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Combining Snapshots with Professional Portraits in a Wall Gallery

I was asked to guest blog at Kinderstil.com, a Raleigh, North Carolina based Children’s retailer and the timing was perfect since THIS had just happened:


Yes, this is (was) my go to camera and yes it’s small – it’s a point and shoot (P&S) camera! In this day in age of the consumer dSLR being more affordable than ever before it almost seems a requirement that moms not only own one, but use it to capture everyday moments of life. *Every* everyday moment, even when lugging around a big camera is truly inconvenient. The art of the snapshot has been somewhat lost in the era of “everyone is a photographer” (see that blog post here).

I fell into this trap for a while too. I would pull out my “big gun” (which is a Nikon, I only use Canon small guns) at birthday parties and on Christmas morning and I found myself more worried with lighting, angles and the mess on the kitchen counter in the background then actually being present in the moment. I was so concerned with getting the shot that I missed the actual THING happening. Not to mention that they are generally bulky, heavy, and require at least some additional equipment (lenses, external flashes, large batteries, etc). You can’t carry it in your pocket when you’re shlepping your kids around Disney. No, it needs it’s own bag. Just like the diaper bag you’re already carrying. Or the dance bag, or the bookbag, or the giant karate bag, or … you get the point. YOUR HANDS ARE FULL!

I am here to tell you that it is o.k. to be the mom with a P&S camera.

(It is NOT, however, o.k. to be the a mom with a full sized iPad taking photos on the front row of the school play…I kid, I kid) It is o.k. to be happily clicking away with your little camera as your kids go down the slide even though the mom next to you is rocking $2000 in gear. Do we not have enough pressure as moms?? This is not to say that you shouldn’t have a dSLR or that you shouldn’t learn how to use it properly or that you shouldn’t use it with your kids. It is a very fun hobby and if you are interested in it, go for it! But should that thing be attached to your hip for every mom moment? In my opinion…no. If you make every single second of every single day a portrait photo op your kids will learn to hate that thing and that is the last thing you want. (I ask that my clients pack up the dSLR for at least a month before my professional photo sessions because I can immediately tell the kids who feel tortured by the camera, and it shows!).

I think that your snapshots deserve a place on the wall, just as much as your most prized portraits.

Usually I create wall galleries based off a single photography session but I recently tackled a tricky wall in my house with a wall gallery that included both snapshots AND portraits to display a year in photos – and the result is pretty great.

combining snapshots and portraits into a wall gallery

This is a wall in our upstairs loft, outside the bonus room and it has an angled ceiling that makes it a little tricky to work around. It’s also an area that is mostly seen by family, not guests, so it could have a more personal touch then what I would put in the main living area. These inexpensive frames came from TJMaxx and I created the grouping on the floor of the store while annoyed shoppers tried to shop around me (sorry Raleigh TJMaxx shoppers). I measured the wall and the frames and laid out a design on the computer but you could just as easily have stopped after the designing on the floor part.

create a wall gallery from tjmaxx

So I am off right now to choose the photos for those last two frames. If you are wondering, they will be portraits.

One Comment

  1. – I just stumbled acsors your blog! From Forget Me Knot Weddings. I immediately felt a connection to you because I’m from the Bay Area (Fremont), and am also a photographer. I LOVE your work. And I have to say, lots of photographers don’t know how to write well on their blogs, but you do both so well! Just letting you know who one of your readers is!

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