Metal Frames and Mats

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Hilary_Casey, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Hilary_Casey

    Hilary_Casey TPF Noob!

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    Looking for a good on-line source for metal frames and matting.
    Local coffee house owner and roaster has offered me a one man show. I need a good source for metal frames and matting. Something very nice but which will not break the bank. All suggestions will be appreciated.
    Hilary
     
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When I started in photography about 3 years ago, I began taking everything to a custom frame shop and quickly learned that was not the way to go as it was cost prohibitive. The frames that I had picked out at the frame shop were simple metal frames which I later learned were referred to as Nielson frames.

    I later found the very same frame that the custom shop used at Michael's, a local hobby shop, and they are just simple metal frames, but look nice. As I got more into it, I found a website that really beats the price of any local shop I could find if you buy in bulk.

    Check out Americanframe.com
    Metal Frames
    The standard S21 is what I typically use in a black matte finish. They do matting as well, but I found I've never had them do that. Once I got into doing my own framing, I bought a fletcher mat cutter and buy my mattes in bulk at Hobby Lobby for about $5 for a 32x40" sheet. I also buy my glass in bulk from Hobby Lobby and cut it myself. Using american frame and hobby lobby, I can frame things for pennies on the dollar.
     
  3. Hilary_Casey

    Hilary_Casey TPF Noob!

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    Johnboy,
    I only do B/W portraiture and print nothing smaller than 11x14. It is a personal preference, I know, but I don't consider anything smaller than 11x14 to be a portrait.
    Prices they quote seem reasonable. How is their quality?
    When in Art School, I cut my own mats, but I find that I don't have the time to do so now.
    My studio is a 1 man operation and I can't fit cutting my own mats into my workflow.
    Will they send out a sample if I request one.?
    Thanks again for your response.
    Hilary
     
  4. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know about getting samples. It won't cost you anything to ask. I've been pleased with their service. They ship out quickly and I usually get it withing 2-3 days of ordering. I like the fact that they will custom cut to 1/16th of an inch at no extra charge. Again, I typically just buy the standard s21 frame b/c it matches what I started with from the custom framer and it gives continuity to the look of the room rather than having 10 different prints w/ 10 different frames. It allows you to focus on the print instead of the frame.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Funny, anything that I take a picture of with the camera oriented 90 degrees and even my printer calls it "portrait"... lol

    The size or colour (or lack of) has nothing to do with a portrait, it is the orientation of the sensor (or film) and subject matter (portraits are pictures of people, traditionally) that define something as portrait or, if you will, landscape. I have a few 4 X 6 "portraits" printed out in my portfolio, and no professional ever said that they weren't portraiture.
     
  6. Hilary_Casey

    Hilary_Casey TPF Noob!

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    Johnboy,
    I see you too follow the "KISS" principal. Keep it simple. Once I decide on a frame, the only thing that will change is the size of the frame. Being a 1 man shop, I have to keep it simple. The frame you suggested looks simple but very nice.
    I will have to call them ans see if they would indeed send out a sample.
    Thanks,
    Hilary
     
  7. Hilary_Casey

    Hilary_Casey TPF Noob!

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    Jerry, I see where you are coming from. I'm not saying that a 5x7 or 8x10 are not portraits. They are fine if you are just going to put them on a desk or end table, but for wall mounting a portrait for me any way has to be 11x14 or larger. As I said personal preference.
    Hilary
     
  8. Hilary_Casey

    Hilary_Casey TPF Noob!

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    Johnboy,
    How does this sound to set up frame package as follows:
    acrylic not glass, frame, matted print, 1/8" white foam core to close it up.
    Hilary
     
  9. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, I've never really cared for the ornate frames. The image should stand on it's own without the frame to attract attention, so I KISS it a lot. :)

    I've never really been a fan of the acrylic plexiglass, but that is personal preference. I usually go w/ 1/4" foam core, but that too is personal preference. 1/8th should be fine. When you order just a frame, it comes w/ the flexible metal strips to make sure everything is snug and there is no rattle to it. The S21 frames are just simple metal frames which are mitre cut on a 45 degree and it comes w/ metal 90 degree brackets that screw into the back in a joint to keep everything nice and square. They do have more elaborate frames and some really nice wooden ones as well, but it sounds like you were going for simple but stately as well. Order a couple and see what you think. They are a relatively inexpensive venture. Heck, they may even accomdate the sample you wanted.
     
  10. Kinz

    Kinz TPF Noob!

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    Frame Destination. Good company nice people and good prices. Go here .
     
  11. Kinz

    Kinz TPF Noob!

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    I just went to American Frame and got a quote for the same frames that I use and buy from Frame Destination. 15 frames from FD is $279., assembled, with hardware. From American Frame it was $409. not assembled, no hardware, and using 6 ply mat instead of 8 ply. I think I'll stick with Frame Destination.
     
  12. LuckySo-n-So

    LuckySo-n-So TPF Noob!

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    Damn. I feel like a cheapskate. I use the custom framing provided by the experts at Wal M. Art :lol:. Perhaps you've heard of them? Wood 11 X 14 frame for $5 and an 8 X 10 matte for a couple bucks more. Of course, all my stuff goes out free, so let them bastidges buy a better frame if they want it! :lol:

    Actually, I have a custome frame shop I go to for "serious" stuff. I can get out of there with a nice frame and matte job for about $25-$30, up to about 16 X 20.
     

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