8 imaginative ways to print and display your photos

First published:
March 28, 2023
January 31, 2024

8 imaginative ways to print and display your photos

First published:
March 28, 2023
January 31, 2024

Photo Exhibition by Anthony Gillespie

Try new ways to show off your best work

It’s often said that the best way to display your photography is to print it. But it’s not quite as simple as that - you might want to consider different and inventive ways to display your prints that go beyond the simple framed piece of art.

If you’re not quite sure where to start with something like that, don’t worry, we have plenty of ideas to get you started with. All the time, different trends are appearing too which are good for experimenting with - remembering to switch around your prints and try new things is a good way to refresh what you have on display, particularly if it’s being shown somewhere other than your home.

For example, if you’re lucky enough to have your own photography studio where clients can see your work, regularly switching up what you have on display keeps the space looking fresh, as well as showing what you’ve been up to recently.

Some of these ideas you may have already tried, some might be completely new - either way, they’re great ways to get your photographs off your hard drive and in a tangible, enjoyable format that you can enjoy for a long time. 

Why not give them a go?

1 Create a gallery wall 

A whole wall full of your photography can be impactful, no matter how you arrange it. Photo by Maie Vaks - f/2 | ISO 400 | 1/60s

Although a single image on a wall can be quite impactful, creating a “gallery wall”, whereby you showcase different prints all together can also be quite striking.

There’s lots of ways to go about this. Perhaps you might group together a set of images by theme, colour, genre or something else which ties them together. Perhaps they might all be the same shape (for example, square - or even round, see the tip below), or perhaps there might be a good variety of different sizes and shapes.

No specific rules exist here, but use your photographic eye to experiment with different gallery compositions and see what works best. It’s also a good idea to visit other galleries and studio spaces to see how they group pictures together. Look to interiors magazines and websites for advice too.

2 Go frameless

Frames are the go-to way to display your photographs, and with good reason. They keep your work flat, if you use the right type of glass it protects your prints from sunlight and so on. However, opting to go without the frame can be quite a modern way of presenting your prints - especially if you only need to create a temporary display.

It can look quite clean and uncluttered to do away with even a basic frame. There’s a number of ways you could display them instead - for example using magnets, decorative tape or pins for a “rustic” gallery-type look, or you could simply prop them up against something. 

3 Try photo pegs

Using a simple technique such as pegging your photos onto a line is a great way to regularly change your pictures around. Photo by Anthony Gillespie

A simple and fun way to display your photos is by using photo pegs. You can use these to attach small prints to various surfaces such as string, a chain of fairy lights, or even specific types of noticeboard.

These have the advantage of looking cute, but also being something you can swap around easily and quickly without too much effort. This is great for putting up your latest prints for example, or for displaying your test shots and the like. 

4 Bring the outdoors in

To create a design statement, you could try incorporating a natural / found material with your photographs.

For instance, we’ve seen some good examples of a large branch being attached to a wall, with photographs hung from it either via string / ribbon or mounted directly on top of the branch.

It’s a quirky idea, which might not work with every interior, but is worth experimenting with.

5 Make a photo ledge 

A photo “ledge” is a popular way to display a group of photographs (and other artwork), and again, is another option that easily and quickly allows you to make changes as often as you like.

With these ledges, you can line up multiple images on top of each other for an interesting effect - for example putting large prints towards the back of the ledge, and smaller ones at the front. A lip at the front of the ledge prevents the frames (or even unframed photos) from falling off. 

6 Try different shapes

Using different shapes for your pictures can add interest, especially when used in a gallery wall. Photo by Daniel Ferreira Leites

Obviously we all think of a photograph, generally, as rectangular. Some of the most impactful gallery displays seen in recent years have strayed away from that traditional shape.

There’s the very popular square format, but a circle or oval also works well in some situations - it’s worth experimenting with your photographs to see if they’d crop well in such a format.

Perhaps you might want to create a gallery wall where some of the photos are an odd shape, and some aren’t. It’s a device that’s probably best used sparingly to avoid looking tacky.

7 Make photo gifts

Another good way of highlighting your work is to turn it into other useful objects. You can either use and enjoy these yourself, or you can give them to others as a gift. Again, this is a good way to show your clients your work, especially if it’s something that will regularly remind the client of your existence.

There is a huge plethora of things you can put your photos on, including cushions and jigsaw puzzles. Some are perhaps more fun than others, while others have a clearer utilitarian purpose. Putting your photos on a calendar gives clients (or just family and friends) a constant reminder of your work, while also being genuinely useful.

8 Create a photo book 

Approach creating a photo book like you might have done a photo album in the past - make it something to be treasured for years to come. Photo by Conceptual images - f/5.6 | ISO 250 | 1/60s

One of the best ways to really show off your printed work is by creating a photo book. This allows you to really get in deep with your subject, showing off a collection, plus a story or a narrative.

It pays to spend time considering how your book is going to look and flow, but if you put in the effort, the finished product is something that can be treasured for a lifetime. It’s a great idea for your own photographs, but it’s also a wonderful thing to give clients - particularly in some genres, such as portraits and weddings. It’s also something that you can simply and easily hand to new potential clients to show off exactly the kind of thing you can do.

If you’re new to the idea of making books, check out our guide to how to create a successful photo book for a range of tips and tricks to get you started.

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