, and are full of giggles. These are all wonderful details of this stage in your baby’s life to photograph.

Best Age to Photograph Baby, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Baby Photographer, Portrait of baby girl

You are the center of their world.

As your baby is developing her own personality, you are still the center of her world. It is you who brings out the biggest smiles and giggles. It is you who knows her favorite games and activities. It is you who brings out that sparkle in her eye. All of these facts make this stage the perfect time to not only photograph your baby, but make sure you get in the frame with your child.

Best Age to Photograph Baby, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Baby Photographer, Photo of family with baby girl by the lake

Introducing Milestone Sessions

After the many requests of parents about a Baby’s 1st Year Photo Package or milestone sessions, I have decided to add milestone sessions for your baby’s first year. A milestone session is a 30 minute, on-location session (in your home or at an outdoor location) available when you book either a newborn session and/or a full family session for Baby’s 1st Year. These sessions are great whether you want to have your child documented at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, or anytime in between. Learn more and book your baby’s milestone session here.

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