In that moment I was led to the living room entrance. It was a huge, impressive space, maybe forty feet wide, with a wall of French windows opposite the steps, which looked outside to a court yard. It was old school formal. On one end was the fireplace, on the other end a grand piano and three seating areas in the middle. The lighting was recessed in a coffered ceiling, the upholstery was velvet, silks and tapestries… then I saw it, my purpose had been revealed. In this classically sublime space, every surface was littered with little stand-up framed pictures of their four children! It was wrong, specifically in this formal setting AND a pet peeve of mine…Eva knew that!
It took two meetings to convince them to relocate this exhibit. I explained that a home this grand has visitors, meetings, parties, holiday gatherings, etc. You don’t have such an extraordinary abode and not show it off. Due to this truth, the living room would be considered a “public” area. Really, no matter what size the living room is, casual family photos are too intimate, particularly in such mass.
Everything has changed since “desk-top photo processing” has become the norm. Every little moment that moves us is now captured digitally. No more, “Oh, look at that, I wish I had a camera!” You do, and it’s in your pocket or purse—it’s called a phone!
Documenting your memories is a wonderful thing. Seeing our children’s evolution or our grandparent’s history connects us and gives our life substance. However, overkill turns your life into a flip-book. You would not write your life story with such redundancies so why do we need six pictures of Tommy at two when one cute one will do? Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Hands down the most effective application for me over the years has been the Family Picture Gallery. The task of gathering and framing all the photos that live in a box under the bed is overwhelming, so there they sit. For many, gathering and framing the photos of a lifetime and creating a cohesive timeline that tells the story of said life is priceless. It’s a fond memory, a validation, a diary of experiences, a foot print on the planet of all that really matters in one’s life.
This effort on your part will give your client warm fuzzies again and again. You have the power to do that… so why wouldn’t you?
For those of you who feel intimidated by a pile of 100 framed photos and a long blank wall, I will give tips on how to hang a gallery or picture group in my upcoming blog on “Collectors.”