If you’re like me, you end up with more photos on the laptop/PC than off. I know it’s a sign of the digital age but I still haven’t found a way to enjoy photos digitally as much as I love having framed photos and albums/books in the house. With customers’ photos I am totally in the flow to produce the final product. Yet until now, for my own photos I’ve tended to dilly dally about what to do and have ended up procrastinating.
So January was a time of catching up and one mission was to get more of my photos off my laptop and into view. Since having Barney my levels of efficiency have soared. A lot can be done in short windows of nap time. And I have become much more decisive too – another bonus.
For some very special photographs I’ve used a local framer, Headrow Gallery, on the Harrogate Road, Leeds who does a very professional job. But for many photos I know I’ll want to update them in time so I don’t want them sealed in frames forever. However I struggle to find good quality frames. They often have those horrible little metal foldy ‘fasteners’ that snap off, even some of the pricier frames, or they’re just shoddily made. So after shopping around over a few years, here are a few recommendations.
TK Maxx – you can find some high quality frames at good prices if you have the time to root through. I had a set of Barney photos that suited the frames I found there and mixed these in with some frames from John Lewis. I find that I can usually rely on John Lewis’s simple, timeless black and white ranges. I’m quite obsessed with white at the mo so I’d bought a few of these. Their ‘House’ range has some funky, colourful ones too. And with ‘Click & Collect’ to a local Waitrose it’s free delivery.
(Some tulips and pussy willow … let’s pretend that Spring is here)
I wanted Barney to have a montage in his bedroom with photos of him and his close family. My sis and M’s brother and their families all live in the USA so it’s important to me that they’re visible in Barney’s life, even though we’re far apart for most of the year. I recently bought this round, contemporary frame from Umbra. Umbra does some very quirky frames and quite a few multi-aperture frames so you can get a nice set of photos in just one frame (which also avoids too many hooks in the wall).
Downstairs I wanted a load of photos of our friends and of our adventures from the last few years and had found the perfect frame quite a while ago. Actually I’ve had it for 3 (?!) years and it has sat in the house looking sad and empty … but no more!! This one I bought visiting a friend in Oxford but I’ve found their online store, Authentics, which has a small range of well-made multi-aperture frames.
And I came across good ‘ol Habitat when I took photos of a customer’s new baby girl. She has great style and had framed some of my photos in Habitat acrylic frames with a thin layer of colour through the frame and they look brilliant. The range is called ‘Levie’. She also brightened my world with the news that Habitat has a presence in Homebase these days since it left the high street a while ago, so even handier.
And finally books. Barney has been a great reminder of how important it is to have albums/books of photos around. Partly because he LOVES looking at them (and at least three times every day we have to look through the photo calendar, names and all!), but also because I want him to have his adventures (and his parents’ and Grandparents’ adventures) documented so that the stories aren’t forgotten. There are plenty of online places to make books these days and I’ve found that Photobox is very good quality and emails frequent discounts which makes their products quite reasonable. And the website is good once you get the hang of the design process. I absolutely love making books. Oh and their customer service team is great, including live chat, which is probably even more important than the rest of it when it comes to something like this. They’ve helped whenever I’ve got stuck and have let me make last minute changes.
So good luck if you’re getting your photos organised and any other ideas/tips do let me know. It’s an ongoing project but it feels good to have made a start.