Rx: How to Display Your Photos as Fine Art

Forget dinky frames or amateur collages. If you have amazing photos that deserve attention, blow them up onto canvas.

A while ago I got a voucher from Living Social for a company called CanvasPop. Unlike a lot of my flash sale impulse buys, it proved to be a gem. A couple days after uploading my photos on the website, I received huge, canvas works of art at my doorstep. 

A main tenet of my design philosophy is that the home should reflect the owner. Your home is a blank slate for you to represent all the things that you love. Of course, it must be done tastefully (which means no cheap sports posters all over your bedroom or Hello Kitty as a "theme"). One way to display stuff tastefully, as well as to decorate otherwise blank walls, is to put it on canvas. If you took really cool pictures on a vacation, why not blow them up? I wouldn't advise using snapshots of people, or using a really obvious picture of a well-known monument. As a side note, Francophiles: enough with the Eiffel Towers--we get it. Instead, I suggest using something that is really zoomed in, really far away, or just looks abstract. The goal is to not be obvious. That's what will make your art artsy. If the image it too literal, it falls into gauche territory.

Alas, there is an exception to my "no photos of people" rule. If something is really sentimental, and visually interesting, it could make for a great conversation piece.

Rx: Find a vintage photo of your family, scan it, and put it onto canvas.  

When I was in Peru visiting family, an aunt of mine handed me a handful of old family photos,  some even from the 1930s, to show me what my grandfather looked like back in the day. What I came across was, arguably, the best photo ever:

The original photo, smaller than a 4" X 6," of my grandfather in Paris, dated May 4, 1953.

The original photo, smaller than a 4" X 6," of my grandfather in Paris, dated May 4, 1953.

I took the photo, scanned it, played with the contrast on iPhoto, and uploaded it. This arrived a few days later:

Stretched to perfection, a 30" X 20" canvas ready to be hung.

Stretched to perfection, a 30" X 20" canvas ready to be hung.

Now, my grandfather is always with me, guarding me not only from heaven, but from my front door.

Here's what the size looks like in the scale of the room (note, that mirror is massive):

In a room with so many colorful accents, it's nice to have a little black and white. 

In a room with so many colorful accents, it's nice to have a little black and white. 

Tons of people come over and think it's some kind of James Dean-esque vintage stock photo. It's really fun to inform them otherwise.

Bottom line Rx: It is easy and awesome to do the same. Look through your photos and get creative!