Gallery Walls

vintage photo gallery wall
A recent photo wall gallery wall project framed at Whispering Woods Gallery

Gallery walls are a great way to make your home or office a place that feels just right.  Here are some articles that you might want to check out before designing a gallery wall.

This is your area so don’t be hung up about  breaking the rules! If you think that it works, consider it!  Many of the articles suggest not using the same frame for the entire collection. In the above photo, our client wanted to unify his family photos by using the same frame for all on of the items on his gallery wall. For his situation, it works.

Don’t be afraid to add three dimensional objects of different shapes and sizes to your gallery wall. A flea-market find, souvenir from vacation or family heirloom is an appropriate addition. Refer to Instagram and Pinterest for unusual ideas and layouts.

If you have a large amount of items to be framed for your wall, take your time, plan it out and work with an experienced framer who will help you through the process. Since it can be time consuming it’s best to call ahead to reserve a time period.

Here are a few pointers for hanging your gallery wall:

  • Cut out the shape of each item from newspaper or kraft paper and use painters tape to arrange the cutouts on the wall to experience the final effect.
  • Lay the arrangement out on the floor near the wall to see the overall balance before committing to making holes in the wall.
  • Make sure that the items have proper hanging hardware. Wires attached to D-Rings used with professional picture hooks work in most cases. Frames with sawtooth hangers in the top center often get knocked down and should be used with caution. Screw eyes frequently come loose over time so you might please consider other options.
  • Don’t be afraid to hire a professional installer. If you cannot fit it into your schedule, don’t have the proper ladders or simply don’t enjoy the process, contact us and we can refer you to some local installers in the Philadelphia area.


In Memory of Dad

Custom framed high school photo
Dad’s high school photo

In honor of Father’s Day I recently custom framed my Dad’s high school photo. This original photo is dear to me because it was displayed in my Grandmother’s dining room on top of the china cabinet. I have fond memories of the 1920’s house at 2522 North Second Street in Harrisburg, PA. Growing up, I always admired the beautiful soft photography and how well that it captured my father. This photograph survived several damaging floods from the Susquehanna River throughout the years when most of the house contents were destroyed.

The framing is masculine and suited for my father.  He was always well coordinated and stylish. My Dad loved neckties and the pattern of the frame reminds me of the patterns that he used to wear. I added an engraved plate so that he will always be remembered. I will add some details to the back of the framed photo so that others will know about his life. Stop by Whispering Woods Gallery to see this and many other examples of our fine custom framing. Do you have a memory that you would like to preserve? I am happy to help.

“Vintage is Now” Day 29 – Where will our images be 100 years from now?

Vintage photography custom framed
Custom framed duo with french ruled lines on archival matting

As our month of showing vintage photo projects comes to an end, we wonder what will become of the photographic images of today? Photos like the two above have been treated well over the years. When our customers bring in vintage photos to be framed, we frame them to be protected and enjoyed. Sometimes we scan and reproduce so that other family members can have their own copies.

One hundred years ago, a printed image was precious. Times have changed due to digital photography. Most images are stored and not printed. It is so easy to lose a flash drive, hard drive or other storage device.  Will our descendants be able to access our photos from dated devices?

Right now, a printed photo is still the best way to preserve an image. Having a digital back up is a smart idea too. Do you have a plan for your photo storage?

Thanks to Gary of Holland for letting us share his framed photos of his Mom. We know that he will enjoy the framed photos for years to come.


“Vintage is Now” Day 18 – 1960’s Baby Photos


Today’s “Vintage is Now” photo shows a series of Kim’s fun baby photos from the late 1960’s. These photos bring a smile to everyone that views them! They were framed in the 80’s elsewhere in very bold colors and it was time for a bit of updating.

We cut this six opening mat on our Wizard computerized matcutter. Kim chose a stylish ornate Larson Juhl frame with a bit of whimsy. We added an engraved plate with her name and the date. The matting choice is very neutral so whatever home decor colors might be popular, this project will look great.

Thank you Kim for letting us share your photos!

Photographing Holiday Lights

Holiday Lights
Photo credit: Wikipedia

This holiday is the perfect opportunity to take pictures of your family, your friends, and your neighborhood.  Don’t let short days or cold weather discourage you.  Today’s digital cameras handle low light well, so it’s a great time to record the holiday lights and candles that mark the winter season.The first rule for pictures of holiday lights is to turn off your camera’s flash, which can rob the scene of color. If you’re taking pictures of holiday decorations at a neighbor’s house or a colorful store display, your camera may select a slow shutter speed, so use a tripod or find a way to steady your camera on a solid object.  Use ISO 400 or even ISO 800. Automatic white balance can also drain color from the scene.  Read your instruction book and experiment with other color balance presets.  Shoot, check your LCD panel, and make adjustments.

Whether your subject is holiday decorations and lights, or a portrait of a family member, the most common mistake is to shoot from too far away.  Don’t zoom in on your subject, because that will affect shutter speed.   Instead, move closer.

Gentle snow won’t hurt your camera, and if it’s cold outside just keep it in your pocket until you’re ready to take pictures.  Enjoy the lights and Happy Holidays to all from Whispering Woods Gallery!

Check out the “Unforgettable Photograph”

I recently discovered the book “The Unforgettable Photograph” by celebrity photographer George Lange with Scott Mowbray.  This book gives “228 Ideas, Tips, and Secrets for Taking the Best Pictures of Your Life.”  Easy to grasp and not too technical, you can pick up some great advice whether you use a smartphone, a point-and-shoot, or a high end camera.  This is a great time of year to take photos of your friends, family and pets. Although I am not a professional when it comes to photography, I can certainly give you professional advice on how to frame your photos.  Don’t leave your images on your media card or phone.  Get them printed and enjoy them! I can’t wait to see your photos!

Check out George Lange in this short video about the book.