We all take pictures for a reason.
We take them to help us remember special moments or events.
We take them for others to show them a glimpse of what their life looks like through a camera.
And while taking the pictures is so very important, PRINTING and SHARING them is the icing on the cake. Pictures are something tangible we can all enjoy for years and years to come.
They are your legacy. Your moments. Your memories. Printing them is so very important.
Every year I try to add a new collage wall somewhere in my home. I always say that I will replace those photos with new photos the following year but I just can’t bring myself to take down/replace our older memories. These moments are so precious and they become even more priceless with time.
Creating a photo wall is so incredibly easy, and if you have your own home printer, you can finish this fun project in under an hour!
1. Start by selecting your favorite images.
I have been using Instagram for years now and all of my favorite images typically make their way to my Instagram feed. I like to think of this social media aspect as my family’s “highlight reel” so when it’s time to start selecting my favorite images for printing, I usually turn here first.
The majority of my images are shot with my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera and the Canon 35mm L II lens so I know the quality is going to be excellent for printing. When I’m selecting my favorites for printing, I try to keep composition, color and framing in mind and try to select a variety of wide angle and close up images.
2. Determine what size you want to print your images.
Like Instagram, I love a good collage of square photos so I decided to keep things easy and stick with a square image size.
I print all of my images at home on my absolute favorite printer, the Canon Pixma MX870, which can print up to an 8.5×11 size. I have had this printer for years and it prints beautifully and the quality is better than most of the professional labs I’ve used!
Having a home photo printer makes printing photos so easy and effortless! While I am using an older Canon printer, if you’re buying new, I hear the newer PRO-1000 will give you even better colors and the ability to print up to 17×22.
For this project, I decided to go with an 8×8 size and since the majority of my images were landscape, I pulled each image into Photoshop for cropping and any final edits.
3. Print your photos!
Now’s the fun part – printing! As I mentioned, I use my Canon Pixma for all of my smaller printing needs (up to an 8.5×11 size), so after cropping and editing the images, I sent them off to my printer.
I exclusively use Ilford Smooth Pearl photo paper and find that the weight and texture of the paper is absolutely gorgeous. For these prints, I trimmed my photo paper to 8×8 prior to printing.
For my basic prints and images, I typically just use the “standard” color option to preserve ink. The color and quality of the images is still fantastic and I’ve found that my ink cartridges will last me a few months when printing images on the standard setting.
For larger prints (6×8 or bigger) or anything that I am planning to hang on my walls, I use the “high” option for print quality.
Tips for printing at home:
- Crop your images prior to printing.
- Using the custom printing options, either select the size of photo paper you will be using or create a custom option with the size needed (8×8, in my case).
- Determine whether or not you want any border added to your image and either add the border size in the corresponding boxes or enter “0” for borderless.
- Select your paper source and the highest quality possible for color printing.
- Print away!
4. Determine your photo arrangement.
Don’t start hanging those pictures yet! I always like to determine my arrangement prior to placing them on my walls.
I always open up my photo collage program in Photoshop and drag/drop my photos around until I am satisfied with their placement. When doing this, I try to keep color, composition, cropping and camera angle in mind and will space or rearrange images as needed.
Other options are to use a little bit of washi tape and do a “trial run” with your images on your wall or even trim butcher paper to the size of your frames and create a mock collage on your wall. This will give you a great idea of placement and can let you see if you would prefer the images displayed in a different manner before actually hanging them.
5. Hang your photos!
Hanging photos and getting everything lined up perfectly on the wall isn’t my favorite, so I always cheat a little and use command strips for my frames so I don’t have to worry much about nails and hammering a million holes into my walls. (Tip: If you want to do the same and use command strips for ease of hanging, keep that in mind when shopping for your frames and select frames that are not too heavy).
For this collage, I started by measuring the length of my wall as well as the width of the frames. From there, I determined the space I wanted to leave between the frames and then added the total width of all frames + spacing to determine exactly where I should adhere my first frame.
The amazing thing about command strips is that you can rearrange and straighten images as you need/desire! It’s a win-win for me!
And that’s it! An Instagram photo collage completed in under an hour! You can’t beat that!
Being able to print these photos at home on my Canon printer saves me so much time and money and having these memories up on our wall for us to enjoy is so incredibly priceless!
Words & photos by Stephanie Bryan, member of the Click Canon 12