Photo wall ideas

For the creative mind, there’s nothing as inspiring — or as intimidating — as a blank canvas. An empty screen, a clean piece of paper, or a bare cloth are all enough to trigger enthusiasm or terror, joy or pain, creator’s climax, or writer’s block — or all of the above! Amplify the scale of that canvas to the size of a blank wall — an entire wall — and…the stakes only elevate. 

At Flytographer, we want to key in on the inspiring, not the intimidating. So we’ve assembled for you some DIY gallery wall hacks and DIY photo brainstorms, makeover machinations and clever curations, photo display ideas, and picture wall permutations, fixes, facts, tricks, and truths on assembling an incredible gallery of pics. 💪  You have a great eye, and your favourite photos deserve the affection — whether the dramatic setting is an entryway, a dining room, home office, living room, or the Louvre. 

First, find two of our quick-and-easy photo wall ideas created in-house 🏡  — dad pun intended  —  to inspire your personalized design ideas:

  1. Flytographer’s own streamlined web-based workshop for transforming your memories into physical prints
  2. Flytographer’s tutorial on building your own gallery wall.

Photo: Elisa in Quebec City for Flytographer. Lauren and their partner capture memories in Quebec City with a couple photoshoot.

1. Black & white photo wall ideas

Things are rarely as simple as black and white, which can make life (and picture-hanging) complicated. 🛸  When organizing a group of photographs on a central wall space, it can get tricky if the images you want to use clash in terms of colour, between them, or with the home decor itself. 

The good news is this: if you’re working with a collection of images that don’t seem to lend themselves to the most compatible photo display, there are ways to remedy that. Number one on our list (*DJ voice* 🎙): Using black and white filters. This can be particularly compelling if the details and composition of the photographs lend themselves to black and white — which can happen by way of texture, light, and skylines. Interior design also enters into the equation, as black and white on the walls can help set off spot colour highlights in the form of pillows or furniture items that provide pops of brightness. It also plays well with minimalist arrangements, as the understated black-and-white helps to keep the overall feel understated and classic.

2. Staircase goals

Some of the coolest backdrops for a collection of photographs can be staircases. Let the edge of the stairs create the contours of how the frames — large frames and small frames, rectangular frames and square frames — move up in the same ascending sequence, keeping the bottom edge of the frames the same distance from the stair’s surface beneath for each stair! ❤️‍🔥  The possibilities go up from here. 😺

3. Square arranged photo wall ideas

Interior decorating can be energizing, immobilizing, and all things in between. And — surprise! — it’s also mathematic, but not in a Beautiful Mind complicated way with endless equations flying everywhere. It can be simple and beautiful mathematically; in other words, arranging a grid of square images proves to be easy on the eyes and easy for you! 😍 The angle to take is as gloriously basic as this: handpick your favourite square picture frames, collect a square number of them (4 or 9 work well), and arrange them in a square. 🤯

Photos in slideshow: Claudia in Lisbon for Flytographer, Marie in Maui for Flytographer. Paulina (@paulinapraz) and their partner celebrate their trips to Lisbon and Maui with a couple photoshoot and arrange their special memories in a gallery wall.

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4. Pick a colour scheme

Yes, as we outlined in note #1, black and white is one way to roll 🎞️ But — if your wall hangings enjoy a little bit of colour chemistry, it can be doubly dynamic to put together a complementary colour palette. That can be especially true if your photo wall ideas can play off the colours of your home, whether that’s outside or in, with external painting schemes, interior furniture or duvet colours or other home decor.  Pastels can be very pretty. Sand and sea colour palettes work well. The same goes for hills and sky. 🖼️ And, surprisingly, the same goes for more dramatic and contrasting compilations of colour.

What comes to mind is the famous neighborhood of La Boca, Buenos Aires, where the poorer part of the population used whatever leftover paint colours they could get their hands on — oftentimes the brightest and most exuberant shades. When they were all juxtaposed, they made one another pop brilliantly and really worked as a whole. 🎨

5. Mix & match different sizes

Picture a picture. Then picture a picture, and a picture, plus another picture — all with different sized frames. It’s like a playground for the eye and the mind, which will help to create visual interest on a mantel or a statement wall. 👁️  It’s good to pay attention to the distance between frames and wall space. Give yourself plenty of time and patience to stage them and rearrange them because often you won’t know the best layout until you see it! 🧐  Another helpful tool is a level, to help keep the overall collage’s lines and straight edges orderly and attractive to an attentive viewer. Crooked, in this case, is not cool.

6. Pick a frame colour

It’s possible to assemble a stunning photo gallery with a sweepingly vast selection of textures, sizes, composition, and subjects and create cohesion smoothly and easily. The trick: stick to one colour for your frames and you tie the wall together magically, with white frames and black frames being go-to options, and natural wood frames working well too. 🪵  Support your local community by visiting your local frame shop for inspiration!

7. Create a photo collage

Some of the most arresting gallery wall ideas include favourite photos but also work in wall art, maps, and drawings, plus other visually appealing and meaningful pieces — even home decor. Thematic cohesion can be summoned by combining the map of a city with images taken in and around it. 🏙️  Or you might go the other direction and stay completely eclectic, with everything from photos from outer space to preserved butterflies to line drawings. 🦋  Being mindful of spacing and alignment, as mentioned in note #6, also creates satisfying connectivity visually. 

8. Honour your family photos

As the time-worn refrain goes, you don’t get to choose your family. But you do get to pick your family photos. 😅 One of the wise strategies is to combine photos with diversified angles, groupings and distance from the camera, making sure they’re all from the same family photo session, so the compatibility is basically built-in.

Another fun approach is to mix and match from photos over the years. Or even do both takes on a family photo display in different parts of the house. 

Photo: Marta in Venice for Flytogarpher. Caitlin and Dave celebrate their travels around the world with couple photoshoots and have a gallery wall of photos from over the years.

Bring your photo wall ideas to life

Yes, a blank wall can and should be beautiful because of all the photo wall ideas it can bring. Looking for still more creative ideas? Check out this post on 25 Gallery Walls to get your creative juices flowing. Looking for a dynamic pro in your city of choice? Check out our deep roster of professional Flytographers. Looking for help getting your photos ready for their frames and their new positions on the wall? Print your Flytographer photos with our simple and speedy online print workshop.

Happy creating!

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