blog » December 11, 2017 by Donna John

Tips & Tricks for Incredible Holiday Photos With Cheryl Leahy, Cecilia Cannon & Artmill! by Donna John

6 years ago
Tips & Tricks for Incredible Holiday Photos With Cheryl Leahy, Cecilia Cannon & Artmill!

All too often, amazing photos sit on our phone and we never get to truly enjoy those priceless moments outside of the digital realm. At this week's #30Seconds Twitter chat, we talked about how to take incredible photos with 30Seconds contributor Cheryl Leahy, a lifestyle blogger at AllDressedUpWithNotingToDrink and media personality in the Chicago area, and Cecilia Cannon, another 30Seconds contributor and an interiors blogger at Home With Keki and professional home stager who started her incredibly successful business from scratch. 

Both ladies recently discovered, a Chicago-based frameless alternative to creating unique wall art for the home. Since both Cheryl and Cecilia take thousands of photos on their phones each year, they were excited to share their own tips as well as the ones they learned from Artmill!

Q: I didn’t hire a holiday photographer. How can I make my holiday photos look fabulous?

  • Outfit coordination, not matchy-matchy. Different shades of the same color, pops of patterns.
  • Match outfit shades to home interior shades. If you’re hanging it on your wall, it will coordinate.
  • Add texture, accessories and layers to outfits, avoid pieces that are too trendy, go more classic.
  • Avoid overly bright colors – versions of primary colors work well. Try to avoid solid white or black.

Q: If I am taking photos with my phone, how do I get them high enough quality for print?

  • It is all about the lighting and editing! No direct sun, use natural light. I own this inexpensive kit
  • I found a fantastic digital image size guide on the Artmill site.
  • Instead of using a standard filter, play around with the individual adjustments like brightness, contrast, exposure and saturation.
  • The app Aviary is easy to use and free for photo adjustments. You can isolate the focus, create a vignette, add a frame and take care of blemishes.

Q: What are some unique options for getting my photos off my phone and on my wall?

  • Don't strive for perfection. You are making YOUR art, not fine art! Pick photos that showcase your personality.
  • Ask for professional advice. The staff at a company like Artmill has seen thousands of projects and they know what looks best.
  • Increase the drama by going black and white or sepia. A basic phone photo can transform by changing the filter.
  • Create a custom size for the space in your home! Create a multi-photo collage of favorite moments.
  • I love Chatbooks This app is the EASIEST way to create custom photo books without much effort if you want something for family and friends to look through.

ARTMILL: The  Gallery Acrylic Facemount is our most popular product. Home With Keki recently showcased this product here.

Q: I always freeze when trying to decide on options like matting and framing. What is a timeless option?

  • A collection of frames in the same finish can look eclectic! Add them up the stairway as you take more photos.
  • A panorama can make a statement. I plan on heading to the beach with my kids and taking a sunset pic! Minimal matting/framing is needed.
  • I am asking for a Fuji Instax for Christmas and plan on stringing instant photos on a wire around my house with clothespins. Easy to add, no developing or frames needed!

ARTMILL: Consider a frameless wall art options. They tend to be more timeless. You can see some  here.

Q: I would love to give a photo as a gift. What is the easiest way to do this?

  • I always give my parents photo gifts of my kids for the holidays. If going for a wall mount, ASK them first where it will fit!
  • Travel photos are a great way to keep memories alive from a trip you took with family or friends.
  • You can always give a gift certificate – this makes a perfect gift for people looking to decorate their home.

ARTMILL: You can upload a photo at and create your own. We ship to all 50 States and have very secure packaging to ensure safe arrival.

Q: I always see coupons for cheap prints. Are these a good idea? How does quality vary for prints?

I have used bargain sites – not ideal. If you want everything to match in your home, go with one high-quality site that has a real person to speak with. My kids have a habit of messing with wall hangings. Get something that will withstand test of time!

ARTMILL: As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. We got our start over 10 years ago providing only the highest quality to fine art galleries, artists and museums. You're getting that same quality every time you order with us.

Be sure to follow @CJAllDressedUp, @HomewithKeki and @MyArtMill! Also visit and, like ArtmillHome With Keki and All Dressed Up With Nothing to Drink on Facebook and read Cheryl Leahy’s 30Seconds tips and Cecilia Cannon’s 30Seconds tips!

Nicole DeAvilla
I have sooo many pictures on my phone and I love learning new tips on how to make them better. I need this chat!
Elisa Schmitz
So exciting! Can't wait to chat with you chicas. Happier holidays, for sure! :-)
Meredith Schneider
Oh yes please! I need a way to get my digital pictures where we can enjoy them everyday off the phone and clouds. 😜
Cheryl Leahy
I am SO EXCITED to share all of our tips and tricks!! Cecilia and I take photos EVERY day for our sites, so we have a lot of info to share :) Thrilled to chat with the 30Seconds family tonight!

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