Every family generates hundreds, even thousands of photos every year…
One of the most popular techniques for the creation and display of wall art is the photo collage – not the messy scissors-and-glue art project from your days in school, but the sophisticated and finished collection of themed photos that can commemorate your big life events or treasured memories in a beautiful and artistic way. The technique not only results in a powerful ‘impact’ moment on your walls, it also allows you to have a more nuanced and multifaceted expression. Instead of trying to find one single photo that captures everything you want to say about a moment, you can bring several shades together. It’s like painting something with photos.
Of course, choosing several photos isn’t necessarily an easier challenge than choosing one, just a different challenge. How can you possibly select the perfect combination of photos from a wedding, a holiday, or a past moment in time? There are several strategies, but they all rely on a few basics.
Building the Moment
Of course, we’re taking about more than just a collection of photos arranged in a specific way. It’s a technique designed to bring in different aspects of a single moment or theme. Think of one of the most popular themes for this technique: The wedding. While a single, gorgeous shot of the bride and groom might be a powerful image, bringing in other photos and arranging them creatively allows you to explore the other little moments of that Big Day.
There’s a science to the art of the collage:
- Start with your central image. This photo may or may not actually be centred on the display, but it’s the core image, the one that sets the tone. For our wedding example, it might be that shot of the bride and groom exchanging rings, or dancing – the photo that demonstrates the love and the power of that relationship.
- Now, find the message – what are you trying to say? Staying with our wedding example, you might want to comment on the power of family, or celebrate the joy of the event. Whatever your message is, before you do anything else fix in your mind what you’re trying to say.
- Now, choose your ‘satellite’ photos, the photos that will be arranged around the core photo, with your message in mind. Select photos that fit into the narrative you’re telling. If it’s about family, pick photos of your parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and other couples. If it’s something more general – say, ‘joy’ – then choose photos that show people enjoying themselves, laughing, smiling, dancing.
The selection of photos for these projects is easy once you know what you’re trying to accomplish. The key is like a lot of things in life: Have a plan and follow that plan to completion.