This is the question I get asked more than anything else, besides how much it costs(that's another blog posting down the road). The short answer is because you want something truly unique to hang on your wall. Custom framing photos and artwork is equivalent to anything else custom made: furniture, clothing, home design, cars etc. It allows you the control to create a one of a kind piece, that will hopefully last you a lifetime.
There is also a long answer to why you should custom frame your valuable artwork as well: Preservation. When we frame something, our first priority, even before considering design, is how to keep your treasures in the same shape(or better) while they hang on your walls over the years. We use acid free archival materials when framing, so that the art remains in perfect shape over many years.
There are two different types of custom picture framing, and they do overlap some: decorative and conservation framing. My job as a custom picture framer(and designer!) is to ask you the right questions to get exactly what you want. A big part of my job is to educate, so that every customer knows why they are spending the amount of money they are and what they are getting in return.
Creating a one of a kind piece will cost you a little more up front, but may save you money and time in the long run. There are picture frames galore online, at Walmart, and stores like Hobby Lobby, and for pieces that you just want to get on the wall, that may be the right choice, but for the items you care about and want to last a lifetime, custom picture framing is well worth the investment!
When you frame something consider several questions: What is your budget, how important is the piece(is it irreplaceable or just a cool poster you found online), is your main goal to look good, conserve or both. When you think about these questions, I encourage customers to shop around. Say you have something you really want to make a statement with, like build the decor in a room around. Spending $600 on a framed piece may not be something you would consider up front. Hobby Lobby has ready made frames and you could get it on your wall for $150. But say that piece will hang in your room for 10 years(probably much longer), is it really out of the question to spend $45 more per year to have a framed piece that blows people away the second they walk into that room? More importantly, you look everyday for that time frame, hopefully a lot longer than 10 years, and every time you see it, you get that same feeling you had the first time you saw the piece. When I started framing pictures 21 years ago, I choose a few pieces of my own to spend a little extra money on, and others I just wanted to get on my wall. The pieces that I did the right way, still look good some 20 years later, and I probably spent $100 more than I would have cutting corners. So for $100 more upfront, I have framed pieces that have stood the test of time and preserved the artwork as well, easily worth the $5 a year additional investment! Come on by my shop, I'll be happy to discuss your framing project and help figure out what suits your needs and budget best.