What Photos Do You Hang on Your Walls?

What Photos Do You Hang on Your Walls?

As photographers we are artists, so what we display on our own walls, in our own living spaces, should be of paramount importance to us. What do you display for others to see?

It's nice to think that we are insulated from the outside world, that we are pursuing art for our own innate pleasure in what we find interesting or beautiful. Indeed, some photographers are cocooned from what the outside world thinks of them. Vivian Maier never displayed her photos, instead placing all of her energies in to taking them. Ultimately however, most of us care, to some extent, what others think. That's why we enter competitions, post on Instagram, or collate a daily portfolio on 500px. It's about the highs of self-gratification in showing off our best and greatest photos, and the lows of crappy comments, few votes, and the better work of other photographers!

One place where you are completely in control of both the space and the viewers, is your own home. You decide what you want to display, where it will go, and who you will allow to view it. Given the media focus over the last few years for printing photos, rather than simply posting them online, there is an increasing sense that we should be creating a physical legacy of our imagery, such that it isn't lost to future generations. Are you printing your imagery and, if you are, have you placed it on display?

When I say on display, I don't mean cheap 6x4" prints sat on your kitchen worktop showing Poppy, your beloved hamster. Rather, have you produced canvases, acrylics, fabric wall hangings, or framed gallery quality prints? Are they hanging on your walls, proudly displayed as your work, crediting you as the artist?

Photographs are living entities that transcend the individual pixels they are composed of. Breathe life in to them by cherishing and nurturing them, allowing them to grow in to the artworks they deserve to be. Sometimes they burst forth in blazing glory, while other times they need some tender care to allow them grow in to something beautiful. A single photo may be the combined result of a 100 previous shots and ten hours of post-production. Edward Weston famously used an f/240 lens which required 6 hour exposure times for his pepper series.

Have you printed and displayed your art? Answer the poll below to register your vote and post a picture in the comments below to show how they are displayed.

Lead Image courtesy of PIRO4D via Pixabay, used under Creative Commons.

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michaeljin's picture


robertc's picture

I hang up art that I had nothing to do with. I want to look at something and enjoy the color tones without thinking about how I achieved it in Lightroom, or enjoy the composition without remembering what was going on outside of the frame...you get it. I want to enjoy the art I'm looking at without thinking about the process that got it there, and I'm 100% unable to do that with my photography. I set desktop backgrounds of my own stuff, but that's about it.

Deleted Account's picture

We're over critique our own work. Makes sense.

John Dawson's picture

Yup, amen!

Mike Smith's picture

I cant understand that - no prior means you can enjoy it for what it is. Do you like photos on your walls or other art?

robertc's picture

I have a lot of different types of art on my walls. Nothing against photographs, just don't want mine up there. It seems weird to me that someone would want their own work up...but everyone is different.

Timothy Roper's picture

I'm working on getting all the photos on my walls to be B&W prints I made in the dark room. But I am rather picky about subject matter, and seem to like floral still-lifes, landscape, and some architecture. For some reason, I don't really like people for walls--they're more for the books on the coffee table. Problem is, I don't actually take a lot of those kinds of photos I like on the wall. But the process has got me thinking I maybe need to focus more on photos for walls, rather than other things.

Mike Smith's picture

The weird difference between what you like photographing and what you like displaying!! At least it makes you think about both...

Grant Henninger's picture

All but one of the photos on my walls are ones I took. The only exception is Moon and Half Dome by Ansel Adams. I tend to print out recent photos of mine that I really love and am proud of. These newer images replace the ones hanging on the walls that don't speak to me as much anymore.

Over time, this has shown me which images of mine I truly love, and which I'm simply infatuated with at the moment. There are a few images that have stayed on my wall for a decade now, and many others that haven't survived a year.

Mike Smith's picture

Can you post the long standing favourite?!

Lee Christiansen's picture

I have a simple rule... If I didn't photograph it, it doesn't hang on my walls.

Some of my images are simple mounts to board so I can swap the prints when I'm tired of them and the rest are behind museum glass in custom frames.

Makes me happy, even after 10 years I still pause at a few.

John Dawson's picture

See, I'm just the opposite. I wish it didn't, but having my own work on our walls really weirds me out.

Mike Smith's picture

Ive been thinking of going themed and having one wall which I regularly change. Still pondering how best to do this

A M's picture

We're both photographers in my household, me - weddings and portraits, him - fine art. But, we both love specific types of photography and photographers jointly. So, the last few years, we've started collecting and museum quality framing more well known contemporary art photographers. I've found a few websites, like the Magnum Photographers that do a special a few months before Christmas on 6"x6" prints and a couple of local art projects that sell photographer's prints.

