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10-22-2014, 09:56 AM   #1
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Framing small prints for an exhibition

I have two photos that will be included in a "Small Wonders" exhibition at an NYC gallery later this year. (The idea is to exhibit smaller works, with smaller prices, that might entice people to purchase them as holiday gifts.) The prints are 5"x7" (landscape orientation) and the maximum frame dimensions are 16x20.

I'm looking at ordering frames from www.framedestination.com. There are some requirements regarding archival quality mats, etc. so I don't want to cheap out and go to Ikea. (I also want to check out the quality and ease of use of www.framedestination.com so this seems like a good experiment.) I would like to try to keep costs down but still produce something appealing because if either image sells, I will donate the proceeds to the farm animal sanctuary where the photos were taken. I knoq that it won't be a lot of $ (after the gallery takes a percentage) but it's more the gesture than the $ value.

I could go with an 8x10 frame but I'm thinking about doing something a bit larger but still a standard size (11x14? 16x20). I'm also wondering about using a float mount for the photos, so that the full image is visible inside the frame. If I take that approach, the mat could be cut so that there is space at the bottom for a signature. I'm not sure whether it would be a nice touch to sign the print, or whether it would just look silly or pretentious for a small print. If I take that approach, how much of a gap would you recommend that I leave around the image (between the outer edge of the print and the inner edge of the mat), especially with a bottom-weighted style to accommodate a signature. I have seen this done with larger prints, where the gap is 1/2" on sides and top for an 8x10 print and an 1-1.5" on the bottom. But that seems like too much for such a small print.

Any suggestions? Thanks

10-22-2014, 10:40 AM   #2
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frogoutwater- Congratulations and a very good cause with animal sanctuary. The buyer may buy both, are you building towards that?
I really like the idea of a signature, regardless of size of print, if I were buying anyway.
The big one is archival paper, mats, uv glass and frame.
Larger frame, more money. But I do like the 11-14 size.
Maybe 1/2 in. on sides and 3/4- 1in. on the bottom.
I really have not done alot of highend framing, but look all the time to get some ideas
Sure what ever size you choose they will turn out nice and o

---------- Post added 10-22-14 at 10:58 AM ----------

Given more thought maybe
1/4-3/8in. top and sides 1/2-3/4 on the bottom.
Started looking at a few of what I have hangin
Hard to know until you see? Maybe do a mock up with what you have around, before you order.
I have not any dealings with framedestination, but shure they turn out great! Good luck
10-22-2014, 11:49 AM   #3
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In another life I served as a picture framer. I've also curated art shows and exhibited my own work over the past 30 years.

Miniature-themed shows can be a lot of fun. Make sure your subject matter is best brought out by a smaller format; some images look just right small, others need to be huge. I'm also assuming that you are choosing the 5x7 dimension because your art looks right that way. I tend to frame my shots in camera to maintain the 2:3 aspect ratio and then continue that layout with the framed art work. So, 4x6, or 6x9 may be viable alternatives for you.

Having a larger opening on the bottom to accommodate a signature is fine. For fine art framing the bottom mat border should be slightly larger than the other three sides to offset the optical illusion of it being narrower.

Standard sizes are convenient, but your having extra space for your signature mandates a custom mat. Online places will allow you to input custom specs, but I prefer to deal with local shops where you can see in real life the visual impact of various mats, textures, colors, and frames.

Also consider an alternative such as gallery-style framing. This features a super large bottom border in an overall vertical presentation and tends to work better with smaller, horizontally-oriented prints.

Hope this helps.

M
10-22-2014, 11:51 AM   #4
Brooke Meyer
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I use lots of these. Plenty of Utrecht & Blick locations in your area Save On Discount Nielsen Bainbridge Photography Photo Frames, 16 X 20 Frame Size & More Metal at Utrecht

10-22-2014, 12:41 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I realize it's non-traditional, but I often crop my images to a 5x7 aspect ratio (or sometimes 11x14). It's a practice that flows from a couple of considerations. First, because I'm shooting a lot of fast-moving and unpredictable subjects (often against messy backgrounds that I can't do much about), I shoot a bit loose and the 5x7 ratio gives me a little more wiggle room to re-compose after the fact. Second, I've been donating prints to one of the animal welfare groups I work with and they sell the 5x7s (enclosed in 8x10 mats) - which works well for them because the print is big enough to justify a bit a premium price but not so big (or expensive) to discourage impulse purchases. So my eye has almost been trained to see 5x7 (or 11x14).

For this particular juried exhibition, the contest specifications were for images no larger than 7x7 and the two images they selected from my submission are 5x7s - see attachments (Liz the dancing sheep and Declan the pensive turkey).

Miguel and Storm Chaser - Thank you for the very specific suggestions about frame and mat size.
Brooke - Do you know if the Bainbridge frames you linked to use archival/acid-free mats and mounting boards? (It looks like the mounting boards are.)
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10-22-2014, 02:39 PM   #6
Brooke Meyer
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I realize it's non-traditional, but I often crop my images to a 5x7 aspect ratio (or sometimes 11x14). It's a practice that flows from a couple of considerations. First, because I'm shooting a lot of fast-moving and unpredictable subjects (often against messy backgrounds that I can't do much about), I shoot a bit loose and the 5x7 ratio gives me a little more wiggle room to re-compose after the fact. Second, I've been donating prints to one of the animal welfare groups I work with and they sell the 5x7s (enclosed in 8x10 mats) - which works well for them because the print is big enough to justify a bit a premium price but not so big (or expensive) to discourage impulse purchases. So my eye has almost been trained to see 5x7 (or 11x14).

For this particular juried exhibition, the contest specifications were for images no larger than 7x7 and the two images they selected from my submission are 5x7s - see attachments (Liz the dancing sheep and Declan the pensive turkey).

Miguel and Storm Chaser - Thank you for the very specific suggestions about frame and mat size.
Brooke - Do you know if the Bainbridge frames you linked to use archival/acid-free mats and mounting boards? (It looks like the mounting boards are.)
They are. http://www.utrechtart.com/Nielsen-Bainbridge-Artcare-Gallery-Metal-Picture-Frames--11x14-Frame-MP-17074-001-i1014603.utrecht?utm_source=google&country=USĄcy=USD
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