In our experience, multi aperture photo frames are a great substitute for the more popular types of wall art out there. That is not to say the “go to” designs of animals, world maps, paintings, and even 3D illustrative visuals aren’t great – because they certainly are – only that in our opinion, photographs are quite shockingly under-appreciated as wall art.
Almost any work of art has the capability to emotionally resonate with us, but even the most beautiful masterpieces can fall short of the connections we make with personal photographs; particularly if those photographs are sentimental: of loved ones, a childhood home, a summer holiday decades gone, or of a specific time or place that has disappeared forever.
Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy, in his final days before passing away, famously wrote: “Life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.” It’s a powerful thought, but not exactly true. With proper placement and presentation, the right photographs can keep our most cherished moments with us, and very much alive. As visual aids to memory they can provide relaxation, satisfaction, gratitude; even humble reflection.
Image source: https://indulgy.com/post/yZIydAofO1/wall-art
Where are all the picture frames?
Unfortunately, in an age of social media, print photography has been sadly neglected. Most – if not all – of our photographs are stored digitally, in the memory banks of social media, a mobile phone, or computer. But what happens when those devices fall out of popularity? Those of us old enough to remember the now discontinued social media platforms Myspace and Bebo probably regret not making a conscious effort to store the cherished memories of early youth. And as time passes, technology progresses, and our phones and computers are updated, hundreds more photographs are also left behind – locked away in old tower PCs or laptops that long ago gave up the ghost.
Today the risk of leaving photographs behind on old hardware is less of a problem thanks to inventions like cloud (online) storage, but it’s not uncommon to hear about phones being lost without backing up the pictures beforehand, or saving them to the cloud. As for the current social media giants Facebook and Instagram, who knows? One day they could fade away and be replaced, without us even realising it, as other social media platforms have done.
Countless photographs and memories have been lost in this cycle of replace and forget and, with them, the memories. Wouldn’t it be great to establish a setting at home where these memories are not only remembered, but actively celebrated?
What are multi aperture frames: photo frames as a means of storytelling
A neat way to think of a multi aperture photo frame is as a story, bound off and enclosed from the rest of the world. It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In this sense we can think of a photograph as a chapter in a book, and with multi aperture photo frames, multiple photographs can be presented stylistically within one neat frame: each standing as its own “chapter”; each building a meaningful and telling part of the “story” it represents.
There are many different types of multi aperture frames available, with different layouts and designs, and in this lies a pleasant opportunity to be creative. The photo frame you choose will have implications on the story you want to tell, and how you tell it. A multi aperture frame with only two photographs for example, will be as minimal as possible: the message will not be diluted. This is often the frame of choice for events of great importance to the individual. A graduation event is a good example, with just two photographs – the classic pose with the well-earned certificate, alongside another with the family at the ceremony hall – is all that is needed. The two photographs strengthen the message, and work together to express the hardship and determination, as well as the relief and celebration upon its completion. A lot of this “storytelling” goes on unconsciously, but we do notice it, and it is powerful.
But there are other multi aperture frames that allow for different stories to be told, and even the design of the frame itself can set the “mood” or the “tone” of the story you want to tell. Creativeness in this way can make good first impressions to guests; the stories told can be welcoming and informal, resulting in more relaxed and happier visits.
Here are a few more examples:
Landscape frames.If there is a broad, atmospheric, story waiting to be told, then landscape picture frames are the best option. A weekend escape to the Lake District often involves long walks or hikes along the rolling green and brown hills of the fells. Landscape pictures, one followed by another, are a great way to capture such immense beauty of this size. A picture of a loved one in the foreground, looking almost swallowed up by hugeness of the fells in the background, tells a great story.
Instagram frames.Instagram frames are ideal for capturing those playful moments that we never want to forget; they also set a great fun, social, and relaxed impression in the house. Instagram’s filters also provide an additional avenue for your storytelling. And if, years from now, the social media giant ever disappears, the memories will be preserved, a relic to a time gone but not forgotten.
Frames that hold pictures of different sizes.These frames can hold pictures of all different sizes or one large picture surrounded by multiple smaller ones (all generally of the same size). The story here can be very powerful, with the largest picture being the most powerful; the others can seem to “revolve” around it. An idea of this would be a large picture of the house, with the smaller pictures being of the inhabitants of that house; in this particular frame, the story is one of the importance of the home: home being where the heart is.
The ‘Wall’.Life is a never ending story, stuffed with memories and surprises. Perhaps you never want the story to end or, at the very least, make it seem that way. A multi aperture ‘wall’ frame might only hold a hundred or so pictures, but that’s not the point. The point is to capture the richness and energy, and completeness of a life in the fast lane. The very ambitiousness of such a frame – and the time and energy that would be required in order to sift through, print, and sort each photograph – will perfectly complement the artist behind it.
Multi aperture frames: reclaiming tradition
Most importantly, using multi aperture frames as a form of wall art is a great opportunity to encourage more photographs to be taken with family and preserved in print. Most of us probably don’t take as many pictures with our loved ones as we think. A bit of creative license with our photo frames would go a long way to reverse this tradition.
If there is already a great piece of wall art in the house, then have the best of both worlds. See if the frames can be incorporated into the art piece; you may find the art itself acts an additional storytelling tool.
Remember the importance of a frame as a storytelling tool. Beaverframes make custom frames upon request; let them be the co-authors in your story.