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  1. #11

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    I buy all of my frames from one of the advertisers of this forum, frame destinations. Its metal frame in 16x20 costs little less than 30 dollars. 20x24 will run about 35 dollars. These are top notch quality stuff, not the cheap frame from discount art stores. I use Nielsen profile 15. I cut my own mat to save money. There are less expensive moldings also. Using profile 11 will save you few dollars but I don't like this one as it has less "projection".

    While it won't be dirt cheap, I think it'll be worth your investigation. I don't think you want to use cheap frames especially if this is going to be an important exhibition.

    I have absolutely NO financial relationship with this company. Just a satisfied customer.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #12

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    Matting and framing is a pretty standard way to go, and presents the images in a conventional, formal way. This appeals to many viewing folks. It also conveys a respect that you have for your work. Not everyone would agree with all of this, and there is much variation in the thinking of presentation (note polyglot's comment). State buildings? To me it says something about your likely viewing audience (standard, extra standard). I would invest in an inexpensive matte cutter (Logan 301 comes to mind - http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...sl_t51gsdl79_b) sorry about the long link. It runs $85 to $90 and will last as long as you will.
    Then go to Frame Destinations, where they can advise you on cutting cost and where. I would at least run the cost of doing this, at 11x14 and 16x20 just to see what the outlay would be. I agree with metal section framing and plexiglass glazing, although glass would likely be cheaper, but more problematic.

  3. #13
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    I buy all my precut matts through FramingSupplies.com. Even my biggest matts, like 32x38, are $10.50 with a Crescent buffered board. Now, get an account with your local frame supply company and have them deliver the acid-free foam core and mounting corners, tape, etc. at wholesale prices.

    Then, choose a narrow moulding to keep costs down. Wide mouldings are out. Narrow frames give you a nice finished edge without overwhelming the image.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

  4. #14
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    I cannot see how framing can be done cheaply. Framing is so often a costly job where skilled professionals are doing it. It has to be top-notch quality to showcase your work, to convey the message that you care not just for capturing the scene, but for presenting it. The quality of the framing must be up to the quality of the finished print with which it is charged for protecting for perpetuity, not just 20 years (how about 200, 300?). All of my printing is done with Crescent rag mat (9 ply), UV retardant glass, Burke black 2cm ebony moulding and coated hanging wire — never changed the recipe since 1989. It must be the way I started in photography so long ago to treat everything with a quality holistic touch and never cut corners and look cheap,. But I've paid the price of having to live on a boiled egg for a fortnight. Things are better now (but still expensive!) but my unwavering belief is that I will never ever sacrifice beautiful prints with "high street kiosk" framing. Especially if having a solo exhibition: if it's your first, that first impression is the one most likely to define you in the future and you, as well as your work, must be able to give the competition (and prospective buyers!) something to think about.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  5. #15
    Paul Goutiere's Avatar
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    Consider going with a Plaque Mount.

  6. #16

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    Thank you all so much for the wealth of info. So many ways to consider. I agree with George Collier about how a nicely framed print gives a print a dignified look. I visited a Daido Moriyama exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art this past summer. Moriyama included a number of recent color (!) prints. These were not framed, they were mounted and tacked onto the wall. It made me think that these were included in a hasty, less thought out way then his vintage framed prints. Nevertheless, I visited the Peter Fetterman gallery in Santa Monica today to ask him about the wonderful unframed but matted prints he has for sale. He gave me the name of the place that does the cutting for him. I've pretty much settled on 11x14 size as from what I can gather this is the largest available off the shelf...going up to 16x20 would require a custom job.

  7. #17
    fdi
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    Thanks to all those recommending Frame Destination, as the owner I greatly appreciate it. As long as you take a little time to learn a little about framing you can avoid the cost of a custom frame shop by doing the design, picture mounting and final assembly yourself. The least expensive picture frames are those manufactured in bulk overseas and imported in volume. They will have a narrow size selection and are not likely to be good for long term protection of the print, that is where companies like mine and other online wholesale companies come in. We manufacture in the US so our costs are higher. You can take on additional labor by doing even more work yourself such as cutting the mats, backing and or actually cutting and joining the frame moulding. This option requires the purchase of equipment. The more you pay for the equipment the more labor your save.

    You can consider the picture frames to be an investment and you can change the pictures out. Even if you dry mount your images you have to change the backing. If you are t-hinging or use photo corners you can just change the picture. Do you think you will ever do another showing? Do you plan to sell framed prints? If you do, you can eventually get your money back on the frames.

    Regardless of how you decide to display your images, full frames, gallery wraps, or gatorfoam, be sure to look for volume discounts. Many companies offer those, and on matboard the volume discounts are steep. In fact, if you buy cut mats from a company like mine at qty 25 your price will be close to the cost of buying sheets from a distributor and cutting them yourself. Dont forget to look into the shipping costs.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  8. #18
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    I bought ten 16x20 frames with plexi from Frame Destination a few years ago for a show. I've been switching stuff in and out of those frames ever since. Our photo club and local art club frequently have little shows in places around the area and I need two or three pieces. I haven't had to buy more frames for awhile. Yes, it's an investment, but worth doing right. I LOVE the way FDI packages and ships their frames, too, btw. Those boxes are still in use for storage of my framed work. I do save by cutting my own mats.

  9. #19

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    Yes, I forgot to mention that having frames that I can easily switch prints in is a plus. However, I also forgot to mention the fact that I live in a rather small apartment and having a safe place to store these will be a challenge in itself.

  10. #20
    fdi
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    Sorry to be salesy, but for those of you that are storing and reusing a batch of frames you might consider our GalleryPouches. Photo journalist Andrew Darlow approached my company about solving the problem of frames and canvas gallery wraps being damaged between gallery exhibits and we created the GalleryPouch. Another investment, however we have Art Show customers that are using these for years on a regular basis to carry their framed prints between different Art Shows.

    Cheers,
    Mark

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