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Homes Designer Photo Decor
This undated released by HGTV shows a seating area designed by Genevieve Gorder as seen on HGTV’s "Dear Genevieve." A group of photos in different types of frames can be a perfect way to decorate a wall and make a statement. (AP Photo/HGTV)

Decorating with pictures doesn’t have to mean hanging staged photographs of the family in matching outfits. When decorating her home, photographer Judy Larson chooses family portraits that blend in nicely with her decor, make her feel good and move people in some way.

Larson, of Just Imagine by Judy in Hill City, said there is nothing wrong with standard family photos, but she likes photos that are freestyle, with people being themselves. When taking photographs of kids, find the background you want and let the children play and be themselves, she said.

“If they want to get dirty, that’s just fine. If they drool, leave it in the picture because that’s what babies do,” she said. That way, you will capture the moment in time.

There is a lot of personality in the pictures you take, so photographs should speak of who you are and what your family likes to do, she said. A picture should tell a story.

When we think of personal photos, we usually think of people photos, but they also can mean photographs of your community life, the people, the scenery or anything else that moves you, she said.

“You need to think about what motivates you, what inspires you and what’s really meaningful to you,” she said.

Be bold with your picture-taking and don’t be afraid to try different things.

“I love to discover my own abilities and to raise my bar and to think of ways I can showcase something that’s really important to me,” she said.

Larson displays pictures of flowers at her favorite place to visit (St. Paul Cathedral in Minnesota), pictures of her mother’s flowers in Minnesota and a picture of her mother’s trademark: canned peaches.

“When she visits anybody, she always brings two quarts of peaches,”said Larson, who photographed the jars in bright sunshine to show the clear peach juice.

“I have the photograph in my kitchen, so I think of her every day,” she said.

Larson said artist easels are a nice way to exhibit photographs and to make them your own creations.

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Rather than filling her house with pictures of her grandchildren, Larson put together a photo collage that she updates every year. Instead of having endless photo albums, she makes collages of six or seven pictures of a special event and puts them in a three-ring binder on her coffee table.

She said anybody’s work looks good when it’s published.

“You do not have to be an absolute photographer and have everything in perfect order to make a very interesting and attractive coffee-table book,” she said.

Larson also suggests having your photographs printed on canvas or metal instead of paper, using screensavers or creating desktop or wall calendars.

And don’t wait until you think your pictures are good enough to display.

“They are good enough just as they are if they make you happy,” she said.

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