The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Matting and Framing

Yesterday someone asked me about my framing.  She wanted to know where I got my work framed.  She said that my framing presented my work well and looked really good.

There is no short answer to this question.

Some of my framing is done -- start to finish at Dogwood Gallery & Framer in Tyrone, Georgia.  I really like Greg and I do believe he gives you a lot of options and his opinion of what will show the art in the best way.  The bits of information I have gleaned from Greg has given me other framing options that work well in some situations.

We all know that framing the work can be expensive.  We also know that skimping on the framing can harm a good piece -- whether it is a photo or other artwork.  The following is my answer to the framing question:
  1. Let Dogwood do it all -- custom frame, custom cut mat.
  2. Buy a premade frame (preferably on sale 50% off) and have the mat cut to fit it.
  3. Reuse a frame I already have, have the mat cut to fit the photo and frame.
  4. Try to print my photo to fit a mat and frame I already have -- so all I do is swap photos.
Let's think a minute about the mat.  I stay away from precut mats almost all of the time (very rarely I do use them).  I like my mat to be at least 3 inches all the way around the photo.  Sometimes more.  Sometimes I like the mat to be weighted at the bottom of the frame.  This means that the bottom of the mat is an inch or more wider than the other sides of the mat.  If I am reusing a frame or using a premade sized frame I can get the mat cut to fit my odd sized photo to the frame.  Take, for instance, a 12x18 photo; three sides of the mat are as close to three inches and the bottom is almost 5 inches.  This fits into a 20x24 frame.  Sure a custom frame is nicer.  I splurge on those for special photos.  But the other frame gives my budget a break and I instead look to mat it well.  

It also goes without saying that my frame choices are 99% black and my mat choice is white.  Mixing the frame styles -- but all in black -- makes an interesting wall display.  Seen on the blog last summer is the display in my foyer.  It changes frequently depending on what is out at a different location or what may be swapped out in a frame.  The skinniest mat seen on that wall is 2.5 inches and that was a sacrifice to make that photo (blue pop art daisy) fit that frame.  One piece there with no frame is my one gallery wrap canvas print.  I am not a big fan of printing photos on canvas -- but with that one -- I think it works.


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