Framed & Unframed Prints
Many of our clients frame their favorite images and display them in their home. We can have your images professionally matted and framed and shipped directly to you. As with photo books, you’ll be able to preview your framed images before ordering.
There are six basic options for printing:
- Paper (Unframed): There are two paper types available: Kodak Endura Glossy and Kodak Endura Metallic. The latter provides more vibrant colors and sharper detail.
- Paper (Framed): There are a variety of framing options available from the lab or you may choose to frame a print yourself.
- Standouts: Standouts are paper prints mounted onto a lightweight backing available in two thicknesses, a ¾ inch or a 1½ inch backing, allowing them to “stand out” from the wall when hung.
- Metallic Prints: Your image is printed on aluminum then coated in a high gloss finish. These prints have vibrant colors and sharper detail, last much longer than paper prints and are scratch-resistant and stain-resistant. The metallic prints include a wall float backing to make them ready to hang.
- Canvas Prints: Images are printed directly onto canvas and protected by a UV coating to shield from scratches or light damage. The prints are stretched onto a wood frame and are ready to hang.
- Fine Art Giclée Prints: Giclée is a process that uses a special 12-color ink jet printer, acid-free papers, and pigment-based archival inks. These prints are designed for longevity, estimated at 100 years. Giclée is the process that many artists use to produce high-quality prints from their paintings. Fine art giclée prints are backed with single-weight mat boards, foam core boards, or styrene mounting boards.
The best size for your print depends on many factors, including where it will be hung in the home and the distance from which it will typically be viewed (see the chart below). For an image that will be viewed up close (1 foot or so) the maximum recommended size would be 16” x 24”. Generally the maximum size we recommend is 24″ x 36″ which provides for a sharp image when viewed from as close as 2 feet. Note that the sizes in the table below reflect the ratio of width to length of 1 to 1.5 that we usually shoot. If cropped differently, other sizes are available. Please also note that virtually all images are cropped somewhat and therefore will lose some of their resolution, so that could potentially increase the minimum viewing distance.
Choosing a Paper Finish
The three most common paper finishes are:
A glossy finish provides the best dynamic contrast and the most vibrant colors. Images appear crisp and sharp and is best for showing fine detail. A glossy finish is a highly-coated, smooth paper which with a shiny appearance. It therefore can reflect light and create glare depending on the light angle and intensity. A glossy finish is more susceptible to fingerprints and skin oils and can scratch easily. A glossy finish is not ideal for framing as it adds an additional reflective layer that can cause glare, making it difficult to view at certain angles.
Luster (also referred to as semi-glossy or pearl) is considered a finish that lies between glossy and matte finishes. Luster prints are slightly glossy, which helps enhance the image’s color and details, but also feature a very fine texture to help reduce problems associated with glare and fingerprints found on images with a purely glossy finish. Luster finish is common in wedding photography as its pearly texture softens the photos while reducing light reflection and glare. It does not offer the same level of vibrancy and detail/crispness as a glossy finish, these qualities are still quite high. This finish is also more fingerprint-resistant and more suitable for framing.
A matte finish is designed to be completely shine-free and smooth with a, textured surface that allows for little to no reflection of light on the image. The matte finish is favored by many artists because its dullness can evoke certain moods with an artistic effect. At the same time, however, this finish can make images look dull, less rich and less vibrant. With matte there is virtually no glare, fingerprints do not show and the surface is relatively scratch-resistant.
Other finishes include:
Increasingly popular, a metallic finish has a very high gloss, helping to intensify colors and providing a vibrancy that allows the image to “pop.” Images printed with a metallic finish almost appear printed on a sheet of metal (not to be confused with metal prints which are, actually, printed on metal.)
Like a luster finish, images printed on silk paper lie between matte and glossy finishes. Silk paper is common in illustrated books. It has a subtle sheen that is not glossy. Silk paper is so-named for the sheen that, to some, resembles the look of silk. The paper is delicate and soft with some texture, delivering a somewhat vintage and cultured feel. However it color vibrancy and dynamic range are well below glossy- and luster-finish papers.
An award-winning boutique fine art photography studio with locations in Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, DC
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