Thursday, October 04, 2012

An Instagram Gallery Wall

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
The newest gallery wall in our home in the baby's room.

I've decided that I need more walls in our home.  Above the baby's dresser in her room was a sad, empty space that taunted me for months.  I thought about leaving it blank but one rainy afternoon, while we were lying on the floor reading some of her favorite books, she stopped me and staring at her beautiful gallery wall she started calling out everything and everyone she saw in the photos.  Soon this became one of her favorite activities.  She walks around our apartment (especially in the kitchen), points at photos and talks about them and the people in them and I tell her the story of the day the photo was taken.  I started thinking about the kind of pictures that I wanted to put up on that little wall and soon the stories started to unfold.  I use Instagram (A LOT) to capture the moments of my life and with a toddler running around sometimes the iPhone camera is the only practical way to take pictures because I simply don't have the time or the hands to use my dslr.  And so the idea for my newest gallery wall started to form.

I used my own gallery wall tutorial as a guide:

(1) get all the necessarily materials (I LOVE painter's tape)
(2) choose the frames and photos
(3) frame your wall using painter's tape (this time I skipped this step)
(4) choose a layout, and finally
(5) hang the frames

The  best part of creating this wall was choosing the images and once I decided that I was going to print pictures of Lucia from my Instagram feed the fun really began.  I love mobile photography  because it has allowed me to take photography in general less seriously all the time.  For the first time ever, as a photographer at least, I have finally learned to relinquish a bit of control (just a little) and in doing so I'm actually having more fun and have gotten better at capturing quiet, spontaneous moments and the images that I chose for this wall illustrate that.  All of the photos are taken from behind or above when Lucia didn't know that I was there, when she was in her own world, doing something wonderful and fun - jumping in puddles, running fearlessly toward the waves, sleeping peacefully in her beloved crib.  I'm always, always there with her, watching her, letting her run and encouraging her to be adventurous and live playfully, even when (perhaps especially when) she doesn't know I'm right behind her.

I'd highly recommend printing some of your favorite phone photos.  If you think about it, these are the times when you feel the least self-conscious about your photo-taking skills because after all, it's just a phone.  The majority of my favorites happen to be Instagram pics but the idea behind mobile phone photos is the same...they are real, seemingly inconsequential but actually quite meaningful moments.  I used Adoramapix (my favorite online printing source for my personal photos) and the prints look great in the 10x10 and 5x5 size.

The wall has been finished for a mere three days and she hasn't stopped talking about the pictures or asking for the stories behind them.  Her favorites (for now) appear to be the one with the purple umbrella, the one where she's running with the ball (taken at Brooklyn Bridge Park and used on her birthday party invitations this summer), and the one where she is sleeping.  She keeps pointing to it saying "sssh...Lucia's sleeping.  With a blanket.  Shhhh." 

I'm curious to know what you think.  Do you have any tips for creating gallery walls or favorite apps for your iPhone or android?  Share them in the comments!

See my original gallery wall tutorial here and see more walls in my home here.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Choosing prints.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Choosing a layout.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

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