The Art Of Mounting And Framing Photos

The Art Of Mounting And Framing Photos

Mounting is simply described as a process that involves the use of adhesive in fixing photos to a material, referred to as a substrate. Not only will mounting help spectacularly display your photo, but it will also help protect it from acidic conditions on the wall and in the air.

Framing, on the other hand, is the process of enclosing a picture in a specialized case. Not only do frames connect the picture to the wall they are displayed, but they also complete the internal decoration. Both mounting and framing add value to the picture they are used for.

A great picture deserves to be well displayed. To create a prominent display, mounting and frames are tools you can use. There are different techniques you can use for mounting and framing. However, you should know the reason and techniques for mounting and framing before going into it.

Why you should mount and frame your photos

When a well-designed mount, frame, and mat are combined for displaying a photo, the piece that is formed is separated from the surrounding and gets additional visual weight.

Even though you can get your photos mounted professionally, it is also a good idea to do it yourself. Being able to customize your photo mount gives you the freedom to create a special design that suits your taste. You can explore your creatives ideas by trying different frame types.

It is an inspiration to see a well-designed presentation of a photo using a combination of mounts and frames.

Mounting techniques

The materials and methods you use for mounting photos will depend on factors like available materials and tools, characteristics of the photo, cost, and convenience.

However, conserving your photo is the primary consideration when mounting. The techniques used are to ensure that the photo does not get damaged and that it is preserved for a long time. To explore more on the subject, here are techniques that you may choose when mounting:

Dry mounting

Dry mounting

Dry mounting is a rare technique that is designed to be used with water-sensitive artwork, posters, and photos. It affixes the photo to a semi-rigid or rigid backing.

Pros: It has the advantage of being able to remove creases and tiny wrinkles from the photo.

Cons: Dry mounting is irreversible.

Wet mounting

Wet mounting requires the application of paste or wet glue on the mount board. It is a non-archival technique, and the glue must not get to the photo.

Pros: This technique is inexpensive, and no matting board or special equipment is required.

Cons: It is also a non-archival technique.

Conservation mounting

This is one mounting technique that makes use of an acid-free mount board. Acid-free tapes or hinges may also be used so that acid does not get to the piece.

Pros: It can be used for various works, and it offers protection to the piece for an extended period.

Cons: The process of completing the mounting takes time.

Float mounting

This technique is quite easy to do. When used, it makes the image appear to be hung over the mat.

Pros: It is good for worn documents, textured paper, or older photos. The photo can also be removed if there is a need to change the mounting.

Cons: Just like the conservation technique, the process of completing the mounting takes time.

Pressure-sensitive (adhesive) mounting

This technique is quite similar to the nature of dry mounting. No heating or special equipment is needed so that the photo does not get damaged.

Pros: It is affordable and easy for beginners. The mounting system can also be cut to fit the size of the photo.

Cons: The adhesive used is not very strong, so it is for temporary mounting.

Spray adhesive mounting

Spray adhesive mounting

This technique is a cleaner alternative to wet mounting. As the name implies, it is accomplished just by spraying the adhesive onto the photo.

Pros: Minimizes waste, and the amount of spray you use is minimized.

Cons: Once the photo is in place, repositioning it can be difficult.

Framing Styles

Once the picture is mounted, it can then be placed in a portfolio and hung with a frame. There are different framing styles from which you can choose. They are the matted frame, matless frame, and float-mounted frame.

Matted framing

Matted framing is the most common framing style for photos. The hinge corners, front and back mats ensure that the photo is flattened. The front mat also makes sure that the photo does not touch the glass. Transferring a matted piece in and out of a frame is easy.

Matless framing

Despite the many advantages of matting, many contemporary photographers still choose not to mat their photos. Some don’t because many archival materials are expensive.

Many matless photos can be framed with or without borders. Borders can be made by the backboard. When framed without borders, the emphasis shifts to the image rather than the frame.

Float-mounted frame

Framing with a float mount is the best option when you want to emphasize the shape, texture, curl, and edges of the photo. With a float-mounted frame, the photo is in between the glass and the backing, hanging on its own.

Modern frame options

When your photos are mounted properly, the old frames can easily be traded for new ones. That is, the frames can be updated to match with the new decorations. The type of frame used plays a huge part in how the finished piece looks. Therefore, you should take note of the material and style of the frame.

Wood frames

With a wood frame, you get a variety of options which includes intricately textured borders and a clean and modern line. A wooden frame is a classic.

Metal frames

A metal frame offers a modern and minimalistic look. Metal frames provide a sharp and clean look for the piece.

Canvas floater frames

These frames are three-dimensional, attracting focus to the piece and giving it a touch of visual appeal.


Mounting and framing can be used to perfectly complement your photos. You have more control and freedom over how your photo is displayed when you learn its basics. Understanding the process will help you display your work in eye-catching ways.

Leave a Reply