Having portraits taken can be an expensive venture. Professional framing helps protect your family photos and brings out the best in your portraits. Whether you’ve had a formal sitting with your photographer, or have blown up a casual shot that captured a unique moment for your family, having your images matted and framed turns a simple picture into a piece of art that complements your decor.

Professional framing experts will discuss what you want to get out of your finished project. Keep in mind that they have extensive experience choosing the right mat and frame for various projects and will be able to suggest color combinations and mat choices that will enhance your portrait. Professional framing entails choosing the right sized frame and mat, colors that help draw the eye to the main focal point-the image-and a frame style that complements your portrait.

It may be tempting to choose an elaborate frame, or to select colors that match your decor. While an elegant frame may be suitable for a formal portrait, consider a variety of choices before settling on a particular style. Your professional framing artist will be able to help you choose a total package, which includes a mat and frame that work together to bring out the uniqueness of your piece.

Professional framing artists will be able to point out the advantages of particular colors and materials. For portraits, lighter colors are an excellent choice for matting. While it may be tempting to choose bold, dramatic colors, a more neutral color like cream, light gray, or beige is a better choice for the main part of the mat. If you choose a double mat for your portrait, it’s possible to add a brighter accent color. When choosing colors, remember that the purpose is to enhance the photograph. The mat and frame should come together to work with the portrait and draw the eye into the composition, rather than jumping out or distracting from the image. A pale, neutral background with a thin line of a bolder color draws the eye inward, toward the center of the portrait. Conversely, if your portrait has a very dark background, a darker outer mat might be possible, with a light inner accent color to draw the eyes inward, toward the picture.

Look at your portrait and consider what is it that you love about the photo. Is it the way your son’s shirt brings out the blue in his eyes? The way the light highlights your daughter’s hair color? What draws your eye most? Consider the colors. A common mistake is to match the most prominent color in the portrait with the accent color. Instead, consider picking up a secondary color for the accent. Doing so will bring depth to the portrait without distracting from the composition. Professional framing rounds out the job by adding the final border of wood, plastic, or metal. The frame holds the portrait and mat together and brings the entire piece together. When you’ve spent the time and money on having a beautiful portrait taken, professional framing adds the finishing touch.

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