617.501.4008 cara@carasoulia.com
How to plan a wall gallery in 6 easy steps!

How to plan a wall gallery in 6 easy steps!

Do some of the rooms in your house look just like they did when you very first moved in?? (ie they’re blank!)  

Have you had “hang some pictures!” on your to-do list forever?  I know it can be overwhelming to work on a project like this.  That’s why I wanted to write you a step by step tutorial on how I plan wall galleries in my own home.  ( spoiler alert:  it’s really not as hard as you think!)

Boston Family Photographer: Advice on Hanging a Wall Gallery

I had a small vertical space in my living room next to the chimney that was just big enough for three framed 11×14 photos. I chose to go ‘matchy matchy’ here with thin gold frames!

Step 1.  Procure the artwork.  The first step is pretty obvious:  you need to pick out what you want to see hanging up on your walls every day!  The photographs you choose don’t have to be perfect-smiling-everybody-look-at-the-camera images!  Pick the ones that remind you of something amazing you did with your family or just silly ones that make you smile every time you look at them!  I recommend printing at www.mpix.com where the print quality is near-professional and the prices are reasonable.

Don’t forget you can include things besides just photographs in your wall gallery!  How about that really neat Jackson Pollack-esque painting your preschooler brought home last week!  These kinds of items can truly make the best points of interest in your wall gallery!

In my son’s room, I used frames with similar (but not exactly matching) natural wood finishes and I combined drawings, photographs, and a special ceramic print of his hands when he was three years old.  This wall gallery is bright and colorful and each element has a story that we love.

Step 2. Procure the frames. Decide if your style is more  ‘matchy-matchy’ or ‘mix and match’.  Either one can really work well.  If you’re not sure, do some searching on Pinterest for “wall gallery ideas”.  The options are truly endless!

Pottery Barn has frames that are very nice quality and work well for the matchy matchy type of wall gallery.  Alternatively, you can mix and match all different frames types and patterns by looking at places like Home Goods or even a consignment shop or your local swap shop!!

In my older son’s room, I used multiple frames that were all different shapes, sizes and colors and I spray painted them all a dark navy blue to give it a cohesive look.  My son loves to draw and we picked a number of his favorites to display over his bed!

Step 3.Make a plan!  This is the fun part!  Measure your wall space.  Lay out all your frames/artwork on the floor.  A good rule of thumb is too keep (more…)

How to reduce wrinkling in photographic prints

How to reduce wrinkling in photographic prints

Do you ever notice photographic prints around your house wrinkling a little bit? Want to know if there is something you can to do to prevent it?

Love the photo, don’t love the print. I ordered this one unmounted by accident and in less than a year it’s already wrinkling 🙁

Boston Family Photographer Tips & Tricks

The most likely reason your prints wrinkle is because they aren’t mounted.  I recommend mounting any image that is printed at 8×10″ or larger to significantly increase it’s longevity, especially if it’s going to be in a place where the temperature and humidity levels fluctuate.

There are lots of options when it comes to mounting:  mat board, styrene, foam board all with different levels of sturdiness and thickness.  If you’re planning to frame your print, go for something thin like mat board.  If you’re planning to hang the print unframed, go for thick ( 3/4″ foam board ). 

Styrene is thin and durable, great for framing.

I love the unique, modern look of unframed photos, mounted withe 3/4″ foam backing.

Include mounting to your print and you will increase the cost a bit, but your prints will have a much longer life, I promise!!  

(Psst:  All prints ordered through me are printed on Kodak Professional Endura Premier Paper.  Images 8×10 and larger are mounted on styrene for durability and longevity!   They are also lustre coated and UV sprayed.  These are not CVS 19cent prints!! )


Cara Soulia is a Boston Family Photographer who specializes in capturing real, honest moments in a beautiful and natural way.  Click here to see more of Cara’s work, or get in touch to schedule a session!

 

Dreamchasing: 8 ways to reach your goal

Dreamchasing: 8 ways to reach your goal

In January, I launched a new portrait series called “A Mother’s Work” which features female entrepreneurs who are also mothers. The idea for this series quite literally came to me in a dream one night a few years ago and I’m so excited to finally be devoting energy to making this dream a reality in 2019. In the last two months, I have already met so many wonderful inspiring women and look forward to those I will be meeting in the future. The positive feedback I have received about this project has been amazing and I can’t wait to share more!

One thing I did not expect when I started the series, however, was the amount of comments and questions people would send me about my OWN journey to becoming a photographer.  You may or may not know that I used to have a career as an analyst in investment management.  I worked in the corporate world for 15 years before making the leap to full time photography!  So many people have asked me questions about this switch:  Was it scary?  How’d you plan for it?  What are the things that have helped you succeed the most? Do you wish you had done anything differently?  

