Rough Guide to Framing Photographs

Customers who are first-time framers often ask “What’s the best way to frame my photograph(s)?”
There are two main considerations when framing your photographs: 1) Aesthetics and 2) Conservation.

Aesthetics Traditional fine art paintings are often framed in decorative, baroque-styled frames. While this may be appropriate for a Rembrandt or a Monet hanging in the Louvre; photographs generally call for something more elegant and subdued, such as a wood frame with a simple finish or a sleek, dark metal frame. The key to framing photographs is subtlety; you want the viewer’s eyes to remain focused on the image, not the frame. Keep this principle in mind when selecting a mat as well. White, off-white or neutral mat colors are generally the best choices. In addition, black is sometimes appropriate, as are double mats in complementary colors. It all of course depends on the photograph; however, we at Frame Destination Inc. tend to favor the words of William of Ockham “All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one”.

Conservation Framing is a form of archival storage. Digital images are, for the most part, ‘safe’ when properly stored on electronic media, but once printed onto paper they become subject to the same dangers of light, dust, moisture, temperature extremes and acidity as film prints. Mats and mount board come into direct contact with your photograph. Using acid-free, archival quality mats and mount board to frame your photographs is the best method of protecting your image against acid and moisture, both of which can lead to staining and irreversible damage. Conversation is a science onto itself; further information about conversation matting and framing can be found at the Library of Congress’ guide to matting and framing website

Click here: for additional information about framing photographs.

Purchase fine art photography frames, archival mats and mountboard at:
Frame Destination, Inc.

About the author


Mark Rogers is an amateur photographer and the founder of Frame Destination, Inc. In 2004 Mark realized the framing industry was not keeping up with the evolution of photography via new digital technology and started Frame Destination in his garage. Now his company has thousands of do-it-yourself framing customers across the US that it helps with its 11,000 square feet production facility in Dallas, TX.

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