When you take the perfect picture, you probably think your job is done and the creative process has ended. But there’s that photo sitting on your phone, camera or tablet – just taking up space and not getting seen. What a terrible waste! And that, my friends, is where your creative process begins anew.
How will you display it? Is it frame-worthy? And how on earth do you even frame something properly? Here are four tips for picture framing success!
1. Choose the right photos. The first step is to choose which of your pictures you’d like to have printed using Kicksend to frame and hang in your home. Think about what you’d like to see around your house. Do you prefer landscapes, nature close-ups, candid photos, or something else? Choose the pictures that represent the photographer you are – and what’d you love to see every day in your home.
2. Consider different frame layouts. I have many kinds of framed photos in my house, some single-framed prints and some collage frames with spaces for several prints. I use these collage frames for pictures from vacations, events, or other notable periods in my life.
Pre-made frames like these offer the tools for framing success: a frame, a backing, a protective glass panel, and a mat. A mat is a thin piece of cardboard placed over your photo and held under the glass. It’s the mat which gives you little windows to mount more than one photo in the same frame, like a collage.
3. Embrace the mat! You can certainly frame a photograph without a mat, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It might seem like just a piece of cardboard, but it offers protection, stability, and flare. The mat puts space between your photo and the glass, so nothing sticks together. I started using mats in all of my frames after a few of my pictures stuck to the glass and some color peeled off. Yikes!
I also use the mats to keep my pictures in place. When I frame pictures, especially in a collage mat, I will turn it upside down and secure each picture to the mat. I usually use regular tape (on the backside of the photo only!) to do the job. It’s not dangerous for either the mat or the photo and it doesn’t show up once everything is in place. This handy trick keeps all of my pictures from sliding down once the frame is mounted on the wall.
Beyond practical reasons, a mat can also offer some aesthetic benefits. You can use mat to highlight a particular feature in your photo, like the red apples in a photo of an orchard. You can also use them to coordinate photos to your decor. For example, I chose simple white frames and mat for a group of family prints because I placed them on a darker wall. These photos really stand out, drawing the eye right to the subjects of each framed print.
4. Do basic framing jobs yourself. Custom framing can be a worthy investment for some large or awkwardly sized prints. However, most basic framing jobs can be done at home with store-bought frames, as long as you’re up to the task.
Make your own mat with card stock from a craft store. Get creative and decorate your framing projects, design a full motif for a wall’s worth of framed pictures in your home, or just make a special keepsake for yourself or someone special. Don’t be intimidated by framing your pictures; instead, think of it as the final step in the creative process that turns a wonderful picture into a wonderful memory you share with others.