zoomed in picture frames

Picture Perfect: Framing Considerations

Making memories makes life worthwhile, and capturing these memories in photos makes it easy to replay them in your mind over and over again. There’s no denying that photos hold a special place in a person’s life, and even in this day and age when technology and electronics reign supreme, developing photos is still a practice many of us happily partake in. 

As you might as well guess, I’m one of these people. Even after all the developments of phone cameras, I love to snap shots with the regular camera I got as a newbie photographer. After assessing them, I select photos periodically to have them developed. This includes photos from our daily lives as a family, photos from holidays and festivities with extended family and friends, and photos of landscapes and items that amaze me. 

Part of the nostalgic charm lies in framing them, so frames are as important today as they once were when everyone had a camera in their hands. Of course, the result of the framing depends on a few factors, one of which is the suitable frame. How do I find the right frame for a picture? Some factors come into play. 

The Picture Frame in Measurements

kid measuring picture frames
source: frameiteasy.com

Getting acquainted with the available options of frame sizes is advisable, especially when you have several common options in the market. In Australia in particular, there are more common options for photographs and artworks than others. For photographs, you have the sizeable 40 x 30 picture frame (12 x 16 inches), followed by 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 inches), 13 x 18 cm (5 x 7 inches), and 10 x 15 cm (4 x 6 inches). 

In terms of artwork, you’ve got the A4 (21 x 30 cm), A3 (30 x 42 cm), and A2 (42 x 59 cm), whereas A1 (59 x 84 cm) is perfect for posters and prints like panoramic and landscape types. If you don’t mind covering a bigger part of a wall with some of your memorable photos, you can mix it up and select the artwork sizes for family portraits too. 

I also love using the smaller photograph options, like the 40 x 30 frames, for artwork when filling up some space with a little pop of colour. Whether it’s a smaller wall space available, a work desk, a bookshelf or a bookcase you like to spruce up, any of these frames would do for colourful prints. Keep in mind this is also where you ought to consider the size of the picture, print or poster you intend to frame, as there’s an additional aspect worthy of your attention: the Passepartout. 

The Picture Frame Passepartout

While there are people who want to showcase only the photographs and artworks, there are also those of us who like to add extra detail with this layer, which is what’s called Passepartout. In case you opt for it, as I do, then be sure to do a calculation with the frame size and that of the photo or artwork you plan on adding. 

There should be enough space so the photo and Passepartout can both be visible. So, if you plan on using a 40 x 30 picture frame, the photo should be somewhat bigger, leaving a bit of room for the layer to peek as well. To make sure the coverage is adequate, this layer (i.e. passepartout cutout) should be about 5 mm smaller than the image. 

Then again, how big you want it to be is a matter of personal taste too, so be sure to do some calculations regarding the frame and image size for the ideal result. With a 40 x 30 cm frame, there are placement options such as central (where the image is at the centre), optical central (with the lower passepartout border being wider), and golden section (with the lower border being much larger). 

Do be aware there are different shapes you can find this layer in too, if you’re up for creating something distinct. How does a decorated or heart-shaped form sound? You may consider it unnecessary, but it does serve its purpose if we think about some of the benefits it provides. 

The frame plus cutout combination is successful in drawing more attention to the actual image that’s framed. It’s an element that also serves to add a sense of depth, as well as an additional layer of protection between the photo and the glass. Depending on the material you choose, it can very well protect images from deterioration with time, as it makes for the perfect in-between layer covering from humidity. 

The Picture Frame Design

different picture frames with details and teddy bear under them
source: zoomin.com

The detailing, the style, the colour, and the material are all essential factors here. While most of us tend to choose the framing (including the design and size) based on the space where we intend to add it, it’s best to do the choosing in general (i.e. photo style, photo size, personal taste) as you may not know whether you’d get to use it in a new home or not. And if you do, the move could render the design and size irrelevant. 

A modern-day photo calls for a more modern frame, whereas an older photo allows you to get a more ornate vintage frame. Those who choose to use the cover detail between the photo and frame should consider mixing or matching the colour with the framing for a creative outcome. For a coherent result, be sure to also consider the main colours in your image when selecting the colour combination with the frame and Passepartout.