Tips for Creating a Photo Frame Effect

For whatever purpose you would not photograph – for a personal gallery, or to order, adding a beautiful frame to the photo is a good option if it fits into the artistic solution. It is used to make the picture more noticeable, enhance its meaning and push the viewer to the correct perception. We’ll discuss how to create the right frame for your photo below.

Make a Frame That Matches the Style of the Photo

When you choose a frame, please remember that it should not be a separate element that hangs in the air. It should organically fit into the overall composition of the image because the wrong element can turn the perception and atmosphere of a photo upside down.

Make sure that the frame does not violate the composition, style, or mood of the picture, especially if the artistic idea of the photo involves the visualization of a particular image or era. The best way to do this is to ensure that the frame either complements the photo’s theme in some way or is an organic continuation of it, for example, has a characteristic shape. You may need to crop your photos for the frame and shots to match each other. Then you can achieve the maximum effect.

For example, choose simple elements for simple pictures. A thin silver line – perfect for a black-and-white photo. At the same time, for more complex shots, it is worth using ornate options. For example, use bright, complex shapes that match and complement the photo’s nature for abstractions.

Use Complementary Colors

Choosing the right design for your pictures will only make them brighter. But you should work well on the shades. For example, the line’s color around the perimeter should not repeat the dominant hue of the picture. This is due to the psychological effect. The brain cannot figure out what exactly to focus on. Because of this, your image will be slurred and incomprehensible. It is worth using a sub-dominant color for the frame, or a mixture of dominant ones, for example, the lightest and darkest.

The task of the frame is to complement the image in the photo. Therefore, its color should contribute to this. Be sure to stick to the color temperature. For pictures in which cold colors predominate – choose the same cold color for warm images, respectively soft.

You can also resort to little tricks. So, for example, frames stylized as natural wood or bronze will always look good with almost any photo.

The only exception to the rules of color selection, perhaps, is black and white photographs, which look good at contrasting black-and-white frames. If you still can’t decide, remember a straightforward rule: white color visually expands the image in the photo, and black limits it. You can try both options to see which works best for your shots.

Keep Proportions

To indicate the scale of the image, it is worth using the effect of a wide border. It should emphasize the scale, which means that the larger the photo, the larger the frame should be to it.

A wide frame adds weight to the photo, especially for classical compositions with few objects. On the other hand, a thin element is a great addition to small to medium shots, in which case it creates a shadow effect, helping the brain to focus on the image inside.

In other words, if the background of your shot is overloaded with details – use a medium or narrow frame to focus attention. And if, on the contrary – you are shooting large spaces, then a wide line will visually emphasize them.

Use Non-classical Forms

A custom frame is what gives your photos a unique and custom look. With their help, you can highlight some details of the image or give your photos your style.

Various non-standard frames, such as round ones or stylized polaroid photos from the 90s, can create original collages, mosaics, and any other original compositions. They look great on social networks and emphasize an artistic idea.

Use Multiple Frames

You can use two or three elements to add depth to the image. Using different conceptual frames in one photo will make it original and give artistic meaning. The main thing is to emphasize the creative idea of the shots. 

You can also use several frames to combine a single photo into a collage. It is also possible to use structures of a non-standard shape to highlight individual details in the picture.


Using photo frames opens up almost limitless creative possibilities and allows you to realize your creative idea and enhance the effect of your pictures. Even if you do not plan to use your photos as a decor element but want to post them on social networks, the original frame is an excellent artistic technique that you should use.

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