Choosing Photo Groupings

Choosing Photo Groupings

“My all-time favorite city is Leland. I love Lake Michigan sunsets, but I also love Lake Michigan’s vivid blue.”

A sweet client emailed me with interest in an 8×10 Milky Way photo, but in further emails, she described some of the things that she loves most about northern Michigan, and asked for my input. I love this area, too, and have a veritable art gallery – in a variety of media including framed prints, gleaming metals, and canvas wraps – displayed in my home to prove it. Interestingly, I don’t have a single 8×10 hanging. Instead, I have several 20x30s, a few 24x36s, a couple 16x20s (though those are older, and I wouldn’t choose that size now), a couple panoramas, and scads of 11x14s. So when this lovely lady inquired about my help, I put together a grouping that would make me happy if it were on my walls.


She sent me a photo of a room in her house, and I created a to-scale mock-up of a 20×30 flanked by two 11x14s. This set-up shows frames with 2-inch mats.

We started with her favorite Fishtown (Leland) right in the middle, a warm beach scene on the left, and classic Lake Michigan blues on the right.


A second option included two warm sunset scenes, and some afternoon glow at Esch Beach.


She liked the idea of the symmetry offered by the warm dune grasses surrounding Otter Creek, so I showed her that.


And we ended up settling on this grouping: the symmetrical beachy scenes with a simpler – but similar – Otter Creek sunset in the center. The tones go well together, and the moods match. A peaceful trio perfect for a bedroom.

However, she also wanted a print of the Fishtown sunset, maybe paired with a smaller image, though she was concerned whether this could work. Though it wasn’t for a bedroom, I thought the idea sounded promising, so I tossed the disparately sized images together on the bedroom wall so she could see for herself. This of course wouldn’t show how they would look with living room furniture, but it shows how the images look together at their right sizes on a wall. After viewing a few pairings, we decided that Fishtown (11×14) looked best with a golden scene (8×10).


The whole process took place over email, because she lives quite far from northern Michigan, but it was wonderful getting to know her a bit, and helping her make choices she knew she’d like. This process can be achieved over the phone, but is easiest in person (preferably while sharing coffee!). So, if you’re stuck deciding which photos will look best at which sizes, and which ones could maybe go together, contact us! We’re happy to help you choose.
(PS – She’s waiting on frames, or I would include some “after” photos, too!)