Bare Walls by Margaret Albaugh

WORDS: Documentary family photographer Margaret Albaugh, Spokane, WA

IMAGES: How documentary family photographers display photos in their homes.

Dautlich Photography, West Sussex, England


Sometimes I walk through a friend’s house and I see only bare walls. Maybe there’s a random stock photograph or graphic design framed on the wall. For the most part, I see a poorly curated wall.

And then I flip over to their Facebook wall.

Photos upon photos of their life, for all the world to see. They want to share their life with friends and family near and far. I get it.

I do it too.

Maljaars Fotografie, The Netherlands

But here’s the thing – our kids don’t access our Facebook accounts. They’re not seeing how much you brag about them on Facebook. What if they could see all that love… everyday? What if they felt it every time they walked into the hallway?

Imagine waking up to brush your teeth and you see a photo of your dad and you playing baseball. Or a photo of you and your mom having a pillow fight? Or you and your sister just painting each other’s nails in a totally everyday yet adorable way?

Desiree Walters Photography, Brooklyn, NY


That would seriously be the best.

Studies show that children who see photos of themselves and their families actually have higher self-esteem. Not the fake self-esteem you get when everyone gets a trophy for participation. No. This is to-the-core self-esteem that comes from knowing your family loves and supports every goofy, weird, silly, sweet, darling thing about you. It comes from knowing your family loves you so much, they splatter the walls with pictures of you.

Nicole Sanchez Photography, Alexandria, Virginia

Imagine the effect when those photos are real-life photos! Everything from sweet to funny to awkward could be up on those walls and it would be an affirmation to your child of UNCONDITIONAL love.

“‘For children in particular, looking at photographs is part of the socialising process; learning who you are and where you fit into the family. By displaying photographs of our children at different stages of their lives, we are making a very public statement that we are proud of them.’ (Source: Study on Children and Family Photographs, Daily Mail)

Margaret Albaugh, Spokane, WA



So decorate your walls. Not your Facebook Walls. Decorate the walls that house your beautiful family. Let your FAMILY see those photos and re-affirm your love to each other every day. Remind them that they don’t just live here – they BELONG here.

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