Family Photo Display Ideas

As a family photographer I have no shortage of photos to display on the walls of our home.  When we moved to our home three and a half years ago I was amazed at how much wall space I had to fill and yet I’m now struggling to find space to display my favourite photos of our family. I learned the hard way that framed photos aren’t necessarily the best choice for every room after a few ninja and lightsaber battles resulted in broken glass. I absolutely love printing photos on canvas but because I add so many photos to our “favourites” collection every year I need display options that allow me to switch out photos on a regular basis. I’ve also filled the available wall space which means I’m always on the lookout for creative ways to add photos to every room.

Home office

Behind my computer I have a large white magnet board and a plethora of pretty magnets: I hang photos, cards I’ve received, favourite quotes, and special drawings from the kids.  I like being able to change photos with the seasons without having to go through the hassle of finding or hanging frames.

Hanging up family photos with magnets


In 3 out of our 4 bathrooms we have photos printed on canvas.  It’s a great spot for beach or vacation photos and I appreciate how durable the canvas is in the damp environment.  If a canvas gets splashed it’s easy to wipe it down and I’m not worried about them falling off the walls and shattering on the file floors.  

Family photos displayed in bathroom


I quickly learned that kid’s interests change as quickly as Canadian weather and so rather than themed bedrooms, I’ve decorated the boys rooms with their favourite photos of themselves.  I chose colourful frames and canvas to hang on their walls and display on their shelves.

Family Photo Display Ideas

Photo ledges

A photo ledge is a great display option when you want to show off a collection of images without having to frame and hang them.  My husband recently installed a photo ledge above our front hall closet, where I have space for 4-5 images at a time.  I plan to use the space to display my seasonal photos and since I placed the photos in white mats it’s easy for me to switch out the images whenever I want.

Photo ledges for family photos


When we moved into our house I considered storing beautiful bowls and vases above our kitchen cabinets but quickly realized I had no interest in washing and cleaning them on a regular basis to keep them dust free.  I’ve turned the empty space above our cabinets into display for photos and have done the same with high cabinets and dressers in other rooms.  

Family Photos in Kitchen

Sara McConnell is the mom to three boys and an award winning professional photographer specializing in maternity, newborn and family photography. When she's not behind her camera, drinking too much tea, in the pool or at the beach you can find her on FacebookInstagram and on her website.

ABC Challenge: Jumping and Laughing

by Lara My camera is not dead!  It was the battery that died and a new battery has saved the day just in time -- for a week at the cottage!

J is for Jumping

Jumping was the theme at the cottage this year. All three of my guys spent hours jumping off this dock over and over and OVER. Picking just one jumping photo was torture :)

J is for jumping

L is for laughing

My girl is a charmer.  A happy go lucky charmer. L is for laughing

 Reader photos

The list

It's never too late to join in.  Send me the links if you blog about your images - I'd love to include some of your photos too!

Art Books Climbing Discovery Eating Friends Green Hugging Inside Jumping Kisses Laughing Mealtime Night Outside Playing Quiet Riding Swinging Trees Umbrella Vehicles Wet Xcited (OH! Cheater!) Yellow Zoom

Every time I sit down to write one of these posts and look at all the photos I've taken this summer I smile. I spent so many months forgetting to take photos over the winter and seeing these regular images of my kids again makes me happy and reminds me why photography was such a hobby of mine for awhile.

Have you been taking photos?  Link to some in the comments!


ABC Challenge: Inside and Zoom

by Lara My camera died! Apparently 6 years of being tossed around like it wasn't an expensive piece of photography equipment finally took it's toll on the poor thing. Fortunately, my iPhone camera quality is quite exceptional!

Inside and Zoom

Z is for zoom - in Grandpa's boat around the lake.


I is for inside - the kids have spent hours in these buckets through this hot summer.  Cheapest/easiest swimming pools ever!

I is for inside

Art Books Climbing Discovery Eating Friends Green Hugging Inside Jumping Kisses Laughing Mealtime Night Outside Playing Quiet Riding Swinging Trees Umbrella Vehicles Wet Xcited (OH! Cheater!) Yellow Zoom

Cell-phone photography tips

Here are a couple of articles with great tips on cellphone photography - check them out!

