More than 20 years of photography experience grants PhotoArts Marin's Glen Graves more than just an eye for an ideal snapshot. His skill with traditional film cameras, lighting, and composition elements imbues his photos with a quality that has drawn the attention of such clients as Ford, US Air, and Architectural Digest. When not capturing boudoir portraits or smiling families during photo shoots, Glen can be found in the classroom teaching aspiring photographers the tricks of the trade, from using dynamic angles to frame a subject to how saying “cheese” banishes spirits intent on photobombing.
The press-lauded commercial shutterbug and digital image pro behind Soo Photography, Michael Soo has lent his expertise in commercial, food, and portrait photography to numerous international publications, including the New York Times. Drawing upon his expertise and multicultural background to educate fledgling photographers, Soo hosts workshops, teaches classes, and runs an online forum where digital cameras discuss technique in binary. Beginner- and intermediate-level classes acquaint novices with the art form, and advanced courses delve into lighting, black-and-white photography, portraiture, weddings, product photography, and how to cover up red eye with drawn-on mustaches. The classes also assist in lighting techniques, learning exposure and composition, and how to photograph portraits.
The expert staff at Fine Arts Giclee & Frame employs more than 20 years of in-house custom-framing experience and visualization software to fit prized works and items within keenly matched borders. An array of more than 1,000 mouldings runs the gamut from simple wood or lacquer to elaborately etched metal, and archival mats guard picture edges with sheets free of acid. Customers can shield a cherished album cover behind UV glass with a 2-inch mat and black hardwood moulding ($88) or ornament the wall with a diploma ($136.40) to recall enlightening bouts of lunchroom gossip. A 16"x20" photo or print, cushioned by a gallery back, nestles safely behind premium clear glass ($232.04). Patrons with pieces in tow can seek counsel from on-site employees and the visualization software, which depicts how artwork would look in specific frames or with all of its human subjects replaced by poker-playing dogs. The staff can complete most framing services within 10 business days.
To the art designers at S.F. Framing, picture frames should do more than simply encase art, photos, and posters. They believe they should complement decor as well. At S.F. Framing, more than 1,200 mouldings suit all sorts of aesthetic styles, from sleek, metal frames for posters to wood frames embossed with intricate gold leafing for traditional art prints and ancestor's mug shots. They also believe that frames should offer protection and draw from more than 40 years of shared experience as they armor precious objects in museum-quality frames. This archival process uses premium materials, including acid-free paper, UV-blocking glass, and framing-grade acrylic, maintaining items in mint condition for years of display. As a bonus, some of the brands on hand have earned the approval of the Forest Stewardship Council, and some actively support reforestation programs or use reclaimed wood.
The archival specialists at Willow Glen Art & Frame have occupied the same Lincoln Avenue storefront for more than 35 years, and their dedication to the craft remains evident in the way they eschew standard gallery framing techniques in favor of fully customized picture frames. Knowing that each unhung canvas that enters their store is someone’s precious heirloom or priceless work of art, the framers take care to consult with customers before suggesting wood, metal, or acrylic styles to best complement the object. Every one-of-a-kind frame comes into being with the assistance of computer-guided mat-cutting technology and glass that protects against harsh UV waves, ensuring that still-life paintings of grapes do not dry into raisins over the years.
Shutterstop Photography’s resident shutterbug, Mike, has a playful sense about photography. While fun is a key word, he’s gained myriad experience over the years in such genres as fashion, glamour, and art portraiture with a touch of commercial flair. Mike wants “to turn everyone into a superhero, a cover girl, an icon.” And he pulls that off during shoots for models, performers, athletes, families, and even pets. He also customizes photo sessions for moms-to-be and high-school seniors.
Glenn Young studied art at Santa Clara University before serving as a photographer in the Peace Corps in The Gambia. Upon his return, he founded Artscapes, where he funnels his 20 years of professional photography and framing experience into art preservation. His clientele includes private collectors as well as museums such as the DeSaisset Museum and the San Jose Museum of Art. And to stay at the forefront of art preservation, he learns best practices and advanced techniques from the Western Regional Paper Conservation Laboratory, where paper cloning was invented.
Glenn pours all this experience and training into leading his team of trained visual artists and craftsmen. The skilled staff takes an individualized approach to framing that relies on museum-quality materials such as hand-wrapped fabric liners, French matting, and UV-filtering plexiglass for long-lasting results. In addition to housing works of art from paintings to photographs in a selection of 2,000 frames, they keep their gallery stocked with antique posters, movie posters, and paintings for elegant home decor.