Christmas time is just around the corner and I am a big fan of giving gifts that last the test of time. The kind of gift that lights up the eyes of those receiving it and will do so again and again each time they look at it.
Many of my family and friends have received a personalised gift of wall art of some kind from me. Whether it be prints, sentimental photographs or something I’ve created myself…it’s kind of my thing!
I’ve been talking to Martine from YourFramer to get a behind the scenes look at giving wall art. As an Australian based online custom framing shop, YourFramer helps see many gifts come to life, so we might be able to get some insider tips too!
Martine, tell us why you love what you do?
Why do we love it? Simple. We get to frame images people are passionate about and have an emotional attachment to – images that make them laugh or cry (or both). Family photos, pets, wedding photos, their kids’ art… The list is endless.
We love the reactions we get when people receive their framed image, the photos we get of things we’ve framed that now take pride of place in their homes. The framed images people have sent as gifts, that have been so very well received.
We get to help image collectors, photographers and artists realise their dream of selling their images framed all over Australia. They send us their images, we frame & ship Australia wide, with their cards, flyers and stickers, making framing a part of their overall business.
We absolutely love what we do, and are passionate about getting it right. 30 Years’ experience in the picture framing industry has taught us a lot.
Can you give us some insight on the kinds of orders that are coming through this Christmas time?
‘Moments in time’ make such a beautiful gift. There are so many captured ‘every day life moments’ as everyone carries their camera (i.e. phone) everywhere these days – sending a photo of the kids to grandparents, wedding photo to parents, pets, adventures with friends – so many!
Last week we framed a family portrait for a grandfather (who had 8 children, 14 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren). He wanted to send a copy to each of his children for Christmas. There’ll be a few tears in that family!
The emotions attached to photographs are massive and they’re so personal. They don’t have to be professionally taken, or amazing quality (just phone pics are usually fine to print). That’s what makes a framed photo such a gorgeous gift.
Tell us a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes? Can you step us through what happens to our orders?
We get orders in online (simply upload, choose mount & frame & order) and via email/dropbox. All orders that come in are checked for image quality – we contact customers if there is an issue with the images.
Over the years we have found that we get the best print quality out of the Epson printers using archival inks. We only print on high quality fine art, lustre photo, metallic or canvas which gives a great choice across the retail and wholesale spectrum.
We can print up to 1500mm at the moment, but there’s a super big printer in the pipeline for 2018!
Have you had any orders over the years that have completely surprised you? Something that has stuck in your mind?
A girl and her boyfriend had travelled Australia and the world. She had picked the best 48 images and we created a gorgeous travels collage for her boyfriend for Christmas. She was joking that now she had to remember where they were all taken!
So, I’m sure there’s more to it than just printing and popping it in a frame. What kind of things are important in the framing process?
Using the right materials is definitely important. The use of acid free boards (fome core backing and mount board) and high quality printing materials ensures longevity of what you’re framing. Materials such as MDF have acid in them and will colour images over time.
We use high quality frames made from plantation grown, sustainable timber. All frames are finished with backing tape at the back to protect images from dust and other elements – another element that adds longevity to your image.
For sending and safety, YourFramer uses a high quality Shinkolite acrylic which is 10 times the strength of glass, making sure we can print, frame & ship safely.
I wondered how frames would make it through the post in one piece!
Yes, shipping frames is notoriously hard. We ship frames of all shapes and sizes all over Australia. It has taken a bit of work to find the right way to pack & ship safely but we’re there.
Packaging plays an important part in our process and therefore has been extensively researched. Always tricky handing over to a third party, but we have had very few returns.
When it comes to choosing a frame do you have any tips for us?
When choosing a frame it should complement and add to the piece not distract from it. Custom framing gives you the opportunity to consider this, as well as the personal style of the recipient and their home’s unique décor. Also, frames don’t need to all match, creating a gallery wall with frames that complement each piece creates a fantastic collected look.