Picture Frames

Framing Photography - Vanilla Dream - 11x14 in a 16x20 Frame
Landscape Prints - Kettle Point #1

Kettle Point #1, 11×14 in a 16×20 frame from a local camera shop

There’s nothing quite like finding the perfect picture frame to really make your new print come to life. Whether you’re looking for a modern vibe, a classy look, or something totally unique, the frame you choose can take your artwork to the next level.

One of the first things you’re going to want to do once you receive your photograph is put it out on display.

Hippo Dip - Pink and Blue Abstract Art Print by Jennifer Squires

Hippo Dip in a gold frame

The easiest way to frame art is to go to a custom framer and have them do it for you.

The second easiest way is to by a store-bought frame that comes with a mat. This is a fairly simple task for 8×10 and 11×14 prints, but anything larger than that I truly do recommend handing over to a professional since the size can be awkward to handle and very easily get kinked or damaged.

I’ve written several blog posts in the past, linking to specific picture frames from specific shops, but those items get refreshed often and it’s hard for me to keep up with all the changes.

Frame Colours

My favourite frame colours are white, black, and brushed silver, all with white mats. I think simple frames are timeless and fade into the background letting the artwork shine through, but frame your photograph to match your style.

One thing to watch out for when shopping for white frames is where the corners join. If I’m shopping in-store I always take the frame out of the box so I can get a good look at those seams. If they’re not lined up tightly and filled with white filler they can look cheap. Because of the lightness of the frame, these gaps can be really obvious and distracting.

Coastal Wall Art - Trinity's Triumph - Soothing Blue Waves

Trinity’s Triumph in a white frame from Simply Framed

Shopping for Picture Frames

In Canada my favourite places to get picture frames are Ikea, Michaels (they have sales often, and if not don’t forget to bring the coupon from their website!), HomeSense, and Chapters (their frames look great but they’re not easy to work with). Oh, and Pottery Barn and West Elm, I always forget about those because I don’t live near either.

In the USA it’s basically the same – Ikea, Pottery Barn, West Elm, HomeGoods, and Joann’s. But you also have access to online framer’s like Simply Framed and Framebridge. Basically, you go to their website, pick out the frame combination you like, send them your print, and they send it back framed and ready to be hung! Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!

Splash of Cerulean - Lake Huron Water Photo by Jennifer Squires

Splash of Cerulean in a white frame


I highly recommend using a mat when you frame your photographs because it keeps your print from touching the glass, which will help it to last longer. Plus it has the added bonus of making a small piece seem larger than it is, wink, wink.

Be careful when choosing your size. Not all frames are labelled the same, some will list the frame size, others will list the mat size. So definitely make sure to read the fine print, especially if you order online.

Oh, and most frames can be hung vertically or horizontally, but you’ll want to double check the online listing or the back if you’re shopping in person.

Reflecting at Lake Louise, Vertical - Lake Louise Mountain Photography

Reflecting at Lake Louise, Vertical in a silver float frame

Which colour picture frames do you use most in your home? Or do you prefer metal? And where do you typically buy yours from?

Other Resources:

Don’t forget to check out my quick reference guide for Standard Frame Sizes, you may want to keep a copy of it in your purse. Now that you see how easy it is, visit my photography shop to add more pieces to your collection.

I’ve put together a little photo tutorial to show you how to mat a photograph so you can get yours up on your wall in style.

I asked a bunch of interior designers and home decor enthusiasts where their favourite places are to buy frames in Canada, here’s what they said >

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