Displaying Personal Photos: Awesome or Awkward?

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

My older sister got married this summer, and due to a credit with her photographer, I was told that I could choose one or two of the wedding photos as a print for myself. On hearing this, the question that came to mind (besides which of the 691 gorgeous images to go for) was: Is it okay to put these things up in my home?!

The last time Apartment Therapy spoke about displaying personal photos, be it wedding or otherwise, there were a lot of opinions raised. I know many people who believe that personal photos have no place in the public areas of a home, and should be relegated to bedrooms and upstairs hallways only. I’ve got to admit, I’ve always been somewhat flummoxed by this view. After all, just how “public” are our homes really, and shouldn’t we be decorating them for ourselves, not for the preferences of people who occasionally drop by?

However, when I look around my home, it seems that I’ve internalized this common view without even realizing it. In this digital age, I have Facebook albums and iPhoto events a-plenty, and occasionally even manage to have a photobook printed up. But these are items which I have to make an effort to peruse, not ones displayed, with pride, where I’ll see them every day. Instead, my walls are adorned with prints, paintings and vintage paraphernalia, with not a single human representation among them.

And here’s the thing — I love looking at other people’s photos. Whether it’s wedding portraits, photos from a recent holiday or old snaps from childhood, there’s something about glimpsing the special moments, grand and mundane, of people’s lives. They’re conversation fodder, and in my opinion, help make a house feel loved and lived in. So, why wouldn’t I share similar pics in my own home?

On reflection, I think I would. In fact, have made it a goal of mine to get some of my favourite images off my laptop and into some picture frames before the year is out. So now, the only question I’m concerned with is which of my sister’s wedding pictures to choose (the one of her and me laughing our heads off in our parents’ backyard is the current frontrunner).

But what do you think? Do personal photos have a place in the home? Do you draw the line at wedding pictures or ones of children, or is it the more, the merrier?

(Image: Sarah Dobbins/Tina Wilson’s Striking Style)