Despite my taking 5,000+ photos per year (for fun), our apartment had exactly one photo on display. Pitiful. It isn’t even a particularly good one, it just happens to have been framed years ago. Yesterday, I finally changed that.
Part of my hesitation in putting up tons of photos (especially, no offense, of family and friends) has always come down to the photos clashing with the rest of the decor. I love the bright colors in my photos. I love the muted colors in my living room. Therefore, I’ve kept my photos on flickr and my vintage bird illustrations on the walls (in this apartment, anyway).
I know that a popular way to make photos “match” and look “classy” is to convert them all to black and white. This certainly makes a random collection more cohesive and sometimes the results are simply stunning. It’s not a cure-all, though, and it wasn’t right for me (even though my kitchen is black and white!). I wanted something less formal. I wanted to keep a little color. I decided to just desaturate them.
Desaturating photos pulls some of the color out. To do this, I simply opened my photos in Photoshop, went to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and slid the saturation scale. It’s so simple! You can retain as much or as little color as you like. You also don’t need Photoshop to do it — pretty much any photo software will work, including picnik, a free online photo-editor that I love for quick edits. Because it’s so easy, I just picked a few photos from this year and plan to keep swapping them for new ones. I can’t just keep the same 16/20,000 on display!
Besides adjusting the saturation, I also reduced the photo size (to about 3×4.5″) and added a white border. A bit cute. A bit vintage. I just stuck these on the fridge in a grid, and I like ’em! They match each other and they don’t clash with the room. Perfect!
Note: Although the photos may sometimes look as though only one object has been selectively colored, that is not the case. The effect is applied universally. Though the black-and-white-wedding-photo-with-just-the-bouquet-in-color style is a popular one, I’m not a fan. (If you must know, I also don’t care for the photos where the whole wedding party jumps like a bunch of crazy people. I guess I’m just picky!)