One thing you may be wondering is, are photo framing supplies different than those you would use for a painting? The answer is, in practical terms, not really. Both paintings and photos require protection from the elements, and that means direct sunlight, dust, environmental toxins and pollutants (even trace amounts that might not affect you can be devastating to an artifact over time), moisture and even substances in the framing materials themselves.
Consider that last point carefully when you choose photo framing supplies. Cheaper types of matboard and mountboard can leech acids into your artifact over time. No doubt, you've seen yellowed, aged photographs in a frame that weren't necessarily taken 75 or 100 years ago...maybe they were only a few years old. What happened? Acid, that's what. Cheap, low-quality mat board and mount board was used for framing, and the acids used to produce those products leeched into the photo, interacted with the photographic chemicals and did some real damage. Good mat board and mount board that is acid-free, such as Bainbridge, costs a little more, to be sure – but your art photography is well worth it.
Another issue that often comes up regarding photo framing supplies concerns the frame itself. What type of frame should be used?
There are no hard-and-fast rules, here. You are really free to use whatever type of frame you like, whether it's an ornate, baroque-looking hardwood frame or a sleek, minimalistic, contemporary one. However, there are a few general guidelines that experienced framers follow. Generally, paintings are framed in wood and photographs are framed in a metal, such as aluminum. Much of this has to do with weight; photos are lighter than paintings. Photos also tend to get switched out more often as the photographer adds more pictures for his/her collection; lightweight metal frames make this task much easier.
The good news is there are a wide variety of metal frames available with today's kits. These include frames with a soft, brushed or anodized look, shiny silver and gold frames. Which one you'll choose depends largely on your own personal preferences, though you will want to take into consideration the type a décor in the room where the photo is to be displayed, as well as the predominating colors in that room and the kind of lighting and furniture it contains.
Just remember that it's a good idea to be willing to spend a little extra for quality materials in order to preserve your painting and give it the best home possible.