Wall of Life

By CHRIS HUMPHREYS
Chief Photographer
The Voice-Tribune

As a professional photographer you might think that my house is plastered copiously with pictures I’ve taken over the last few years of my career or whole life as a Cartier-Bresson wannabe. But the fact is, I can be really lazy. Sure, I’ve got art prints and movie posters strewn about – but until a clearance sale at Kohl’s I never put forth any effort to actually include any of my own artwork on my walls.

But after getting a ridiculous amount of 8”x10” frames cheaply I decided to finally complete the project I imagined many years ago. Over the next few weeks I planned shoots with various friends until I had enough head-shots and couples portraits to fill my wall.

The next step was figuring the layout. You might be mistaken in thinking that as a designer I also know exactly how to execute something like this. What you might not know is I’m extremely OCD when it comes to symmetry. Having dozens of frames on a wall without a single straight row drove me crazy. So to make this problem more manageable, I collected more frames varying in sizes, from 3.5” x 5” up to 16” x 20” and 12” x 36”. With the mix of different sizes I was able to create my own game of Tetris, giving each oddly shaped frame a place to fall into.

The project thus far has set me back around $150 for discounted frames, affordable prints on www.mpix.com and local print shop Printworx of Louisville as well as reprints due to a break-up and a friend moving in and adding his own.

I usually call it a friend wall but it’s actually more like a life wall. It consists of my closest friends, casual acquaintances, moments from parties I’ve hosted, along with myself and celebrities I’ve had the honor of meeting. Pride of place are some of my pictures from the 2013 NCAA basketball tournament that I got the honor of shooting.

There are people that I ran out of frames for but still plan to put up. But that’s kind of the point of a life wall isn’t it? Things are always changing.