Notes on mounting photographic prints for competitions

All prints must be mounted for competitions

The presentation of your photographs is taken into consideration by judges.
Untidy and unsuitable mounting can lose you marks.
Do not use sellotape, masking tape or any adhesive tape which could become loose and damage other members prints.


Your photos can be printed any size for print competitions.
For club competitions the mount board can be any size up to 500 mm x 400mm
For external battles and competitions the mounts must be 500mm x 400mm
See Paperspectrum for information on colours and prices.

You can get your prints professionally mounted at local art shops but be sure to order well in advance as it might take a week or so.


Any colour is permitted.
An off white such as ‘antique white’ or ‘pale ivory’ is most commonly used as it compliments most images.
Black is sometimes used- particularly for monochromes.
Use other colours with great care - make sure they do not detract from the image.

Methods of mounting

Surface mounting is permitted i.e. the photo is glued to the front surface of the mount board. This method will make the print vulnerable to scratching as prints are handled frequently for judging and stored face to face.  If used make sure the print has no air bubbles or loose edges.

The safer and more usual method is to ‘window mount’ the print i.e. a suitable size bevelled opening is cut in the mount board and the print attached to the back.

You can get your print professionally mounted at most picture framers (St.John’s Art Gallery, Devizes) This saves you buying any special tools. Ask for an estimate of the cost first. You might get a discount. Do make sure you allow plenty of time for the print to be ready.

If you prefer to mount your own photos for competitions the following notes may help to get you started.

Pre-cut mount board 500mm x 400mm, backing board & adhesive tapes can be obtained from Paperspectrum.
Cost under £2-00 per print mount (mounts can also sometimes be re-used)

1     Lay your print on the mount board and decide the best placement.
It is always looks better to have a wider border at the bottom than the top.
(Do not make your print look cramped by making the border too narrow)
If not using pre-cut board - measure and accurately cut your board to size using a ‘Stanley’ type blade and a cutting mat.

2    Measure your print less approx. 5mm all round. 
On the back of your mount board mark out very carefully where you are going to cut out your ‘window’  
check and re check!

   Using a mount cutter carefully cut out the ‘window’ (best to practice a bit first!)

Recommended basic cutter -
Logan Team System 2000 model 424 available  from 'Framers Corner' (this link also includes a video and other info)

Price about £58 inc. pp (or shop around)  Pack of 10 spare blades about £4
Other models are available - see Paperspectrum

4    Position your print in the 'window' of your mount and fix using an adhesive tape.
(If your print looks ‘cockled’ i.e. does not lie completely flat – either use heavier photo paper  or use spray mount or sheet to stick your print onto some thick card or mount board first)

   Cover the back of your print with some card cut larger than your print using self adhesive paper tape (not masking tape) 
or cover the whole of the back of your mount with lightweight board using double sided tape.

Please make sure your backing is secure and will not come off or stick to other prints

6     Add the title (not more than 25 letters) - your club number and Adv (Advanced) Int (Intermediate) or B (Beginners) on the backof your mount.
Mark ‘TOP’  if the orientation of your print is not obvious.