Following the right steps before printing your photos is important — but what about after printing? What about picture frames? The perfect frame can bring out the colors and detail in the image while also complementing the image. But, when it comes to frames, there are hundreds, if not thousands of different options — and that’s not including the mat. So how do you narrow it down to choose the best frame for your photos? Here are four tips to help you choose the right frame.

The Golden Ratio isn’t just for photography.

While the Golden Ratio, a more advanced version of the Rule of Thirds, applies to the composition of the photo itself, it can also help you choose the right picture frame. When you apply the Golden Ratio to framing, you get a border that’s appropriate for the size of the photo. To do this, you want to choose a frame and mat that has a border that’s creates that Golden Ratio with the photograph. To do that, try using this online calculator to find the right size for your image, especially if you are using a custom framing service. The larger your photo is, the wider the frame should be.

 Canvas Wood frame

Frame colors should complement both the decor and the photograph.

Most consider the colors in their home decor before choosing a frame, but you should also factor in the colors in that particular photo as well. Don’t choose the color you see most in the photo, or the color will be lost in that frame. Instead, choose a color that’s in the photo, but not the most dominant. Choosing a frame or a mat with one of the less dominate colors in the image will complement the image and help it pop against that frame.

Don’t forget the mat.

The frame and mat work together to highlight the image in a pleasing way. While an mat isn’t exactly necessary for smaller photos, larger photos will look much better with both a frame and a mat, making it easier to reach that Golden Ratio. Choosing a mat and frame also allows you to choose two different colors to bring out that image. Along with a solid color mat, you can also choose a double mat, which has another color bordering the image, or even a mat with a subtle pattern.

Wooden Board Frame

Consider the gallery.

While some photos hang by themselves, in many cases, that image will become part of a gallery wall with several images. When creating a gallery wall, choosing the same colors in the mat and frame will help tie the images in and give them a cohesive look, while choosing different frame colors and materials can draw more interest into the gallery. Choosing multiple different sizes is also a good idea when creating a gallery wall.

Silver Resin Photo Frame

Printing the photo isn’t the last step — getting a frame that complements the image helps bring that artwork out even more while, of course, also keeping that image protected from dust and wear.