Use Your Original Photography as Art

You know that you can take a beautiful photo because you’ve done it before, so why not print them out on photo paper and frame them for your home?

Accessorize with PhotosRecently, Matt and I added a grouping of framed photographs of tropical flowers to an entry we were working on to help support the tropical theme that our homeowner had started with large palm tree artwork on the stairway.  And, I want to talk a little bit about adding your own personality to your home through the use of your own original photography.  Basically, photos that YOU take.

Almost all of us have access to good quality photos through even the most inexpensive camera.  So why not take advantage of it?  Get outside and look around your landscaping if flowers excite you.  Or, travel downtown and grab some shots of buildings in your area.  Get the whole building or just focus on the architectural details.  Maybe you love animals – photograph your pets or visit the zoo!

When you do start taking some photos, remember that the best lighting conditions outside are usually before 10am in the morning and after 4pm in the afternoon.  At those times the sun isn’t so bright and there isn’t as much glare, plus you will see more shading and shadowing when the sun isn’t straight above you.  I learned this in my watercolor classes because when you are painting, you want to paint original pieces and those come from original photographs!

Once you take your photos, download them to your computer and then you can use your photo shop or picture manager program to do all sorts of things to your photos.  Here’s where you really make them – almost better than life!  You can brighten them up, make the colors more saturated, crop out details that you don’t want…and some of the more advanced programs will let you move things in the photo or even remove things….like fine lines and wrinkles…hahaha!

photog2Once you have your photo the way you want it, you can add borders if you like just like I did here on mine.  My problem was that I didn’t have mattes for my photos, so I wanted to do something that separated the photo from the background and a border will do that.

Then, when you are ready just print it out!  Of course, make sure your ink cartridges are full and that you are using photo paper in the printer.  And you can choose either a matte finish for your photo paper or a gloss finish.


This photo gives you an idea of textural difference between the two with gloss being on the left.  I used gloss paper because that is what I had on hand, however, when you use gloss paper, the image is sharper, but you really need to use a cut and sized matte with the photo so the printed photo doesn’t touch the glass.  I think the ink sits on the glossy paper and when it is pressed against the glass it creates almost a watermark.  I haven’t had that happen when I used the matte finish photo paper; though I don’t think it’s a good idea for the ink to touch to glass no matter what type of paper you are using.


Now briefly, let’s talk about how the framing process works.  When you do have mattes available to you, you can print the photo large enough for the edges to be hidden with the matte of your choice.


And you can buy mattes already cut in a variety of different sizes.  So buy your matte and frame first and then size your photos, keeping mind the largest size you can print on your printer.

Then, position the photo in the matte, and tape it in place.  Matt and I tend to use painter’s tape to hold them in because we have a lot of it! It works great.

Then, take time to clean the inside of the glass in the frame.  This can really be maddening if you don’t get every speck off the glass.  When you are sure it’s clean, insert the matte with your photo, add whatever other materials may have come with the frame to keep the back on snug, and then attach the back.

And, voila!  Your very own original artwork!  If you want you can name your photo and put your signature on the matte.  Who knows, before long you could be peddling your best photos at the next art fair!!


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