I have a confession to make...
Before I became a photographer, I printed my daughter's baby photos at Big W and I put them in a cheap frame from the dollar shop (yeah I know...the shame of it). But you know, I just didn't understand why you had to spend money on prints and a frame. I mean, how complicated was it? Not very, I thought back in those days.
It wasn't until I became a photographer and educated myself about prints and framing; the difference in the quality and make of them and the end results, did I fully understand. And it took the ruining of my precious (cheap) prints of my baby daughter, that stuck to cheap (green) glass for it to actually sink in. My heart sank, because I couldn't remove the prints from the glass and the frame just fell to pieces. Lesson learned the hard way.
So I thought I would share with you what I learned on my journey as a photographer, when I began searching for exceptional quality that I wanted for my clients, because I didn't want them having the same experience. It wasn't until I compared the quality of cheap prints and custom frames, that I finally understood WHY YOU NEED TO INVEST IN QUALITY. But today, let's just take a look at frames.
Frames bought at low cost dollars shops and photo developing area of department stores:
- are mostly made in China, which is why they are so cheap to buy
- are low grade glass, which is often green in colour, highly reflective and your photos are not protected from UV rays, which means they fade very fast and won't last.
- are made from cheaper quality timber; corners can be uneven and the frame can fall apart or actually disintegrate.
- backing boards leech acids into your artwork or photos, causing them to turn yellow or they discolour them.
- matt boards are very thin, and leech acids into your photos and damage them.
If you want your valuable memories preserved, then custom framing does just that. What you're doing is paying for quality and you're showing how much value you place on your loved one's memories.
Custom frames from a reputable framer:
- are constructed from high quality timbers that do not disintegrate, and are made to ensure that corners are even and there is no warping.
- come in many different styles and colours to match the style of your photo and/or the decor of your home - they are personal.
- the glass can either be reflective or non-reflective and is UV-protection quality to preserve your photos by protecting them from the harmful sun.
- all materials are acid-free, from the matt board to the backing board, so they do not damage or discolour your prints.
- the finish of your frame is sealed to further prevent moisture or dust entering the frame and damaging your print.
- the hanging systems are made of quality materials to ensure that once hung, they can withstand the weight of the frame and glass.
So if you as client come to me and request your photos and your precious memories to be custom framed, please know you are getting quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, that you just can't get in a store-bought frame.
Even though I offer clients the option to choose their framing, to-date, every client has trusted me with the pleasure of choosing the frame and matt board to suit their photos. It can take up to half-an-hour or more for me and my framer, to choose the right frame and colours for the matt board, to match my client's photos and specifications. Of course, the choice is the clients' in the end.
You see, I select frames based on the individual style and personality of the client. This is only achieved by me observing them at home or what ever location we might meet before the shoot; the type of shoot whether it's a family or corporate shoot, a wedding, and so on. I can also tell by the images that clients originally choose when we come up with a look or concept, and if at home, the type of decor in their home. All these things together, give me a pretty good idea of a person's tastes, so that when it comes to choosing frames, I have an overall impression and understanding of their preferences.
I have also been told by my framer, that I also have a good eye for design, composition and colour. Hmmm...fancy that. It might just have something to do with my artist/photography background. ;)
So, the next time when you're tossing up between a 'ready-to-hang' and 'custom framing', don't compare 'apples with oranges', because as you now know, they are nothing alike! I encourage you to invest the extra to conserve and preserve your beautiful images because your memories are precious and they are worth it...you're worth it! And think just how unique your photos will look that shout your style and personality!
Kerry :) xox