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In defense of framing

Aside from the soapbox we could get on about printing your photos (spoiler alert: you absolutely should) we wanted to take a moment to talk about framing. It seems like a simple thing, and it can be, but it can also be a bit overwhelming with all of the options and cost. So hopefully we can shed a little light on the subject to make it a bit less daunting.

When it comes to framing, I'm (hey there, it's Mary Beth) going to say that there are four main options: tape/pushpins, ready-made frames, semi-custom framing, and custom framing. So here we go.

Tape/Pushpins: Zero out of five stars. Would not recommend. Tape and tacks do physical damage to photos, so in the long run not great. But if you're into things like temporary tattoos, this might work for you.

Ready-Made Frames: A pretty good and inexpensive image for smaller snapshots (4x6-8x10) as long as they aren't too important. The reason we say that is this type of framing puts the image right up next to the glass which, with the addition of moisture, can lead to having a print surface welded to the glass. Unless you pick up a ready-made frame that comes with a mat which will help keep the print off the glass, however it will not help keep the print flat the way it would be if it was professionally mounted.

Semi-Custom Framing: My recommendation for most important prints, particularly if they are an odd size. There isn't technically a thing called "Semi-Custom Framing" but it's what I'm calling my usual method for getting images framed. Basically, you just by a ready-made frame that is the next size up from your print and take it to a framer to have a custom mat cut, print mounted to mat board or foam core to keep it flat, and have the frame assembled with glass and paper backing to keep the bugs and stuff out. Alternately, if you are not big on having a larger frame or a mat, you can have a framer make a spacer (which sits under the edge of the frame but is not visible) to provide the afore mentioned air gap between the glass and print surface. It's more expensive than strait up ready-made framing but much less than full custom. And it has the added benefit of supporting your local framer. #shoplocal

Custom Framing: The Cadillac of framing and priced accordingly. If you have something really special that you are wanting some particular molding for or you have a really odd size print and want a specific mat size (ie. 4" of mat on each side of the print) or something large like a panoramic print then custom framing will be what you need. Prepare to spend some $$$ but also be prepared to really love the result. Working with your local framer allows you to work through different molding and mat options to create the perfect presentation for your image. Personally I only have a couple of big custom pieces, but woo smokies are they fantastic!

So in summary, print early and often and protect your prints with some good framing practices. #shoplocal #printlocal #framing #printyourphotos #photoframing

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