Barnwood is without a doubt my top-selling frame style, particularly for clients who desire a frame that delivers aged authenticity, heartland charm, and an extraordinary uniqueness that simply can’t be replicated by mass consumer or larger professional photography labs. It’s always exciting and fulfilling to design the most stunning and incomparable delightfully distressed frames to highlight your pet’s portraits!
After seeing the popularity of its gorgeous farmhouse flair continue to climb with my clients, and with a desire to offer larger impact- and showcase-sized pieces bordered in more expansive barnwood, I slowly began sourcing a lab that could deliver the finest, made-in-the-USA genuine barnwood frames around, one that could reimagine and renew the materials’ history while still preserving its deep-rooted, natural beauty.
In doing my research and speaking with fellow photographers across the country, I was referred to an outstanding duo out of Michigan and—in January of this year—was graciously offered a seller’s account with this small, family-owned frame company that specializes in handcrafted, reclaimed barnwood frames. I had been on its waitlist for nearly two years, but for a very valid reason, part of why I so eagerly wanted to work with this company.
Of the thousands of photographers from all over the United States who apply for access to its one-of-a-kind frames, this particular company accepts only a handful of new photographers on a periodic basis and limits that list more exclusively within each geographic region. As of now, I am one of just 192 approved photographers in the entire country—and one of only three in western Pennsylvania—able to provide its frames to my clients. (The others are newborn and children’s photographers, making me the only Pittsburgh pet photographer who can get you these specific frames.)
This exclusivity and its refined customer base foster familiarity with each photographer’s individual editing style, business practices, and portraits, allowing this husband-and-wife team of artisans to produce the most detailed, complementary options that remain unparalleled in intentional craftsmanship and original design.
Barnwood is Beautiful
With its inherent “imperfections,” distinctive weathered textures, and variety of organic materials, there’s no denying that barnwood is beautiful.
Beyond that, however, barnwood is woven with authentic history. Each piece of wood is salvaged and repurposed from structures throughout Ohio and Michigan, such as old barns, pasture fences, farmhouse floorboards, corn cribs, and carriage houses. Each presents its own textures, tones, and stories from centuries ago that simply cannot be replicated. Time, coupled with the elements of rain, wind, and sun and the generations of life breathed into each piece of wood, ensures that you receive a truly original frame to perfectly complement your pet’s portrait.
Unlike factory-produced pieces that you’ll find from “pro-sumer” labs, these barnwood frames’ boards are hand-selected and crafted only after careful inspection of details and quality. From start to finish, the process of finding and preparing these materials requires a significant time commitment, which begins with salvaging the wood that will be repurposed through a practice that involves drying each board to the appropriate humidity content to prevent shrinkage from excess moisture. Each board is then individually selected based on the desired tone and grain to create a cohesive frame. This starts with meticulous carpentry before moving through the final finishing steps, which entails carving, sanding, sealing, and the installation of hanging hardware.
When opting for a barnwood frame, it is important to remember that roughness, nicks, cuts, splintered areas, knots, nail holes, and color variations are intrinsic to this style of frame. These characteristics are not flaws or defects but reflective of its rich antiquity. If you do not fully appreciate these trademark attributes, you may find yourself more drawn toward my traditional frame options.
Are you ready to adorn your walls with the beauty of barnwood? I can’t wait to create the perfect custom piece for you! Choose your adventure below to begin.
Did you enjoy this post? Great, there’s more coming your way because it’s part of a photography blog circle featuring photographers specializing in a variety of niches! To see more content like this and what the next photographer is sharing for our weekly theme, “Frame It,” check out Gretchen Decker with Gretchen Decker Photography, sharing ideas for framing your wedding portrait. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here.