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

    • CJ Price

      If the photos are professional “portraits”, such as yearly class pics, Sr. pics, church directory, etc, then Yes, it would be nice to frame and display them. If not, then I would put them up on the fridge till you tire of them or get new ones. Granted, if family doesn’t visit you often, then they will never know what you do with them.

    • jim tierney

      Scan them into your computer. Place them in a folder named “Desktop Pix”. When one of the givers is to visit open the folder and right click the appropriate photo and click “set as desktop background”. Right click anywhere on the desktop background, select “view” and unclick “Show desktop icons”. Show the visitor your “favorite” photo on an uncluttered screen.

    • Myrna L.

      Thanks to digital photo albums you can scan the photos and download to your device. Each of those photos can then be seen again and again as they take their turn in the digital rotation. There are not enough walls for family and friends pictures! It’s time to enter the age of technology.

    • plannerdi

      I would suggest creating a digital album- you’d need a scanner and a digital frame, but this solves our “too many photo” problem. You can scan the photos as they arrive and put them on the drive to a digital frame. When guests come to visit, you can play the slideshow of all the photos you’ve received. And you can request digital photos in the future to save scanning time. If this technology isn’t available to you, a photo album is perfectly fine!

    • Fred

      I think the best thing to do with the pictures that your family and friends is to start an photo album for each. When those become full get more. You should then leave them in a prominent location where they will be easily seen when you friends and family come by for a visit.
      A photo frame should then be used for your favorites and placed wherever you like, maybe even in your bedroom, which should be off limits unless you invite them in.

    • Courtney ‘Carma’ Miller

      It’s as simple as buying a couple cute photo albums for the coffee table, or even shelving them until the family comes over, then displaying them. The important key is to at least care enough to organize them and show your enthusiasm when they see the work you’ve put into preserving the photos!

    • Holly

      It sounds as if your loved ones live close and must unexpectedly drop by. My suggestion would be to send a photo of yourself to everyone that sends you a photo, then a few days later drop by their house, check for your photo, if not there, worries over.

    • DIKIDI

      You are in no way obligated to display each and every photo you recieve. If you were, my walls wood be papered! I have two very large albums (one labeled special family pics, the other-special friends pics) and try to be very scrupulous about putting new pics in the albums right away. If anyone asks about the photos they sent I can immediately flip open the right album and show how important their photos are to me.

    • Tina Thompson

      i agree. put them in an album or scan them into your computer and make an online album or an album dvd that you can watch when they come over

    • Ronnie Carroll

      For those pictures of relatives and friends, put them in a photo album and display the album (on a coffee table or on a bookshelf).