Choose a photograph
Many collectors of fine art photography are drawn to a specific
subject matter, or the style of a photographer that catches their
eye. Once you find a piece that you are interested in, ask the photographer
about the photograph. Ask if there is a story behind it, or what
connected the artist to the subject at that moment. Sometimes you're
fortunate enough to speak with the artist one-on-one. At other times,
you'll need to depend on phone calls or e-mails. Knowing more about
the piece will give it value to you, both personally and financially.
guidelines for your collection
Decide if you'd like to collect fewer, more valuable pieces, or
if you'd rather develop a larger collection of less-expensive pieces.
Your interest in subject matters, or a specific artist, may help
to set this level. More established artist's work will demand a
piece you like and make the purchase
Make sure the primary reason for your choice is because you like
the piece. This is always more important than buying something you
don’t like but feel it’s a good investment. Care for
your purchase. Cared for properly, prints are expected to last anywhere
between 20 years for digital prints (it varies depending on the
ink used) and 70 years for photographic prints. Ensure longevity
by placing the print in a frame using non-glare glass to help protect
against ultra violet light. A mat is a must for both protection
from the glass and to enhance visual presentation. Once framed and
matted, avoid hanging the photograph in direct sunlight. Add additional
pieces over time at a rate that is friendly to your budget.
for your photograph
Your fine art photographic print is an investment and a work of
art. By properly caring for your print, you will protect your investment
and be able to enjoy it for many more years. Following are some
recommendations for how to properly care for fine art photographic
Treat your fine art print as if you were a museum curator. With
careful handling, your fine art print will reward you with long
life. Always use white cotton gloves to avoid any finger prints
on the print, the mount board or the mat. Fingerprints can contain
oils and other contaminants that will attack the paper over time,
eventually causing discoloration and/or fading.
Un-mounted prints and posters are especially vulnerable to crescent
moon-shaped creases. Always lift the print by opposite corners (for
example, top left and bottom right), letting the print gently bow
or sag in the middle.
Selection of the right frame is important for both print longevity
and aesthetic appeal.
Metal frames are best. Wood frames can contain glue and other chemicals
left over from finishing and these chemicals can leach out over
time in the form of a gas and discolour the mat or mount board or
the photograph itself.
The colour of the frame can be important. The eye is naturally drawn
to high contrast areas. So if you use a white or light mat and a
black frame, you may distract the eye from the print itself. For
light coloured mats, I prefer a brushed silver or platinum colour
frame. For dark mats, I prefer a black frame.
Select a frame that has sufficient strength to support the size
of the image and the type of glazing selected. If glass glazing
is used, the frame needs to be more substantial.
Select a frame that is aesthetically pleasing and matches both the
style of the image and your own decor. Be careful not to select
too large a frame. Photographs typically appear better with smaller
frames while paintings usually have larger frames.
Glazing is important to protect the print from various types of
damage resulting from sources such as smoke, ozone, cooking fumes
and human touch or abrasion.
Glass is best. It is inexpensive, easy to cut, chemically inert,
and resistant to scratches. Museum style glass has a transparent,
anti-reflective coating that makes it nearly invisible. This is
not the old-style frosted glass that was used to reduce glare. Museum
glass has a coating similar to what is used on modern camera lenses.
The coating minimizes reflections, making the glass very difficult
to see. If you've ever seen a print under glass where the glass
was almost invisible, you've seen museum glass. If you live in an
area prone to earthquakes or you have a larger size print you may
prefer Plexiglas glazing. Be sure to use a UV-blocking Plexiglas.
Where you hang your print can have a major impact on its longevity.
All colour prints fade over time. It doesn't matter what process
was used to make the print. Some printing processes have better
archival properties than others.
Paul Reynolds prints are made with the most state-of-the-art archival
printing process and materials to ensure that your prints will last
as long as possible. Still, some basic precautions are in order.
Never hang your print in direct sunlight, regardless of the type
of glazing used Ensure that the location is not subjected to excessive
heat or humidity or to dramatic shifts in heat or humidity. For
example, it's best not to hang prints directly next to a heating
Proper lighting can add drama to your fine art print. The first
and most important rule of lighting your prints is that the amount
of light should be pleasing to your eye and it should create the
drama and effect you desire. Make every attempt to keep the amount
of light even across the entire image. But, if that's not possible,
make sure the centre of the image is well lit. Finally, enjoy your
prints, but turn the lights off at night or when you are not in
the room. Your print will last longer and you'll be saving energy