With thousands of frame samples and mat options to choose from, custom framing may seem overwhelming, but framers say the results are priceless.

If you’re still shopping for a holiday gift, consider custom-framed photography, artwork or even a sports jersey.

With thousands of frame samples and mat options, custom framing may seem overwhelming, but framers say the results are priceless.

Frantic Framers in Quincy, Mass., stocks 400 mat colors, seven types of glass and 1,000 frame samples. Owner Paul Sturman recommends that customers start from the inside out, choosing the type of mat and glass, then the frame.

For black and white prints, he recommends a black, white or gray-toned mat or frame.
  
“You don’t want anything to detract from the photograph,” he said. “If you start using colors, then the mat becomes the focal point.”
   
Glass that protects the print from ultraviolet light is crucial, he says, so the print doesn’t fade over time. For color prints, the right type of mat and frame is in the eye of the beholder.
  
“It depends on the colors in the piece,” Sturman said. “That’s probably the hardest thing that a framer does, is coordinate the colors with the particular photograph.”
  
Prices for custom framing vary significantly. Framing one eight-by-10-inch print can cost between $25 to $200, he says.
  
The types of things you can frame or the ways you can frame them are unlimited, said Richard Riman, co-owner of The Frame Man in Randolph, Mass.
  
“We’ve done family collages and shadow boxes of important memorabilia,” he said.
  
With the 5,000 frame samples available at his store, he ensures that the mat, frame and print work in harmony.
  
“That’s what’s called the ‘total impact,’” he said, “and that’s what’s critical to achieve.”

The Patriot Ledger

BENEFITS OF FRAMING

At its simplest, framing acts as a support system for the optimum viewing of a picture. It keeps the image flat and allows it to be easily placed upright on a wall or another support at a suitable viewing height.

Quality photographs need to be protected from dirt, grime and other environmental factors such as light, moisture and contact with poor-quality paper products that have high-acid content.

Framing should  enhance your picture aesthetically by setting the boundaries so the photograph doesn’t overwhelm its environment, and  it should  act as a transition between the wall and the image. Framing can also draw the eye to the picture, emphasizing the more subtle elements and colors, and even increase the apparent size of the image.

Source: Photographytips.com.