This isn't really a traditional how-to for framing. It's more about ideas than step-by-step instructions. A photographer friend of mine put forth that a work of art is not completed until it is actually presented. This doesn't mean pulling a print out of a drawer to show a friend, it means being placed in a portfolio, shown on a screen, or mounted or framed. He theorized that if your prints just sit in a shoe box or on your hard drive, it is hard to develop past the point that you were at when you made that print. By not displaying it, you learn very little from it. After thinking about it a while, I agree with him; so here's why I think that framing our work can actually help us grow as artists. There are three major things we can do to help ourselves improve. One is to look at a lot of other photographers works; two is to shoot a lot of our own work; and three is to scrutinize that work we ourselves do. Number one is fairly easy to do by visiting the library or browsing the bookstore. Number two just takes an effort to get out and shoot. Number three can be somewhat difficult if our images are sitting out of sight. Sure, we look at them while we work on them, and we may occasionally sit down with them to see if we can figure out how to make them better, but that doesn't compare to having them on the wall where we can see them every day. Even if we don't look at them directly, our subconscious still sees them. Just by having them around our brain is aware of them. At some level they are there, and it makes it easier to just stop and look at them a moment. There is another interesting factor at work. Framing a picture gives you as a photographer a sense of completeness. If a photo sits in a drawer, in a way it's like it was never taken. We often find ourselves taking the same kinds of pictures over because none of them ever become complete. By framing the image and putting it up for the world to see (even if it's just the small world of your appartment), then you are giving yourself permission to move on and try the next step. Another interesting thing that can happen is finding that those "neato" pictures that grabbed your attention when you first took them don't hold up so well after hanging for a while. If they are in the drawer, they look "neato" every time you pull them out and you may want more; but if they are always on the wall, you will be a lot less tempted to make another one. You'll want to try something different; something that will hold your attention. I would suggest buying a few nice frames and mattes to put some prints in and hang them up. Go ahead and splurge a little. You want them to look nice. When you get the money to do so, buy some more. Use the space on the wall you have available to you, whether it's a single bedroom in your parent's home, or your entire house if you own one. I would also suggest going with a basic black frame with a white matte. This will look classy and will work with every print you make. The goal is to have enough frames to get at least a sampling of your work on the wall. You can split the frames into two groups: one that has the image stay in the frame for as long as you like looking at it, and one where you replace the image once you take a better one. Try and resist the urge to touch that first group, even if the print you are pulling out of a frame in the second group is better. As long as the image is pleasing, let it stay put. This will keep you from cycling prints out of every frame every week if you shoot a lot. BTW, posting image to your website helps, but it really isn't the same thing as getting it framed. I have a matte cutter and will often cut my own mattes and foamcore, but I have the frames and glass cut for me at a shop. A great place to order frames online is American Frame. They are the cheapest I've found yet, including local shops. If you like to print mostly full-frame and print yourself, get a matte size that will work for a 6"x9" image. The frame itself would be 10"x13". You could go with 4x6 prints, but that's what you get from the supermarket. It's not really what people think of as a frameable print. It's important to impress yourself here. I say 6x9 because you can still print full-frame with an 8.5x11 printer, and you don't want you frame and matte to determine you print size. It should be the other way around. You could get 11x14 frames with mattes cut for 8x10 images, but unless you shoot 4x5 negatives, that's the wrong WxH ratio and you would have to crop, even if the image doesn't call for it. Plus, in an 11x14 frame, the sides of the matte won't have the same spacing as the top and bottom. You can get pre-cut mattes like this, but it doesn't look professional. Another benefit of going with 6x9 is that you can afford more frames than you could with 8x12's. If you have the cash, go for it. But I figure most people here won't want to sink that kind of money into this. Here's what you are looking at for a Nielson (top brand!) frame for a 6x9 print. Artwork Size: 5-7/8W x 8-7/8""H Extended Size: 12-7/8"W x 9-7/8"H (plus mat border) Frame: (S 20) Standard, Black 20 Mat Board: (C3259) Custom Cut Paper Mat, Lily White: Rect/Square, Top: 2", Sides: 2", Bottom: 2" Plexi-glass: (PG) Standard, 3/32" Plexi-Glass Mounting Board: (FC) Standard, 1/8" Foam Board Total: $15.86 Pretty good, eh? That's cheaper than many of the crap pre-made things you find in the store, and this is a brand that museums and galleries use as a standard. The matte and backing aren't acid free, but if you are rotating prints that won't matter. If you have one that you plan on doing permanently, getting acid-free is a good idea. Same with UV plexiglass so that the image won't fade. The reason that the artwork size is 5-7/8W x 8-7/8""H rather than 6"x9" is that you need some overlap so that the print doesn't fall through or show white if it shifts slightly. Even if you only get two frames, put your two favorite images in them. Keep one in for a while and rotate the other when you think you've surpassed that one. You might find interesting things happening when you compare the two down the road. Heck, even if you are tight on money right now, ask for just one as a present. Just frame your best. It deserves it, no matter where you think you are or what others might think of it. It's a part of you and deserves this kind of respect. If you don't respect your own work, no one else will be able to either.