A diptych is a grouping of two photos, side by side, which tell a more complete story than one single photo can on its own. Fancy word, yes? But the concept is simple. Why use one photo when two is twice as nice? I LOVE diptychs and I often use them on my blog to help tell my stories.
One of my favorite pairings is a portrait shown next to a detail shot, because I think this helps to set the scene of where it happened, and also helps round out the emotional connection to the shot. Here I am in an apple orchard with my two boys, and beside it is a beauty shot of apples lying on the ground under the trees. Another way you could do it would be to show two opposites together, two different people, a part to a whole, a person and a place….. the possibilities are endless.
Another effective use of the diptych is to highlight a series of expressions on a person's face. As parents we LOVE all the different expressions our children make, so how could we possibly choose just one look out of an entire portrait session? My feeling is: you don't. I love pairing two (or more) photos from a sequence together in a frame because it not only looks awesome all spiffied up and matted behind glass, but it tells a more complete story. Here are two favorites I took of little Ella…… so pretty! And yet, if you were trying to decide which one to frame, how could you choose? My vote is to include both of them side by side in a single matted frame.
And guess what? A series of three photos together is called a triptych. I have two favorites that I've had for a while now, of each of my sons. Any one of these photos would have been nice by itself, but put them together and a series of three and now you're talking!! Much more engaging and expressive.
When you have a series of photos taken at the same time, this kind of display can't fail because the images match so nicely when the time of day, the light, the people, and of course the way the images were processed all match and have similar treatments.
These moments are precious. My kids will never look like that again. If it's been a while since you had portraits done of your family, make some time to have it done soon. If not by me, then somebody else….. trust me. You'll never regret it.