Ask Laskas: “Is it wrong to not hang up photos from family and friends?”

To display or not to display: help this reader figure out what to do with all those pictures that are piling up.

When loved ones send me photos in the mail, am I obligated to put the photos in frames and display them? I don’t want to hurt the feelings of my family and friends by not hanging up each photo they shared with me. What should I do?
—Too Many Photos


What’s your take? Give your best advice in the comments below, and your answer might appear in the magazine.

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  • Your Comments

    • Kala M

      Get a really nice photo album to keep in a common room. That way it is easily viewed but not on your wall.

    • sarina

      you are not obligated to hang the pictures but instead you can start a photo album and share it with them when they come over.

    • Limited Wallspace

      You are certainly not obligated to frame and hang all of them, and I doubt your loved ones expect that of you. Small photos can be placed in an album or in a card-catalog type box, and left sitting out somewhere in your home, which is a thoughtful way to show that you care without spending the money and time on framing. If friends and family care enough about seeing your pictures to leaf through an album you have sitting out, they will see pictures they have sent you in it and know you appreciated them.

    • Jess McConnell

      You are never obligated to do ANYTHING you haven’t agreed to do. If you’re worried about hurting people’s feelings, buy some cheap giant photo albums and just put them in there. Keep them handy for when the relatives come and visit. At least you’ve spent the time putting them in a display.

    • Bert

      Regarding ‘TOO MANY PHOTOS’….After end tables and fridge were full of pictures, my dad bought a really pretty photo album and every time he received a picture of grandkids or other family members, he wrote on the back of each one…, date, place, and age (if he knew it). The album was always on the living room table, for anyone to check out…I have started to do that too, and it’s actually fun!

    • Gaye Coffey

      Buy a nice photo album and put the photos in it and display it on your coffee table. With 16 grandchildren and 3 great, I couldn’t possibly display all photos received.

    • zorbear

      Buy (or request) a digital picture frame. Get one with lots of memory and request that your loved ones send their pictures digitally from now on so that you don’t have to decide which ones to display. If you’re not computer savy, I’ll bet you know someone who is. They’ll be able to help you scan your previous pictures into the frame so that you can watch all your loved ones (or just a few) as the frame brings up your favorite ones.

      The pictures could become important later. After my Granny passed on, my aunt went through all of Granny’s pics, scanned them, and made up electronic “albums” for all of the decendents. She put the pics on a CD and handed them out to the proper children to do with what they wished. Granny’s pictures of her parents, siblings, etc, she put on all the albums, making certain that each pic was titled and dated (Fiona, Elvira’s sister, at the county fair, 1932). How did my aunt know who everyone was? She took the time before Granny died to go over all the pictures and write on the back what each one was. It took awhile, but it made for several visits with her mother that they both enjoyed. It left us all with some precious memories, and gave us a nice video to show on a screen at Granny’s memorial.