How to Hang Framed Wall Art

How many of you use the ‘multiple nail hole’  method for hanging prints?  You put in a nail, hang the print, if not quite right, you move the nail!  And how many times do you move the nail?  And this is after carefully measuring everything and thinking you are pretty close!  If this is your own home, have at it, but at a client’s home, preserving the walls and getting it right the first time should be a priority.    After much thought I came up with this method that WORKS RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

I start with this poster size, super sticky, gridded paper from Post-It.  I get it as Office Max.

On one of my own walls, I hang the client’s print.  I mark the corners with painters tape.

With the print still on the wall, I cover it with the poster sized post-it paper (sometimes you need to overlap paper for wider prints).  The top and sides should align with the edges of the paper.  Crease the bottom to mark the bottom edge.   Remove and cut the pattern at the bottom.  If you need to use more than one sheet of paper, tape the sheets together with shipping tape.

Remove the print from the wall and place the pattern on the wall, making sure to align with the corners marked with painter’s tape.  Note the name of the print, the orientation and MOST IMPORTANT, mark where your nail is located.  Repeat this with every print.  Even if they are the same size, there is no guarantee that the wire length or locations will be the same.

Now at the client’s home,  place your patterns!  I do a lot of measuring and I use a level if two or more prints are next to each other.  When all looks great, I use a nail punch to mark the  hole locations.

Then remove the patterns and nail in your hanging hardware.

And hang your prints!  Everything should align perfectly the first time up!

I hope this method helps you as much as it helps me!  (Rupert and Bentley are  happy to help all of you too!)

Making the Shot – Posing three dogs

I am often asked, “how do you ever get dogs to pose for pictures?”  This picture prompted a lot of those questions!  The posing was just what we imagined – three different levels to their eyes and triangle shape to the final look.    But all is not as it seems!   These are great dogs with good obedience training, but once in a room with each other and strange lights, well……they did not have a lot of interest in staying where we wanted!

So I thought I would share the before and after.  As you can see below, all three dogs wore small show leads.  Because they were moving all over the place,  the leads got quite tangled in their coats.  It took a while for us to figure out that the little female labradoodle needed to be right by the tall male Golden, otherwise she would roll on her back in submissive gestures to his sister, the other golden on the left.  Once we had them positioned right, we just decided to fix the leashes in post processing.  You will notice below that the dogs are also placed too far to the left – another problem that needed to be fixed in post processing. Sometimes it is just not worth it to move the dogs and risk never getting the posing right again. So the work in photoshop included use of the content aware patch tool to eliminate the leashes and hand.  Then the backdrop and baseboard were extended about a foot  using a combination of tools including duplicating/moving other sections of the baseboard and backdrop and the patch tool.  Then after some finesse work with Color Efex Pro filters to highlight the dogs, the image was finished.


Photography Tips: Fall Colors in California?

The beautiful fur of some dogs just calls for a background of  fall colors.  Well, those are pretty hard to find in California, but with simple digital enhancements from Color Efex Pro (specifically Indian Summer), gone are the evergreens and Autumn is here.  Which colors do you think look better?  (I use Color Efex Pro 4 with Lightroom 4).

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