When investing in a family portrait photography, or framing one of your own images, there are a few options to consider. So we have put this guide together to help you get the perfect picture frames for your family photographs.

Bespoke Framing vs Off-The-Shelf Frames

These days there are so many shops offering pre-made, or off-the-shelf picture frames. Ikea, Next, B&Q, and The Range are just a few that spring to mind. Plus of course there are hundreds of companies online from where you can purchase frames.

On the other hand you can go to a bespoke framing company, or even use a photographer such as ourselves to frame up your images. This option will undoubtedly be more expensive than an ‘off-the-shelf’ frame. So why is there such a difference in the price, and is it worth the extra investment to go bespoke.

Variety of Frame Styles

One of the first things to think about is the style of framing you would like. This is also the first point of difference between bespoke framing and off-the-shelf. A shop will only stock a few styles of picture frame to choose from. A high street picture framing company, like us, has a lot more choice. We tend to keep this variety as small ‘chevrons’ for our clients to look through and discuss with the client.

Complete Flexibility of Shape and Size

Another factor to consider is what crop best suits your chosen image. Plus you should get the right size for your wall space. If you choose to have a professional portrait session with us, for example, we would crop to suit the time. This might be square, panoramic, or anything in-between. Using our professional design software we can also import a photograph of your wall so we can go through all the crops and sizes for your home.

While shop-bought frames are a much cheaper option, they usually only come in a small range of standard sizes. These means you will need to compromise the best shape of the image to fit it into the standard size.

Build Quality

In my experience an off-the-shelf frame is not often built to high standard. The corners sometimes don’t join properly and the frames are really thin and weak. Also instead of using glass they use cheaper grades that can distort the image in the wrong light. There’s no doubting that an off-the-shelf frame is the cheapest way to hang your images on the wall. But we only recommend this if you maybe want to swap and change your images regularly.

In contrast the build quality of a professional hand crafted picture frame is second to none. They would reject a frame if there are any scratches. Frame woods are thicker and of better quality. Glass is preferred over plastic. Mount boards are acid-free. The images are mounted on thick adhesive board to stop them rippling over time. Finally the frame is firmly secured and taped at the back to protect it from dust and insects.

Built to Last Forever

As a result of all the additional steps taken in build quality, there’s no denying the fact that a proper bespoke frame made by a professional framing company will protect your precious images for many more years than a shop-bought frame. This is even more important if you’ve invested time and money into a professional family portrait from a photography studio like us. We produce images to be treasured in a family for generations. So we only use the finest quality bespoke frames to ensure that our portraits will last forever.

Need help with your framing?

Hopefully you’ve found our guide to bespoke picture frames useful. Do you want to book a professional portrait session with us. Or if you already have an image and you want it properly framing? Then feel free to get in touch and we will be happy to discuss your requirements. We can then give you an exact price for a bespoke frame solution.

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Would recommend Chrysalis Photography to anyone. Friendly and thoughtful, what could have been a disaster with a 2yr old turned out to be fun and the end result is fab 5 stars from us.

Hannah Nettleship

Chrysalis Photography

The Stable Courtyard,

Renishaw Hall,

Sheffield, Derbyshire

S21 3WB