This week on Room by Room with FormFire Glassworks, we head back to our walls and tabletops to explore a new take on and old standby – the Modern Photo.
Most of us grew up with photos hung around the house – in hallways, or on end tables, emphasized as a single item, or clustered in groups. Typically these were family photos – school pictures, sports remembrances, family vacations. Photos are a way to stop time in its tracks, a way to remember those gone and to catch a happy time like a lightning bug in a jar. But the modern photo takes this idea and twists it, adding an aesthetic that is at once full of feeling and harmonious with the clean, simple styling of the modern home. There are many types of photography available online, with a huge range in price, so you should be able to find whats right for you. Abstracted and cropped images of botanicals make you take a closer look, while architectural photography emphasizes the geometries of buildings and other structures. Closeups of everyday objects can add texture to the inherent flatness of a photo, while black and white images tend to have great depth of feeling. Landscape photography ranges from large-scale horizons to green enclosures. People and animals can be seen in new and interesting ways, not just the straight-on portrait shot.
When purchasing a photo, generally you want to look for contrasts in light and dark – images of all one tone can look flat when placed on a wall. Be sure the image is either crisp looking or intentionally blurry. Check the descriptions for printing methods – you want photo paper, and preferably pigment inks. When framing the photos, take a few things into account. Choose a frame that does not pull your eye away from the photo, but lets it stand out. If you plan to group photos on a wall, use the same frame for all, or group images by theme or style to tie them together. A horizontal or vertical row of crisp black and white images can add a visual line you may be lacking. Or a shot of color may be just the thing you need to liven up a wall or countertop.
Spend some time looking at modern photography, and find a look that intrigues you. Keep it in mind the next time you take that family photo – crop in a bit more, take the photo from a new angle. Learn to use some of the simple photo-editing programs to give your photos that modern look. Those family photos never looked so good.