Bedroom / Dining room / Finishes and framing / Hallway / Hanging pictures / Living room / Photography

7 clever ideas for decorating with vacation photos

In this age of digital cameras, we often take hundreds of photos during our vacation, take a couple of weeks after coming home to download them to the computer, and then look at them once on the screen. If we’re especially motivated, we make a selection and sync with our smartphones or post on Facebook to share with our friends.  And then what? Most of the pictures end up eternally trapped on our hard drives never to be viewed again.  Wouldn’t you like to be reminded of that wonderful beach vacation in Mexico or the exotic trip to Nepal every day, taking back to a time of fun and relaxation?

Well, printing your best photos and using them to tastefully decorate your home can help you do just that. And I’d like to share with you some clever ideas to make the most of those pictures, whether you are a photographer or not.

If you are not a picture-taker, buying prints by taken by a photographer in your vacation spot is a great alternative! It’s easy to find them by searching art and photo printing sites in the web.

First, some tips for taking better pictures suitable for printing and decorating:

1. Capture high resolution images

Make sure your digital camera is set to save the pictures in the highest quality jpg (máximum number of megapixels and “Fine” setting) to make sure that they will have enough resolution for large prints. Printing required much larger files than screen viewing. If you need to, buy another memory card. It’s well worth the small extra investment.

2. Choose good lighting conditions

Take advantage of the softer light early in the morning and in the late afternoon-evening for better effect in your travel photos.

3. Use alternative formats

If your camera has a panoramic setting that automatically stitches together the images, try it out, holding the camera as still as possible while you rotate around your axis. It’s a lot of fun.

Example of a panoramic photograph.

Example of a panoramic travel photograph by Nicole Neuefeind

4. Think!

Be creative in your choices of subject and framing. Taking pictures from unusual viewpoints can create more decorative photos. Try up close or from above.

Now that you’ve taken some great pictures that you love, how can you use them to decorate? These options are only recommended if you have high resolution files suitable for large size printing. If the files are too small, the image will come out blurry or, worse, pixelated. Consult with your printer about file sizes required. In my next post, I will propose some alternatives in case your image files don’t have enough resolution for these ideas.

5. Frame an oversize poster print

Make a poster-size print of your favorite landscape photo and have it framed with a white or cream-colored matte. If you prefer, you can ask your printer to include a white border on the print.

6. Make large canvas prints

Print a photo in large format on a stretched canvas. There are many online services where you can order your canvas print. Some even automatically divide your picture into a diptych or triptych if you like, which creates a more artistic effect. Many let you choose whether to have the sides of the canvas continue with a reflection of the image or in white or black.

7. Amplify a picture series

Take a series of different photos of the same subject with the idea of hanging the prints as a group. In this example, they are hung as square canvas prints.

Please note:

The links to the printing services I have provided are intended to provide examples of the ideas I am explaining. I have not tried any of these services and do not recommend or endorse them. There are many other alternatives. If you have experiences with them, or recommendations of others, please share your experiences with my other readers.


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