"How do I choose? What would you pick?"
I have this conversation with clients a few times each month. As a person who has thousands of photographs of animal family members in her possession, I can relate. It's difficult to decide which ones to put on the wall, and it's even harder when you are investing in an art piece.
It needs to be right.
In my experience, people experience a physical reaction when they come across the photographs that move them. There is a brief gasp. Eyes might water. They smile broadly. Those are the signs I look for when I observe clients taking in their proofs.
Many photographers help clients by asking them to create three piles: yes, no, and maybe. My version is a little different.
I need this in my life. Now that I've seen it I can't imagine not being able to see it every day.
In other words, a yes pile for me needs to be a "Heck, yes!" Something that goes on your wall is a part of your daily life. That doesn't leave any room for lukewarm feelings or waffling.
I really like this.
The biggest difference between this maybe category and the above yes is the physical reaction. If your face doesn't erupt into a smile, if you don't reach for tissues, or if your heart doesn't ache when you see this photograph and you really like it, it's a maybe. Maybes don't belong on walls. They are a great fit for albums, loose prints, and tabletop displays. They frequently become less treasured over time.
I don't feel anything.
You like the photograph, yet you don't feel anything when you view it. A few weeks from now you won't remember this photograph at all. This one has no place in your home or office.
Choosing what will grace your wall is a big commitment of heart and wallet. I'm here to reflect how I see you respond to the photographs so you can do what feels right to you rather than what seems logical. Sometimes that means ordering one piece when you wanted to order three. Sometimes it's ordering three when you thought one would be just right.
Here's my last bit of wisdom.
If you don't already have a place for it, don't buy it.
I want the photograph you choose to already have a place in your heart and your home (or office). When a client tells me that her piece is stored in a closet or her spare bedroom because she hasn't found the right place for it or hasn't gotten around to hanging it, I wilt. It is my hope that you will be able to immediately be able to enjoy your art when I deliver it to you, and that's the main reason I am happy to install art I create.
You are making an investment, and the way to see a return from it is to put it on the wall.
What questions or considerations help you to make a decision?
I'm Shannon, and I love and am loved by four Great Danes, four cats, and one horse (four Danes, one cat, and one horse are no longer walking this earth). Here I'll share stories of my adventures in grief photography for companion animals, my own grief journey, and thoughts on caregiving.