What ever happened to the big 16×20 or larger framed family portrait pieces that you would see above the fireplace or behind the couch of most people’s homes? You know, the ones where everyone is wearing matching outfits and smiling and happy (even the 2 year old). Now the creative photographer has moved beyond the traditional studio setting to doing environmental portraits as well. Matching outfits are still preferred. I came across this website by Ilene Olson of Natures Photography that makes some valid points about using portrait photography to decorate your home.


Any art form possesses the capacity to touch our emotions. Portrait images carry with them an additional dimension of expression that communicates how we feel about ourselves, our world, and those closest to us. Portrait subject matter and settings are limited only by imagination…children as they grow, family times or events, expressive personal statements. All are appropriate for decorative portraiture.

Key Points to Remember

– The portrait’s overall color theme should blend with or complement the room’s color palette.
– Keep in mind the decorative intent of the room in which you plan to display your portrait when you consider its style. This will help to set the portrait’s tone and guide you in selecting appropriate clothing, accessories, and setting.
– An appropriately sized portrait is one that dominates the space in which it is hung, but does not appear to be crowding the space. Be sure to establish whether the space lends itself better to vertical or horizontal composition.
Framing provides “the finishing touch” to fine portraiture. Select a frame that compliments the image and accents the room’s furnishings, not one that distracts from the subject matter.
– Whether your portrait is an accessory or the room’s focal point, placement is critical. All elements of design – color, style, composition, and size – must work together to complete the decorative statement.


So come on everyone, put on some black turtle necks and let’s make a memory!