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Hanging Photos in Groups
Tips and Ideas For Hanging a Group of Pictures
Hanging photos in groups is a really great technique to add impact and interest to your displays. When hanging a group of pictures, remember they'll all be seen together like a single piece, so must have a strong visual unity.
An easy way to create this unity is by using similar, or identical, frames and mattes. It's also likely that grouped pictures will have similar subjects, styles or colours. Lay them out on the floor first and play around with different combinations and arrangements.
Group of three
You may have created a triptych of 3 different images on a single page in Photoshop, which sits in a single frame. But when 3 separate images are individually framed and arranged next to each other the effect is really great.
Use either the same style/colour of frame or stretched canvases. When arranging pictures into groups it's always important to position them really close to each other, since they are effectively one piece. The gap between them should be small enough to make it clear they are a single collection but large enough to retain each picture's individuality - so less than the width of each picture.
Go for images with a visual theme or narrative, like a place, event, colour, style or person. When hanging photos that you have taken, why not use three of the same one, each styled and processed differently in Photoshop?
Group of four
Often things look better in odd numbers, but hanging photos in a group of four actually looks fantastic, particularly when they form a square rather than a straight line.
When tightly grouped, the rectangular appearance is like that of a single picture, broken into quarters. I have a group of four black and white photos at home which I think look great in this arrangement.
Arranging pictures in an even number tends to produce a nice calm, ordered appearance.
Arranging images into larger groups often looks slightly chaotic or very organised. But that's good in the right place.
Sometimes the randomness of loads of totally unrelated pictures with different subjects, colours, framing and so on, takes on a kind of order and pleasing balance of its own (often works well when decorating childrens rooms or other informal parts of the house). But it's still always a good idea to bear in mind the relation the display has to the size of the room, dimensions of the wall and size of the surrounding objects.
A large, even number of pictures can, conversely, be arranged symmetrically and with identical framing as a striking way to fill up a wall. This often looks brilliant on small sections of wall, for instance the little bits that half separate rooms in open plan buildings or the space beside doorways. Hanging a group of pictures - usually 6 or 8 - in a long thin rectangle that matches the shape of the wall is one of my favourite ways to display art and photography.
Got a suggestion for arranging pictures in an interesting or striking way. I'd love to hear about it. Please get in touch here.
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