Unity & Harmony #2
To group mismatched pictures you need to provide a unifying element so that the pictures are harmonious.
To create unity you need to have at least ONE of the elements below.
q All the frames could be the same colour or identical
q All the frames are dark or light but not the same.
q All the mattes are the same colour, off white or ivory is best.
q All the photographs could be black and white
q All the subjects are similar in style and colour (ie) all family
photographs, all architectural prints, all simple nature prints
The more variations between the pictures (frame, matte, subject) and the more pictures in the group, the harder it is to achieve a harmonious grouping. When there are many variations the result can be really striking, but it takes patience.
The easiest way to create unity is to have all the frames black or dark wood and all the mattes off-white or white. This gives you instant harmony and you can arrange them randomly or symmetrically and they will look good together.
q Tip: When I am having trouble achieving a satisfactory arrangement with a photographic group, sometimes I frame or reframe some of the photographs. I buy the cheapest black or dark stain wood frames possible at the Buck or Two, Wal-Mart or Zellers for $2.00 – $3.00 each for 8x10s and pick up the mattes at Dollarama or other dollar stores for as little as 2 for $1.00. A lot of frames come with a support easel that I remove (pry it off). I frame and matte the photographs uniformly and add picture wire to each picture. Then arranging them in a pleasing manner to fill the required space is pretty easy.
Next: Types of Groups