When framing portrait or wedding shots, or indeed any photos that have been commissioned, you must take a few things into consideration with your framing.
Firstly, in the most part you are framing for the customer, not yourself. Be sure to take their tastes and preferences into account when choosing frames. However, if you have a studio set up, the customer most probably saw examples of your work and framing taste. Since they are still getting their pictures done with you, they must have liked what they saw, and therefore trust your aesthetic judgment. This means you should feel comfortable with choosing frames that they will like. Though may want to check it over with them, if you get the sudden craving for a bright red frame and purple mat.
Secondly, unless you specialise in weddings, your clients will hopefully returning for multiple sessions. This means they may want their framing from their first child to match the framing around their fourth. This not only means trying to source the same frame, it means trying to adapt a shoot, so the finished photo will suit the frame it will be inhabiting. Also, as frames morph and die out over time, you should keep in fair contact with your framer so as not to be caught out if a frame is suddenly discontinued. There are several ways you can compromise if this happens. Though it is good to be informed from the start.
Lastly, the cost of framing can greatly increase the price of a portrait session. Although your pricing may reap greater profits on more expensive framing options, customers will feel uncomfortable and may not return if they feel they have been pressured into something more expensive than they needed. This does not always apply, as some people only feel something is important if they are paying through the nose for it. Depending on your pricing structure, what is included in a package, and what is paid for on top, you should find that matching the picture and the client yields favorable results.
Framing for buyers of art is a different kettle of fish from framing for predestined clients. For instance, the photo itself is far more important than its combination with the frame as a piece of decoration. This means the framing is often approached differently creating a more minimal in many cases practical frame.
Another consideration of artistic framing is the nature of presentation. In essence this means your photo doesn’t have to be perfectly flat or even square within the frame. If you have printed onto a heavy paper that has gone out of shape when it dried, it can be successfully exhibited as is, without the framer flattening it out. Many artists will work with this natural warping to create pieces that are a step out of mainstream photography, and still have sell out shows.
Probably the biggest archival factor in framing photos, is not the quality of the mat or acid content of the backing. The biggest problem is the glass touching the photographic surface. When this happens over an extended period of time, the photo will form a bond with the glass and become almost impossible to remove. This is a problem for two reasons.
Firstly, where the two are touching, a wet looking mark will appear, that has a glossier finish than the rest of the photo.
Also, if the glazing breaks the photo will be permanently bonded to different sheets of glass, and most probably ruined.
To get around this problem a standard mat can be used. However, if the photo is large, buckled or can’t be stuck down, something thicker may need to be used. In most cases a boxing spacer will give sufficient room.
Other standard conservational issues include, how the picture is hinged in, stuck down, the archival qualities of all materials and where and how the picture is hung.
Even photographers that have been dealing with photos for decades have been seen mistreating and kinking their works. Use 2 hands when handling them, & you should have a lot less trouble.
Wet wet wet.
Unless you stick your photos down or exhibit them in an environmentally controlled environment, photos will warp & buckle in damp weather. This isn't usually the fault of the framer, although they can fix it if you so desire.
The pictures.Having a show room with a few pictures framed up can increase the possibility of sales not only in more photos, but the value added process of framing. Get a few corner samples off your framer, and you should see an increase in business.