Your 2016 is off to a great start. You’re hitting the gym, tracking your money and planning a European excursion. You’re on a roll. While you’re at it, it’s time to replace those paintings in your living room you’ve been staring at for years. Forget ogling over Pinterest for the next three days, looking to copy someone else’s dream living room. Instead, take a trip down memory lane courtesy of your own Instagram feed and make last year’s memories and this year’s decor.
“The beauty of making prints from Instagram is that it’s a way to repeat the pleasure that you had when you took the photo, posted it and shared it with friends,” said Heidi Peters, an award-winning photographer and co-founder of shootalong.com, a year-long online program that teaches people how to capture their family’s moments with beautiful photography.
Pick the Paper
Stay consistent with Instagram’s vibe by choosing luster or matte paper stock rather than glossy paper. “It will lend a more authentic feel to your prints,” Peters said. Online labs like artifactuprising.com and bayphoto.com offer these options.
Peters favors hanging photos in a grid, even something as small as a 2×2 is a great place to start. “I think it echoes Instagram, how everything is laid out in a grid.” A straight line, perhaps of three or four photos in a row, is fine too, as long as it’s symmetrical. “It’s pleasing to your eye to have something that’s even.”
For the best results, Peters said to print Instagram photos as 5×5 or 8×8 squares. “Photos from your phone may get grainy if they are too large,” she said. “It’s better to create an impact on your wall with several smaller images than to be disappointed with big prints which are grainy or blurry.” She recommends keeping the photos one size. “You could do one larger and lots of smaller ones but then you run into problems if you want to add more and how to incorporate it.” With that trip to Europe on the horizon, you definitely want to easily be able to add more photos.
When it comes to selecting frames, the same rules apply as when selecting clothing. “You can’t go wrong if you always choose white or black. If you’re not sure, it’s better safe than sorry.” Make sure to matte the photos to protect. “If you put an image in a frame and put the glass or acrylic directly on top of the print and there’s any moisture there it’ll damage the print. The matte gives that little extra layer of air that separates the glass from the print.” Opt for white matting. “Having a matte that’s white is classic, elegant and timeless.”