Creating a Family Heirloom: Hand-Framed Photographs

Creating a Family Heirloom: Hand-Framed Photographs

My Hand-Framed Photographs Explained

I have already written an overview of my choice of photo products but here I wanted to focus on one specific product: my hand-framed photographs. These are my premium wall art products. While I offer archive quality wall canvases at a lower price and they can be set in an outer frame, it's my traditional, hand-framed photographs that I believe will become the family heirlooms of the future.


There is a lot of choice when choosing how you would like your framed photograph to look so I wanted to briefly go through some of the choices on offer for you to consider.


What Goes Into Making One Of My Framed Photographs?

There are several parts to my traditional framed photographs. Here's a quick summary of what goes into my framed photographs and how everything fits together. Note that not all frames are made like this - some framers may cut corners; more on this later.

Image shows the components of a photograph mounted in a frame
How my portrait photographs are framed © Paul Holland
Here's how my frames are made so that all those different layers fit together:
  1. You choose the photograph(s) you want to use.
  2. I design the photograph layout and spacing for you. I will discuss options with you first and then I will design the layout to give a balanced look that shows off your image(s) at their best.
  3. The photograph(s) you have chosen are adhered onto a back mount board. The board isn't visible when the frame is complete.
  4. The photograph and backboard are then set inside a frame mount which goes around the outer edge of your photograph and can be seen through the glass.
  5. After the glass has been cut and cleaned, the mount and photographic print on the backboard are then sealed to the glass to prevent dust from entering.
  6. The sealed unit is then placed inside the frame you chose. Your wooden frame will already have been cut and hand made to the size you wanted.
  7. A frame backboard protects the back and is pinned then sealed in place to give a neat appearance to the back of the frame.
  8. The final step is to add a cord hanger at the back of the frame so it is ready to hang on your wall.

Print Size and Frame Size

I recommend having a mount around your photograph. This doesn't need to increase the frame size unless you want to keep the photograph size the same. The important measurement is the frame dimensions which are measured inside the frame.

Image shows how different frame styles compare on size
The internal dimensions are the same despite each having a
different frame, mount and print size © Paul Holland


The frame dimensions are measured internally because this is the size the wooden frame moulding, the glass and the outside of the mount are being cut to. After that, the overall size on your wall will be down to the width and style of the frame you selected. If you are trying to match the size of a new frame to one you already have on the wall, let me know the outer overall size and I will work out the internal dimensions of your new frame so it closely matches in size.

Frame Style

I offer a range of solid wood frames in a choice of sizes, styles and colours. Although my frames are all solid wood, you can choose from a selection of wood, metallic, black, white, silver, gold or colour finishes to give an appearance that can range from ornate to traditional or contemporary.
I don't use cardboard, plastic or composite frames. They are cheaper but they don't last. All of my frames use genuine art glass too so there is no cloudiness, scratching or deterioration associated with cheaper frames that use an acrylic sheet instead.

The Photographic Print

Your photograph can be printed on a choice of paper types including fine art paper. The standard photographic paper shows vibrant colours and detail well and is the most popular. Your photograph is mounted to a back mount board which isn't visible in the frame. This is a step that some framers will omit doing to keep the cost lower, however it's important because it can prevent the photograph from rippling in the future. All my framed portrait photographs are mounted onto a back board first.

The Mount

The mount is the part that physically and visually separates the photograph from the frame. The mounts I offer are all high quality, designed so they won't damage your photograph over time. Using a mount means that the frame size will be larger than the size of the photograph on it's own. I can make the mount any width. If there are multiple photographs being displayed the mount is the part that will separate them from each other.

Image shows the same sized frame with different mount widths

 There is a big choice of mounts which can be made to any size © Paul Holland


The size and colour of the mount can have a big effect on the overall appearance. I have a wide selection of mount colours (jncluding several shades of white) to compliment the colours in the photograph and the colour of your frame. There are other options too such as having double or triple mounts (a narrower mount over the top of a wider mount so they are all visible) and grooves cut into the mount around the photograph.

The finished mount will have my signature on it, written discreetly underneath the photograph.


The completed frame is supplied in a protective presentation box. The frame is fitted with a cord hanger so it can be hung on the wall as soon as it's removed from the box. A nice touch here, too, are the soft felt pads that are fitted to protect your wall where the frame comes into contact with it.


It's a very high quality product that I selected not only because it looks good but to last too. Here are a few examples of my wedding and portrait photographs framed.


Black and white image of a couple in a black frame

Couple's portrait in a black frame with a black mount © Paul Holland

Bridal portrait in a large, dark brown frame
One of my bridal portraits in a large, curved, dark brown frame  © Paul Holland
Fine art image of a girl and her dog set in a large silver frame
A fine art portrait of a young girl and her dog © Paul Holland
An outdoor portrait of a horse and rider in a brown frame

Horse and rider equine portrait in a walnut frame © Paul Holland


Image shows a studio portrait of a woman set in a cream coloured frame

Individual Portrait set in a cream coloured frame © Paul Holland

A fine art portrait of a girl in a large grey frame

Fine art portrait in a large grey frame © Paul Holland

Outdoor family portrait in a light oak frame

Outdoor family portrait in a light oak frame © Paul Holland

Ballet portrait in a black frame

Ballet Portrait in a black frame with a triple mount © Paul Holland


As you can see, there is a large choice and the combination of a well-matched mount and frame can really enhance the photograph and help display it at it's best.

Do you have a favourite framed photo above? Let me know with a comment.


If you would like me to create your own family heirloom framed photograph, it all starts with a wedding or portrait photo shoot. Use the links above or see my full range of portrait photo shoots here. If you would like to know how much other people enjoyed their photo shoot, take a look at my customer testimonials.



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published