One question we’re always asked is: what’s the best way to display photographs?
With social media and digital technology becoming so prominent, printing seems to be a dying art. Taking a photograph is one thing, but the motive behind photography as a whole is to capture a memory, and surely the best way to do this justice is to keep a physical copy of the picture, either in an album or displayed on a wall, which you can show to people. This will keep the memory alive for you; a tangible piece of time you can hold onto forever.
The way in which you may wish to display your handy-work may be reflective of the occasion of the image, the location, or if it is intended as a gift, but whatever the reason, being able to hold it in your hands is something you shouldn’t take for granted. Gift packages are very popular with printing companies and are a brilliant way to cherish a memory as a keepsake or a very personal gift.
An obvious way of displaying photographs is to frame them. Photo frames can make or break the work depending on how you choose to display it. When considering a frame, you should consider the entire piece, how will your photo look with this frame? Frames could appear tacky, or ruin the colour scheme. Choosing a bespoke framing service for particularly large prints could make your photograph something truly special. When considering the context in which this work would be displayed, there are more factors to have in place. Who will be seeing this? Where are you displaying? One would frame their work very differently for their mantelpiece compared to a gallery show. Companies such as Picture Frames Express, Snappy Snaps, and Frame Frog offer online services to choose a frame that would directly suit your photographs, or visiting stores in person would be even more beneficial to be able to discuss options on what is right for you.
For amateurs and professionals alike, a brilliant way to present your photographs would be in a photo book. The approaches to this are endless.
Many companies offer online services to create your own book, quite easily, just by inputting your photographs and choosing the layout in which you want to present them. From here there are also options to choose a cover, which could also be a photograph, or could be a hard back option. Companies such as Jessops and Snappy Snaps also offer these services in store, which can make brilliant gifts.
Recommended create-your-own photobook websites: Snapfish, Blurb, VistaPrint.
Another option would be to actually create your own Photo Book. This becomes a very personal process and is very rewarding. There is definitely a distinct difference between a Photo Album and a Photo Book, as Photo Albums and Scrapbooks are typically printed photographs, stuck into a pre made book, with accompanying relevant annotations. A Photo Book would typically be printed directly onto the paper and a book formed from these pages.
Creating a Photo Book from scratch can be relatively easy. Printing from home, using a programme such as Abobe InDesign or Photoshop will allow you to create a book size, layout, and input your photographs in any way you choose, adapting the size and position. From here, the process can be moved onto a bookbinder, who will be able to finish your creation, similarly to online sites, choosing individual cover materials and even personal embossed lettering.
If you are super crafty, you could even try binding yourself, which would allow you to create this full piece yourself, which would make a very special gift, keepsake, or even to be sold. There are plenty of binding tutorials online which can help you along the way, with the simplest being a staple for a DIY approach, or sewing on a cover, with various methods of exposed stitching which add to the overall aesthetic. Craft stores such as Hobby Craft or book making stores will sell all relevant supplies for creating your own special books. Photo books also have a lot of archival value as they are usually kept closed unless being browsed through.
Jessops, Snappy Snaps, and Boots, to name a few, offer in store printing from SD cards, mobile devices and tablets, as well as developing film. There are various size options and gift printing options, for example creating a Snow globe or a mug. This creates a perfect gift idea.
Printing from a bespoke printers allows you to choose a service taylor made to you. This could be for your own personal work, for professional purposes, or as a gift. Wedding packages, for example, are a popular idea for this form of printing. Bespoke services such as The Print Space offer various paper types as well which will allow you to choose something that would display your photographs in the best possible way. Choosing the right type of paper will enhance the best features, bring out particular colours, or give a range of pristine finishes such as lustre, gloss, and matte. Many companies also offer poster printing, or fine art prints, such as printing onto canvas. Mounting and framing combined, this will give your photograph the best possible outcome, as a creation from your eye, to a work of art.
This National Photo Week, take new photographs, archive old photographs, choose something you feel deserves to be printed and displayed, or even a series for a book. Use #NationalPhotoWeek on Twitter and share your results!