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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Modernizing Your Decor and Your Photography with Shadow Boxes

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Most of us enjoy having beautiful photography displayed on our walls. It serves many purposes, but its main purpose is to of course decorate and improve the appearance of our homes. We try to always find that perfect frame which blends well into your interior decor, and at the same time emphasizes the detail, and the information, which the photograph conveys. There are many, many different styles of frames out there. Yet, most of us have very similar frames throughout our homes. While it may be a good idea to match the style of the frames in one area, we typically have several regions in our houses where we display photography, or other pieces of decor. As such, I want to offer you a more modern, and interesting alternative to your typical wooden, or metal frame. A shadow box is a type of a picture frame, with your photograph recessed into the box.

First of all, why a shadow box instead of a more traditional frame? Well, the answer is simple, if you live in a neighborhood where every house has an identical architectural design, how do you identify your house from the rest of the identical buildings. You make it stand out in some fashion. Whether you plant trees, repaint the house, add a deck, a patio, whatever. The point is, you are trying to make it look different from the rest of the houses on your block. Same idea applies here. A shadow box is an excellent product to make your photographs really stand out from the rest of the environment. A nice thing about a shadow box is its versatility. Most shadow boxes are fairly small. In other words, you will not find one sized to fit a large 20x30" photograph. However, you can always have one custom made for you, if you are really like the idea of a shadow box, and have a fairly large area to fill. Shadow boxes seem to fit very well in smaller spaces, where a picture frame with a fair sized photograph may appear over-sized. Some shadow boxes are sold in pairs or threes, and are perfect if you like stacking, or creating a stair effect on your walls.

Besides using shadow boxes to display your photography, they can just as well be used to show off other pieces of decor, such as small sculptures, crafts, wood carvings, you name it. It is important to be creative with them, and the possibilities are endless. Here's are some ideas which you may want to consider. If you have any photographs of the sea, the beach, something nautical, consider placing empty shells, some petrified sealife, or other small pieces such as sand and small pebbles inside the shadow box. Most shadow boxes are fairly deep, and will allow quite a bit of stuff to be placed inside. It is a great idea to complement real 3-D elements with your photography, as these pieces create depth, and demand your eyes' attention. Likewise, you may have photos of autumn leaves, which would be coupled very well with perhaps some tree shells, miniature pine or elm cones, dried leaves, and other gifts of nature. Again, be creative, and consider the possibilities. Even if you are not using the interior of the shadow box for anything other than a photograph, you can always use it as a miniature shelf, and place small figurines, little carvings, small plants, and other pieces of decor.

As always, quality is important, and in today's world of mostly low quality high volume products you will certainly encounter many shadow boxes which do not pass your quality standards. Do not be discouraged, and consider visiting specialty home stores. These stores are typically more selective about their products, and you will be more likely to find a good product there. Aim for a box with a glass, because you want your photographs protected. If you are going to have a custom box made, make sure to have glass installed either right away, or request that the craftsman building the box routes a grove inside, so you could have glass cut and installed later.

Written by Professional Photographer, and an owner of a Photography Selling Service. To learn more about this, and many other general, as well as more specific photography related subjects, or to explore a Fine Art Photography gallery, please consider visiting WorldonPaper.com Contemporary Fine Art Gallery

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