How to Take Camera Phone Pictures

Cell phone photography tips

Other participants' photos

M is for mealtime - by Amy Boughner

J is for jump by Ang from the dock


Will you join in next week?

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Photography : time to hit print

by Sara If you're like most parents you probably have hundreds if not thousands of photos stored on your computer or your camera's memory card.  And if you're like most parents the most recent photos on your walls are probably from two years ago.

With digital photography it's a lot easier to take and store photographs but it also makes it a lot harder to print and frame them since you can see them anytime you want on your computer.

Here's my advice: Just do it!  Just print your photos.

They don't need to be professional shots; they can be any photo you love, like, or even just a moment you want to remember.  They don't have to be huge: 5x7 or 8x10 will do.  They don't have to be expensive; may I suggest Costco or (they ship to your house for $2.99)? They don't need to be professionally framed; all my frames are the Ribba series from IKEA (a nice 8x10 frame, with mat, is $12.99).  If the thought of creating a symmetrical arrangement is stressful then just hang them willy-nilly in a cluster at different heights and different spacing's so that the chaos looks intentional ;)  Or hang just one on each wall (make sure its proportional to the wall - the massive two-storey space in your living room needs more than a 5x7): I hang most of my 5x7's on the those awkward 1.5-3 foot spaces in between doors and rooms.

I have several poster-size enlargements in my living room / dining room / studio and those photos haven't been rotated or changed in over a year.  I'm hoping to get some new shots from our upcoming family photo session to replace the ones that are framed.  The rest of the photos in the house (mainly 8x10's) are changed every 4-12 months.  The photos I take down are either passed on to family members, put in an album, discarded, or, for larger prints, stored in an Artist Portfolio & Presentation Book (like this one, available in different sizes at Michael's).

I think choosing which photos to print is often paralyzing: it's not perfect; not everyone loves it; I'm not sure if I should choose this one or this one; I don't know where to hang it etc.  As a photographer, I still face the same dilemma - too many photos, not enough walls, not enough time.  My first step is always deciding where I wanted to hang photos, choosing what size frames I wanted on those walls, and then choosing the photos to fill those spaces.

Sara is a photographer and mom to a 5-year-old ” firefighter” and 3-year-old “monkey”.  You can also find her at her blog, My Points of View.

Mer Bleue Boardwalk

by Sara

I have been visiting the Mer Bleue Boardwalk since I was the same age that the firefighter is now.  I have a lot of wonderful memories of wandering the boardwalk with my family.

A bog is is an ecosystem that is most commonly found in the Arctic rather than the Ottawa Valley.  My boys are fascinated by the deep dark water underneath the boardwalk and the spongy peat moss surrounding the trails.  If you want to learn more about bogs and the Mer Bleue Ecosystem, visit the NCC website dedicated to the bog.

There are several trails in the NCC conversation area where the Mer Bleue boardwalk is located.  We like the 1.2 km long boardwalk trail because it is short enough for the boys to walk on their own and there is a lot to see (it is also stroller-friendly).  My boys like all the flowers and plants that line the sides of the boardwalk and the 'funny' shaped trees.  There is a large beaver dam and you can walk through the forest where the beaver's gnaw down the trees.  Last year over the course of a month we visited once a week and watched the progressive destruction of several large trees. 

Each time they try to spot the trails the moose use in among the tall reeds. Our oldest also likes to find the trails the beaver's have left behind in the forest. There is a variety of birds and we once narrowly missed seeing one of the moose that lives in the surrounding forest. 

The boardwalk is beautiful at this time of year. Many of the leaves are starting to change colours and its a wonderful spot for photos. The walk usually takes us about an hour and there is a sheltered picnic area (and an outhouse) at the beginning of the trail (the same place it also ends).

There is free parking but the lot fills up quickly on the weekends. If you can, head our first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon. The boardwalk is less crowded and you can take your time wandering the trail.