We have a few Todd Hidos, Martin Kersels, Alec Soth, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Stephen Shore, James Welling. I have a knock-off Baldasarri, that I hope to actually purchase someday. At the moment, I love these photos, but I know it's an investment too.

I feel like we have our own mini contemporary photography gallery as our apartment and it makes me so happy when I get home.

Mike Smith's picture

I SO want one of Edward Weston's peppers... that was probably the first photo that took my breath away. They dont come cheap!

John Dawson's picture

No photos other than family.

Simon Patterson's picture

The walls at home are just about the only place I present my work.

Dan Marchant's picture

I have a bunch of my own images on the walls.....
3 food related street photography prints in the dinning room.
High key shots of wildlife from Namibia above the bed.
Travel photos (get changed every few months) in the stairway.

Mike Smith's picture

There is something about street photography that is so engrossing on a wall. I love it in businesses where they have material of the places in/around where they are located. One pub I was in had photos from the last day of car production at the Vauxhall factory in Luton which were sympathetic B&Ws. Just got to dig osmething out that is equally good....

Dan Marchant's picture

A few of mine are hanging on the walls of the Hong Kong Judicial Institute. Several people there seem to be photographers or like photography and so there are quite a few nice shots on the wall. Makes for a much nicer work environment IMO.

Deleted Account's picture

I don't hang my photos in the main living spaces, we have paintings instead. I look at photos all day, the last thing I want to do is sit in the couch and look at 'work'

Lav, I have a range of family holiday snaps that get changed regularly.
Office, 2 big prints of Manhattan on Dibond that I made years ago and don't have anywhere else to put them.

The Mrs keeps asking me to make something nice to hang up. I answered that by making wooden sculpture to hang on a wall garden, which I've been commissioned to make for 2 other people since hanging it up. The thing, not a photo of the thing.

Mike Smith's picture

That is so cool!! Must take ages to put together... and weigh a fair bit! Does it sell for more than your photos?!

Deleted Account's picture

It does take a while, cutting logs, arranging, sanding the face. weights about 30kg I guess.
The potential is certainly there to be more lucrative than my photo work. We all need an exit plan ;)

Dan Banert's picture

Totally different. For example, in my kitchen I have photos related to food and eating, some abstract in the hallway and sexy in the bedroom) They should increase desire, as some sex toys do ( https://viabestbuys.com/best-sex-toys-usa-2017/ ). Everything should be themed. But this is so far we have no children)

Deleted Account's picture

Nothing on my walls, nothing.

David Pavlich's picture

We have 8 of my prints hanging in the main floor of our home. We also have other stuff. When you walk into our living room, the first thing that you see is three 16X24 prints of big cat head shots.

The best thing you can do to a nice image is print it and display it. Not a thing wrong with being proud of what you've done.

Mike Smith's picture

What amazes me is how different (acrylic, print, canvas, fabric etc) the different mediums look. And there is nothing so satisfying as seeing something big

Duane Klipping's picture

I have a couple dozen of my own prints hanging throughout the house. Metal, canvas, acrylic and matted framed prints. I like to see my work and it motivates me to do more.

I also had a couple hundred 12 x 18 prints I keep for future sales or hanging to exchange images in some frames.

Printed work is the final product and looks so much better than viewing on a backlit screen.

Stefan Gonzalevski's picture

I once had some printings of my own on my wall. But I was young and I finally got tired of them. Then I had a huge (60x100 cm) Frans Lanting calendar, that I kept long after the year was finished, because of the beauty of the pictures. Now I have only a single quotation, simple black font on white paper, framed in 60x80 cm that helps me focus and go on in life : "Do or die".

Andy Barnham's picture

I had largely empty walls for years and would frequently be asked by friends and family when I’d fill them with my work. I’ve now finally done this, so I’ve got a cross section of ‘My Best Of’. They’re a good talking point when I have guests and models (for test shoots) visiting.

timgallo's picture

it was interesting to read what everybody has. i believe printing and trying the "exhibition" at your home - is a great rehearsal before the actual exhibition.

as for me i have a wall in my working room that has
work from my previous exhibitions (small pieces usually). work for upcoming exhibitions. some rare photo postcards and some family polaroids snapped by stapler, Eikoh Hossoe's original cover of Men and Woman is on display and some rare photo-prints of japanese tankas by unknown japanese photographers made for museum (got em from an old antique collector ). but my wall is a living breathing organism of different work, and changes almost every half a year. i enjoy having a mess of a wall - it reminds to stay creative.

Indy Thomas's picture

I hang my own personal work, never commercial work. I hang that in the studio where it does work hopefully impressing clients.
I do not collect photography as there is so much great work I would never stop until I had to turn to crime to get my fix.