What size frame for 20x30" print?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by rpm_photo, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Hi everybody!
    I'm new to framing. I've gotten my first inquiry from a friend who wants to have one of my photos printed. I'd like to have the photo printed for him at a 2:3 aspect ratio at 20x30. What would be a good size matting? Also what about the frame size? I'm super stoked about this since it's my first purchased print. :)
    Here's the photo I'm having printed.

  2. Wow...that's nice.
    I generally try to evaluate the print and start by imagining how it would look unmatted in a 20X30 frame. Most framers will let you try one of the standard available sizes such as 20X30 or 24X36.
    From there onwards try maybe a 24X36 frame with basic matt board in black, medium gray and bright white...see what your eyes say about it. Allow for any color effects of the lighting under which it will be viewed any full or partial exposure to sunlight.
    Are you having it commercially printed? Is it a transparency or digital file? Who will be doing the printing?
    All these factors will come into play and also the level of permanence that you want in the finished product.
    Something like this photo might well be done as an Ilfochrome backlit display transparency if you really want a WOW factor.
  3. Any way you look at it, framing a print this size is going to be big, heavy and expensive. You might want to consider a canvas wrap or something like Mpix's Standout .
  4. Definitely thinking Mpix - double weight matboard mounted, metallic paper, possible lustre coating.
    Tom - Thanks for the compliment! This is a digital file, taken with a 5Dmk2, so printing large shouldnt be a problem. Transparency sounds incredible, but I think the client desires more of the standard print, mat/mount, and framed.
  5. I like the mat to be the same size all the way around, say at least 3" on a print this large, making the final mat size 26" x 36".
  6. Use a window mat with a 3 to 4 inch border all the way around.
  7. Congrats on the sale Ryan...... great image.
    The above info is all good, but may I add my preference for a matt finish to the image. For me, it works better under glass.
    Good luck
  8. Make sure that the buyer wants to buy the print mounted and framed. He might want to do the framing himself given the size of the print and the high cost of framing a print that size. I would really try to just sell him the print or a matted unframed print.
  9. stp


    Photography is fun, and matting and framing can add to that fun. I do my own mats (double-matted black with a spacer between) and order frames online from American Frame. I can framing for about 1/4 to 1/3 of a regular frame shop, and they look just as good. To save weight on something this large, consider acrylic instead of glass (much lighter, although it's susceptible to scratches).
  10. Ryan, i would also blow this up to the size you want it printed at, in photoshop, to check the details and look for any imperfections you may not have noticed in the small version. I have been suprised a couple of times by specks of dirt or dust that I hadn't noticed in the small version. Consider it a quality check of sorts. I get matting and dry mounting at my local fram shop and then order the frames myself. Saves on overhead and keeps your costs down. One thing that I have noticed is people dont want to spend too much money of photographs. Selling one is great, selling 10 is the key to long term success. - Sean
  11. Ray House

    Ray House Ray House

    Beautiful shot Ryan, Here is a matte that is 4 inches on all sides.
  12. Thanks Ray - That actually helps give some perspective of the size of the mat. Looks like with an image printed that large, as most of you suggested, a larger mat is necessary.
    @ Sean - Thanks for the tips - actually, first thing I did in ACR was blow it up large and clone out the dust. Appearantly my sensor REALLY needs a clean :).
    @ John - I was originally going to sell unframed, but the customer actually preferred it framed to my taste, and I did explain the additional cost for framing, etc.
    Thanks again to everybody for the tips so far!
  13. Btw - what would you suggest? White or Black mat. I know that white makes the image look larger and fuller, and black contains. I know white also seems more standard. I'm leaning towards white, but would like to hear some other opinions.
  14. I woold go with a 26x 36 inch frame and matt it. Ithink a medium gray would be choice It would bring out the blues and grays and would go with any color wall Good luck GARY
  15. Ray House

    Ray House Ray House

    Ryan, print out a 4"x6" and make a couple of "L" shaped cards using black, white and gray and you can see what your print will look like by using them to crop. Or, if you have Photoshop you can put a border around the image as I did.
  16. Traditionally, slightly more matt space is given to the bottom of the image- say 3 x 3 x 3 x 3.5 on the bottom side. This gives the image something to rest on and actually looks more "stable" than equal matting all the way around. It's not much, but it does make a difference.

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