For Photographers: Custom Framing VS DIY

For Photographers: Custom Framing VS DIY

With an exciting new interest in printed heirlooms, photographers are now selling more prints and realizing there is a tremendous opportunity in offering framing. When we sell prints to clients, especially larger sizes and wall collections, these prints all need to be matted and framed. With custom framing, the cost is oftentimes more expensive than the actual art. It’s true! But, where to begin?

Photographers have a few options when selling framed prints to clients:

1 - Custom Framing

Develop a relationship with a local framer and if you are lucky, you will save 10% off retail and be able to mark the frame up a little bit for the extra service. The framer is also an artist, with hundreds of options for moldings, mats, plus an array of glasses and options.

Custom made frames are extraordinarily expensive, as they are handmade one at a time. You will need to arrange delivery of art and frames back to you and won’t have much wiggle room with profit. You will also need a solid client base, unconcerned with spending a significant amount on products.

Pro: Handmade, one-of-a-kind framed artwork

Con: Very low profit, adding more to-do's (driving to & from the framers, delivering the final frame to your customers) to your plate

2 - Off the Shelf

At first glance, this option might look great for everyone involved: you cut costs and your client receives a home decor solution that's on trend. However, long-term, these types of frames won't last long both in store and in your client's home.

Hop over to Ikea with your fingers crossed that they have your style and the right sizes for your wall collection. Whoops, it’s all metric! What about Target? Will your client know you are charging an extra $20 on that Magnolia frame? It’s branded on the back and if your client is a regular Target shopper (who isn’t?) they’ll undoubtedly be able to spot your source. Will all this hunting and gathering be worth your time? What if they want to add to their wall gallery in the fall… Will those same frames still be available? Not to mention if the frames are made overseas and the mats will likely yellow your art.

Pro: Can’t beat the price, plus you’re probably already headed to Target

Con: Where do we even start...

3 - Wholesale

In comparison to other wholesale frame operations, the Design Aglow Frame Shop doesn't require a minimum purchase on your order, not to mention our streamlined selection of four timeless styles in nine finishes and a variety of sizes. Our shop is never too overwhelming nor too limiting - with classic frames are designed to fit every style of decor.

The Frame Shop is open 24/7, so shop away in your PJ’s or on your phone. The best part: we offer TONS of affordable resources to help you sell frames, even before you purchase your first one! Prices are wholesale, so you can mark them up 300-400%.

And we'll let you in on a little trade secret... Design Aglow Frames are made in the USA and use the exact same hardwood moldings as the custom framers’ use. Everything about our frames, from the quality construction and sustainable materials to the acid-free mats, are on par with custom framing. Rip off the backing paper of a custom frame and ta-da! it’s the same as ours. And ours are 1/4 the price.

Pro: Affordable pricing, not limited edition & restocked regularly, and comes with innovative selling resources which are pre-populated with professional verbiage and stock images

Con: You have to install your own prints (but Print + Frame options will be coming in later 2018! So keep an eye out for that announcement)

When you lay out all of your framing options side by side, purchasing your frames wholesale seems like the obvious choice. In comparison to the other avenues, wholesale frames (especially ours!) offer you the least amount of hassle, while setting your photography business up for success. It’s a no-brainer.


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