Photo Framing Supplies Make Great Gifts

by : Susan Slobac

When photographic images are raised to the level of art, there is nothing better for framing than Photo Framing Supplies. Like wood floors and furniture, wood picture frames have a warmth, a luster and a connection to simpler times that sterile metal frames cannot match.

Get Started Right

Photography itself may be art, but framing such art properly is a science. Even with the best photo framing supplies, if this isn't done correctly, the best photographic print will look cheap and tawdry - and may even suffer an early demise from acids, humidity, or ultraviolet light.

In addition to a good selection of custom wood picture frames in the appropriate sizes, here's a list of what you'll need:

-Photo Mat Board
-backing material for the print
-"hinge tissue" or other adhesive, and/or "photo corners"
-photo mat board (bainbridge mat board is preferable)

Bainbridge mat board is of the highest quality, acid-free materials. This is important, because acids from low-quality photo mat board will eventually result in "mat burn," which produces unsightly stains on the image. In addition, high quality photo mat board is treated with an alkaline buffering agent in order to raise the pH level and present such damage from occurring.

You'll also need enough mat board to make both a back mat and a window mat, for reasons that are described next.

Putting It Together

The purpose of the mount board or backing board is to hold the photograph rigid in the frame and prevent it from warping, or "bowing." There are several kinds available, but whatever kind is chosen, you'll need some kind of barrier between this mount board and the photo mat board. This is especially important when using wood picture frames, which are organic and porous; the idea is to minimize the possibility of the effects of humidity and environmental contaminants that could destroy the print.

Paper hinges are preferable to other adhesives for affixing the print to the mat board itself. These are similar to "double stick" tape that is specially formulated for use with photographic paper. Alternatively, you may wish to use "photo corners," which will not require that any adhesive be applied to the photo itself.

The "window mat" is placed atop the print itself to prevent direct contact between the glazing material (glass or acrylic - plastic should be avoided) and the surface of the photograph, which otherwise could become stuck to the image.

The Finished Product...

Artistic photographs deserve the best photography frames you can afford, and fine wood picture frames are the most attractive in virtually any setting. However, keep the appearance of the display area in mind when selecting frames; if the rooms accents are primarily of one kind of wood stained and finished in a particular color, you'll want to make sure that your wood picture frames complement, and not detract from the decor.