How can I pick a plain picture frame that will never go out of production?
April 13, 2008 9:49 AM   Subscribe

How can I pick a plain picture frame that will never go out of production?

I'm in the process of taking pictures of every baseball stadium in the country. This will be a several year, if not decade, undertaking. I'm printing them all out, black and white, in 8x10 size and hanging them on my wall in frames with white matting and a plain black frame.

I started with just two pictures, and when I took two more and was ready to have 4 up, the frame I had selected was no longer being made. I bought 6 at the time and put 4 up, so I have 2 more for my next two stadiums (both of which will happen in the next month).

How best to go about doing this long term, so that I dont have to keep replacing my older frames? I'm currently paying about $10 per frame, and I'd like to avoid paying more than $20. This is an absurdly plain black frame with white matting, I don't want something high end, and I worry that I'll spend more than I want at a custom frame shop. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that.

In a perfectly ideal world, I'd love to find a set of frames, so I don't have to stick with 8x10 all the time, and I could do some panoramic shots or some larger sizes for stadiums more important to me (like my team's home stadium). However, thats not strictly necessary

posted by jeffderek to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Do you know how many stadiums you're taking photos of? Or at least a round number? If so, why not make a one-time bulk purchase, and pull out some frames every time you need them?

Or, if you're planning to mix up the sizes, you could do frames in batches (six 8x10s here, eight 5x7s there) without worrying about the matching between sets. So long as you hang them all mixed together (rather than the six 8x10s and then the eight 5x7s and so on) I doubt it would look strange to have the different kinds of frame, and might even enhance the display with a little variety.

If you are truly set on matching frames, but don't have the ability to buy bulk, I'd go talk to an art supply store (which tend to keep these kind of basic black inexpensive frames in stock) and ask which styles they've had in stock for years, and then investigate with the company that makes those frames to see how long they anticipate keeping them in production.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:58 AM on April 13, 2008

On preview: ocherdraco already asked how many stadiums, and suggested buying in bulk, but here's the other thing I was going to say: Have you considered making the frames yourself? That might be make for more reliable future-proofing.
posted by box at 10:16 AM on April 13, 2008

Try Ikea, Michaels, or Aaron Bros. Art Mart for a generic black frame. The styles might not be identical over time, but with black frames that are close enough, very few people will even notice the frame if your photos are compelling enough.
posted by dws at 10:20 AM on April 13, 2008

These IKEA frames have been around for AGES (I used to paint them when I was 10). They're plain, they're cheap, they come in many different sizes (although the site lists them in cm, I'm sure it would be easy enough to transfer... My photos have always fit in them), and you can stain them or paint them in any colours you want.
posted by Planet F at 10:21 AM on April 13, 2008

You could go to a local framing shop to get the frames custom-made (and if they go out of business before you're done, another shop should be able to look at what you've got and carry on).
posted by winston at 11:53 AM on April 13, 2008

Dick Blick Art Materials carries a range of frames and frame pieces. Assuming that you would like glass with the frame, the Nielsen Bainbridge Studio Metal Frame might work for you. It includes a window mat and mountboard. D.B. offers bulk discounts, too. For an inexpensive frame with no glass or boards, they offer Blick Studio Metal Frames.

I'm not affiliated with the company; however, I've ordered art supplies and frame sections from D.B. for years. I've always been very pleased with the products and service.

That said, I've been exhibiting my photography locally in some el cheapo metal poster frames I bought from a local Hobby Lobby store during one of their frequent 1/2 price framing sales. I wouldn't dream of shipping them anywhere because the glass is heavy and almost guaranteed to break. Their online sales are handled through Crafts, Etc! My 8x10's and 11x14's are always mounted on 16x20 mats. Here is the specific frame: link.
posted by bonobo at 12:10 PM on April 13, 2008

Another thing I forgot to mention: consider putting your work behind Plexiglass. It's light, strong, inexpensive and can be found in non-glare & UV-resistant varieties.
posted by bonobo at 12:21 PM on April 13, 2008

« Older What's the best guide to Queens?   |   Where to find images of Andrew Jackson? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.