Career Change to Boston Newborn & Family Photographer

Because I’m on the other side of this big life/career change, I thought it might be helpful to jot down some things down that I think were most helpful in achieving my goal of becoming a full time photographer.   I certainly don’t have all the answers, but having owned my own business for almost 9 years now I do have a few solid ideas about things that are helpful in achieving your goals

1. Talk about it. A lot.

I think this is the single biggest way to start making your dreams come true.  At first it might feel weird to speak out loud about your secret dreams, but I promise you the more you talk about it, the closer it will come to reality.  Even if you are still a little hesitant, you have to do it.  Just start with a close fried. Or your Mom.  The more you talk about it, the more you will start to feel comfortable with your ideas and eventually you will start to be more confident in your dream coming true. AND the best part?  When people know what you’re working toward, opportunities will start to appear!  

I remember when I first started thinking I wanted to be a photographer, I mentioned it my friends and family first.  Soon I was photographing their babies and kids for practice.  I did pro bono work for a friend’s nonprofit because she knew I was interested in expanding my portfolio.  I learned so many valuable lessons during that time about photography, but also about working with people, editing images, being organized, etc.  None of this would have happened if I kept my big dream a secret.

2. Make a plan and write it down everywhere 

There are number of different ways you can make a plan to achieve your goal, but one thing is for sure — if you only talk about it and don’t actually do anything, you are not going to meet your goal!  duh!

  • To start, sit down at the computer (or if you’re like me, at the desk with pen and paper!) and just start writing.  Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or being too organized with your thoughts.  Set a timer for 5 minutes and just write.  This is called ‘free-flow writing’ and a highly effective way to brainstorm your ideas. Don’t stop until the timer goes off.  Write about your dream, with details big and small, write about what it looks feels like to achieve your goal, write about what you want your life to look like in 1, 5 or 10 years when you’ve achieved your goals, make a list of steps you could take to get there.  
  • If you are a highly visual person, it might be helpful to make a ‘vision board’ that is a collage of all the things that you goal looks like.  Hang it somewhere prominent where you will see it every single day! 
  • Hang up sticky notes everywhere to remind you of your goals!  Motivational quotes on the bathroom mirror are acceptable and encouraged!
  • Once you have written down your goal and a rough plan for reaching that goal, break it up into smaller goals.  Keep breaking it up until you have at least one action item for each week.  

3. Seek Inspiration and Advice

One big thing I have realized in the last two decades of soul searching and dream chasing is that most people are more than willing to help you out;  all you have to do is ASK.  If you are thinking about a new career, find someone in that career and ask them to have a phone call with you or to meet up for coffee!  Pick their brain and ask tons of questions.  Dedicate a journal where you take copious notes on things you notice and learn.  Even better, go on a job shadow with someone.  This is really the best way to figure out what how it feels to do this job!

I know podcasts are certainly not a new thing, but I personally just started getting into them about 2 years ago and they have introduced me to so many amazing people that have literally changed my life!  The best part about podcasts ( besides the information and inspiration they provide ) is that you can listen to them almost anywhere ( unlike a book where you read three pages and then fall asleep or are interrupted by your kids!).  Podcasts in the car, podcasts while out for a walk, podcasts while cooking dinner, podcasts while doing laundry, the options are endless.  A few of my favorites right now: (more…)

8 myths about hiring a photographer to take your family photos | Boston Family Photographer

8 myths about hiring a photographer to take your family photos | Boston Family Photographer

Boston Family Photographer

I’ve been a Boston family photographer for almost eight years and have worked with so many children and families of all types, shapes, sizes, colors and personalities.  Although my clients vary widely, I would say there are definitely a few questions that are commonly asked and I find there are some misconceptions out there about hiring a photographer to take your family photos.  I wrote this blog post to bust those myths!!

Myth #1:  It’s going to take forever

Not true! Kids’ attention spans are really only about 45 minutes long. I work very fast and can usually get everything I need in this amount of time. Occasionally we are having so much fun we decide to keep going, but you do not need to block off your whole morning or your whole afternoon for me!

best-boston-family-and-newborn-photographer

Myth #2: It’s going to be boring

Wrong again! We’ll chat before your session to figure out the location that makes the most sense for your family. Sometimes a session at home is best if your children feel most comfortable there. I can suggest lots of beautiful places in the area as well. But either way, the session will be more like hanging out with a friend who happens to have her really nice camera with her than a stuffy uptight posed photo shoot.

Myth #3: It’s going to involve a lot of awkward posing and saying cheese

Nope nope nope! In fact, the opposite is true. We will walk, hang out, play, run around and basically do everything except pose and say cheese. I will guide you and help you look your best and maybe take ONE or TWO photos of the whole family smiling at the camera but other than that, you can relax and be yourself. I’ll take care of the rest!

Action photos are the best kind of family shots
(more…)

Six ways you can embrace your inner “Spring Fever”!! | Boston Family Photographer

Six ways you can embrace your inner “Spring Fever”!! | Boston Family Photographer

 “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.” Ernest Hemingway

Just leave it to Hemingway to perfectly describe how it feels to live in Boston in the springtime!  After months of suffering through the cold weather, we have finally made it to the other side and it feels SO good!! We can open the windows and walk outside barefoot ( well, almost ) and exercise outdoors and play in the yard after dinner.  Isn’t it AWESOME?? (more…)