Elements of a Fabulous Photo and Frame

Showcase your photos and display them for you and others to enjoy. The art of designing and planning a picture frame is a matter of personal taste and understanding the elements that make the most visually attractive photo and frame. Once you understand how these elements work individually and relate together, you can start letting the creative juices flow into providing a picture frame gallery that does justice to your treasure photos and mementos.

Here are some elements to look into when it comes to picture frames:

  • Design. What style does your photo exemplify? What is the overall look of the room where you will hang the picture frame? A classic portrait will be complemented by a vintage picture frame but will clash with a picture frame of contemporary design. Meanwhile, a modern poster will look ludicrous in a vintage picture frame. In the same way, the picture and the frame should also go with the overall design of the room. There are creative individuals that are able to get away with mismatched styles and pull it off in an attractive manner, but generally, the frame should highlight the photo and should ideally complement the other frames in your wall gallery.
  • Color. The color of the frame and the matting should work as a foil for the picture. That is, the picture should be the one that captures the viewer’s attention. The wrong choice of color for the molding and matting can oftentimes detract the eyes from the photo. Generally, dark matting will not work on light-colored photos, since it will overpower them. Meanwhile, light-colored matting will make a dark-colored photo look even darker. The general rule is to coordinate the background color of the photo with the color/s of the matting. In addition, when you are using matting, you are working with a frame within a frame. Thus, both the color of the matting and frame molding should provide visual contrast that points the eye towards the photo. Of course, these are general rules and there are exceptions to these. Neutral-colored frame or matting may work with certain photos or artwork.
  • Pattern and texture. Aside from color, the texture of the frame’s molding will also have an impact on the photo’s overall visual aesthetics. Some textures include natural wood finishes, matte finishes or glossy finishes. The same goes for matting textures, which can come through the design of the cardstock or the use of fabrics, veneers or appliqués. These can be understated or dramatic, providing the needed contrast or space between the photo and the frame.
  • Proportion. Very wide matting and molding can dwarf a small photo or one with delicate photo elements. A photo with dominant visual elements will need wider matting and frame. Large photos with slim matting widths may look “crowded” when there is hardly enough “breathing space” between the photo and frame, as provided by the matting. In addition, viewing the photo and the picture frame should provide the viewer with a sense of balance. You can give a photo a “weighted” look by putting wider matting on the bottom of the photo. 
1st Aug 2014 Eric Morgan

Recent Posts