How to Design a Gallery Wall | St. Louis Photographer Kelly Laramore

Gallery walls have a huge impact, but can be hard to design which is why we are sharing this sponsored post by Kelly Laramore Photography!
As a professional portrait photographer, I have designed and installed countless gallery walls for families all over the St. Louis area over the last 12 years. So many of my clients were dreaming of the perfect gallery wall that incorporated their most treasured photos but had no idea where to start.

Why design a gallery wall?

A gallery wall is one of the most personalized ways you can decorate your home. Your gallery wall can be the centerpiece of any room and will instantly make you feel right at home when you walk in. One important factor to note is that having portraits of your family hanging on your walls has been studied and proven to give your children more confidence and feel more loved. Let’s stop making excuses and start designing a gallery wall for your family.

A few myths about designing a gallery wall to get out of your way

Clients love hearing that I offer custom gallery wall design and framing. By the time they find me, they have already had so many special moments captured – engagement, wedding, or maybe even photos of their first baby by another photographer. They have no idea where to start when it comes to displaying their favorite images or how they will manage to add more images as they grow their family. They want a custom gallery wall, but there are too many things preventing them from starting one themselves.

  1. “I don’t have enough wall space.”
  2. “I need perfect photos.”
  3. “I don’t know the rules to follow.”
  4. “I plan on getting photos taken next year, so I can’t hang these photos yet.”
  5. “I am not in my forever home yet.”
To address each of these, all I need to say is that none of these statements are true! Note the following – you can create even the most interesting design in the smallest space, which is one of the reasons you are creating a custom design. You can create a design that will be versatile should you plan to move into a new home in the future. There is no such thing as a perfect photo, rules are meant to be broken so it doesn’t matter if you know the rules, and you can add to your gallery wall over time as you have more photos taken, or find a new space for new photos.

Types of gallery wall designs

Choose a type of wall that fits what you’re looking for.

Starter – a starter gallery is perfect for any wall in your home. I usually call it a starter gallery if I am using 2 to 4 frames. This design can stand alone or be broken down and added to a larger wall at a later time.

Statement – a statement gallery wall is considered one large frame that fills your space. This is meant to stand alone and capture the viewer’s attention as soon as they enter a room. When using a photo for a statement piece consider using an image that is true to size or smaller. Choosing a closeup image that appears larger than what it would appear in true life, would need to be a carefully considered, artistic choice.

Storywall – This can be a symmetrical or asymmetrical design. These are perfect for a staircase or large open room. I often suggest to clients that we start with a design concept at the beginning, with plans to add to the design over time with each session that we capture. Having a final layout planned allows you to display current images and prevents any regrets in design decisions later when you need to add new images.


Inspiration: A few quick and easy layout ideas 

These layouts were custom-designed to fit my client’s vision, space, and long-term design plan for the walls for their family over the next 1-5 years. Use them as inspiration for creating a gallery wall in your home. 

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Three Rules I Like to Break

Yes, there are rules when it comes to designing a gallery wall, but rules are meant to be broken.

  1. Mix your frame styles
  2. Use varying mat sizes and colors
  3. Use detail images – you do not need to have everyone’s face looking at the camera. Add a few closeup detail shots of your baby’s toes, holding hands with your little one, or even an image of your toddler’s curls. Choose images that tell your story.


What to add to make your design unique

  1. Use Weighted Mats – A standard mat is cut evenly to have the same mat width on all sides. A weighted mat is when one or more sides of the matting are wider than the others. Using a “bottom-weighted mat” is a great way to elevate the look of your frame. Learn more about bottom-weighted mat boards here
  2. Add artwork from your kids – find your favorite piece of artwork from your kids. Have it framed or create a digital copy to fit any size frame you want to add.
  3. Add your wedding invitation – this is a great way to preserve your wedding invitation. After all, you spent countless hours choosing the design details, you might as well have it on display.
  4. Add photos from the past – I would say almost half of my clients will ask me to add photos from past sessions with other photographers to their designs. We incorporate these images in the design and frame selections. If I’m adding photos with different locations or editing styles, we keep other design aspects consistent. By using the same frame styles, matting, etc. you will give the gallery a cohesive look. 

In conclusion, you can design a gallery wall that is completely custom to your home, your photos, and your style. Stop letting things get in the way of designing and displaying a gallery wall. Start your gallery wall today and reach out if you need help!

Are you looking for a St Louis Photographer? Our studio offers maternity, newborn, baby, family, and heirloom portrait sessions. We make your portrait session stress-free and we get your images on your walls by offering custom artwork design and gallery wall installation.

We often book 6 or more months in advance so be sure to contact us today for all of the details.


headshot of Kelly Laramore, St. Louis area photographerKelly is a mom to six little ones and a professional portrait photographer specializing in Maternity, Newborn, and Baby Milestone portraits. Her services are unique and provide a custom portrait experience that handles every detail to ensure a stress-free and custom experience. Kelly offers wardrobe styling services and a client wardrobe closet full of styling options. She works with the best professional hair and makeup artists in St Louis to pamper her clients before their portrait session. Lastly, she offers custom design services to bring you timeless wall art and heirloom albums.

Kelly’s ultimate goal is to bring you stunning artwork that will last the test of time and can be held and cherished by future generations. Visit her website to view more about what she offers: