“Shot in the Heart of Melbourne” is a self-curated exhibition, cooperatively managed and staged by the featured photographers. Our...

SITHOM Printing, Mounting, Framing and Hanging FAQ

 
It’s time to free your images from the screen, print them out for the exhibition and ready them for the walls, and to help you with that we’ve prepared this FAQ full of information about printing, mounting, framing and hanging for SITHOM.

 

  • PRINTING

 
How many prints am I allowed to have?

As many as you can fit into your allocated area – which is most likely going to be similar to last year: 2.85 metres of horizontal wall space (we’ll let you know a more precise figure when numbers are finalised). We don’t set a minimum number of prints per exhibitor, and the practical maximum is 10, which involves double hanging, or hanging in two rows (there’s more about this below). Last year most exhibitors had around 5 images.

I can’t really visualise that space…

2.85m equates to 570 mm each for 5 photos (allowing ~100mm between each work).

 
What size do my prints need to be?

We recommend 18 × 12 inch prints (16 × 12 inch photos with Ikea RIBBA frames, also mentioned below, are very effective too). Last year nearly all of our exhibitors’ prints were this size, or thereabouts. The minimum size we’ll display will be an image size (displayed photograph surface) of 12 × 8 inches (305mm x 203mm) or A4 (297mm x 210mm).

 
Where can I get my images printed?

Many of us have used Photo Enlargements, a company in Port Macquarie who price 18 × 12 inch prints at $5, or just $2 if you order 20 or more at one time (plus postage of $20). We particularly recommend their black and white printing, and their prints are good value. You may like to order with one or two other SITHOM photographers to take advantage of the $2 bulk order print pricing.

We can also recommend Frameshop.com.au, who provide very economical, user friendly and impressive printing and framing.

Another recommended printer is Michaels, at the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale Streets (they do very handsome mounted prints, amongst other types).

 

  • MOUNTING AND FRAMING

 
Is it okay if I don’t frame my prints?

Yes, that’s fine, but if your prints are not framed they should at least be mounted and all presented in a uniform manner. We cannot accept unmounted prints and will not exhibit images pinned or blu-tacked to the wall. Everything must be mounted rigidly, so it can rest on the ledge or hang from the rail. If you decide to block mount on 5mm or 10mm foam core or gatorboard, we do ask that you incorporate an edging trim strip around the perimeter to hide the raw edge of the foam board interior.

Where can I get mounts cut to size economically?

Artastic at 781 Nicholson St, Carlton North provide a quality service at a considerably cheaper price than others we’ve encountered.

Can I use Redbubble matted prints?

Yes, they will be fine.

Do you know where I can get reasonably priced frames?

Many of our exhibitors have found Ikea’s RIBBA frames to be very handy, great value at $25, a suitable size at 42cms x 52cms overall, and smart. However the opening in the mat is pre-cut, so you will have to adjust your image to fit the aperture, eg: inside measurement 290mm (W) x 390mm (H). It is wise to take a ruler with you to measure this aperture when you’re buying the frames, as they can vary by quite a bit. You will also need to crop to a 4:3 ratio or have your mats cut specially to fit.

Otherwise, you can pick up very economical frames at discount shops such as The Reject Shop, or splurge and try the Redbubble framed prints, as we also had some of those on the walls last year and they looked great.

 

  • HANGING

 

What’s all this about double hanging?

Double row hanging is possible, but not easy. The high picture rail is not really a formal picture rail but has been used to hang from in the past. The formal “ledge” on which the pictures normally rest is 1200mm above the floor, and the picture rail that you hook the wire to (or hook the “L” shaped bracket over) is 384mm above this ledge. The higher “rail” (looks more like a cornice) is 1595-1620mm higher than the ledge.

So if anyone wants to hang double row, you should visit the gallery and work out yourselves how you will do it. The VAS staff will provide a ladder, but you must provide everything else (wires, nails…. etc) to complete the secure hanging of the second row. The normal means of display is to rest the picture on the lower ledge (taking the weight) and then hooking over the picture rail 384mm above the ledge to stop it tipping forward. This method works well and enables easy adjustment of image location on short notice.

Typical Single Row Hanging – frame rests on ledge

 

Typical Double Row Hanging Arrangement – second row hangs from high picture rail on long wires.

 

If you intend to visit the gallery to work out double hanging, we ask you to tell us first, so we can meet you there.

Do you need to know if I wish to double hang?

Yes we do as it takes much longer to get images up on the walls this way and needs to be factored in to the layout plan to provide a balanced overall impression. Please let us know as soon as you decide to double hang, if you think that’s the best way for you to go.

I’m a visual person – what does the gallery set-up look like?

Check out Bernard’s reconnaissance images from last year HERE
This is important – please familiarize yourself with the gallery and the hanging method!

And check last’s year’s Opening Night photos to see single and double hanging on the walls HERE

I’m not sure how to hang mine on the walls…

If you do not have normal frames, unframed mats, or plastic frames with fixed wires, we suggest you visit VAS in person to make sure you can hang without difficulty. You may need to use stick on fixings, or other such methods, but you need to work it out before you get there. Please don’t turn up on the day and expect us to have everything you need to solve your particular problem – it is going to be a very, very busy day as it is.

Can I just make my own arrangements with the gallery?

No, please don’t approach the VAS gallery manager or staff and start your own negotiations with respect to this exhibition. One SITHOM committee member is a member of the Victorian Artists’ Society and has secured the member’s discount hire rate for all of us. So the responsibility for conducting the exhibition according to the hire rules of the contract rests with this one person. We hope you can appreciate the fact that we can’t have 36+ people ringing VAS up with different requirements as that would quickly become a nightmare for them and us.

Do I need my own hooks?

We don’t believe so – we still have last year’s hooks and are endeavouring to purchase more in the coming days.

Where will the weight of my print rest?

At VAS the weight of the frame is taken on the ledge, so the picture rail 385mm higher is just there to stop the frame falling forward. The hook has very little load on it, but the weight on it must be downward, not upwards. So don’t have your wire mounted higher than the top of the picture rail or it will pull the hook off the rail.

So how far up should I have the wire on the back of my print?

Since the top of the main picture rail is 385mm above the ledge, loose wire on framed images can be mounted between 335mm and 355mm above the base of the frame – it is best to attach your wire but leave an end unfixed for adjustment on hanging day. You will probably need to make adjustments for light frames or unframed images.

Is there a diagram showing this?

Yep, there is! Please Download the following 2 page Adobe PDF, which details exactly the way to position the wires and the how the frame rests on the ledge:

                 SITHOM/VAS Frame Hanging Details

What do I need to do before arriving on hanging day?

You need to have your prints ready to go up on the wall as quickly and easily as possible, hopefully with the wire already in place. You also need to label each image on the back with your name and the image name, at the very least.

How about hanging day itself, how does that go down?

Expect the whole floor to be a whirlwind of activity between 10am and 4pm – turn up when you can with your images ready to go up (the earlier the better). If you are able to stick around and help out by doing such things as placing labels on the walls, helping others get their images up, wrangling hooks, soothing fraught nerves or anything else that crops up, that would be greatly appreciated!

Will the gallery do the work for me?

No, we need you to be there on hanging day or make arrangements to get your prints in there and up on the wall. VAS is a wonderful place to work with, and they are not like a typical commercial gallery in that they pretty much leave us to it. We have rented the space and we (as in all 36 or so of us) will manage the exhibition.

How about if I have any sales?

VAS do not handle sales, nor do they take any commission, but we will leave a contact book at the front desk that staff will pass to prospective buyers to record their contact details, which photographers can then use to make contact and complete the sale.


Do you have other burning questions or helpful resources to add? Please leave a message below and we’ll endeavour to answer quickly, and integrate what we can into the above.

Journal Comments

  • Leanne Robson
  • Shot in the Heart of Melbourne, 2014
  • Leanne Robson