What does it take to preserve an image in a digital era characterized by fleeting artistic mediums like Instagram and Facebook? Mike Malone describes himself as a “framer at heart,” and his local startup Livestock Framing seeks to endow impermanent digital narratives with a sense of longevity only print can provide.
Malone always felt drawn to the arts—and when the former Wall Street banker helped his friend open a gallery in New York, he became immersed in the Big Apple’s perpetually intoxicating fine art scene.
At the same time, Malone, who now lives in Portland, took note of the changing ways people created on a much more democratic, humble level. “Digital cameras—particularly those on smartphones—were getting increasingly powerful,” he says. “So the number of people taking terrific photos was growing exponentially. Many of these photos were being posted to various social media, but there wasn’t a way to have them easily and professionally printed and framed.” He soon hatched the idea for a business that would harness and amplify the growing fidelity and ambition of amateur photography—essentially, the camera power now at every iPhone owner’s disposal.
Every print is custom to order, and the process, fittingly, is user-friendly. Visit Livestock’s website on any device and upload a digital file, then select frame color and print size. Expert printer Phil Bard brings the digital image to life and provides touch ups free of charge. The frames are handmade in Portland with gallery-quality wood and hardware. Print size determines cost, and shipping is free. Prints arrive with hook and nail ready for display—bringing the elite gallery experience to your doorstep.
Launching the business in Portland as opposed to the Big Apple was a calculated move. A native Oregonian, Malone appreciates Portland’s “artisan, craftsman culture,” and Livestock’s frames are all custom-made—intimately involving the client with the print process. Malone explains, “The potential exists to capture something really meaningful. I think it’s important that those images can be brought to life in a way that’s representative of the images themselves.”
With Livestock, Malone endeavors to showcase his clients’ visual stories in a meaningful way. The printing and framing process reflects the integrity of the photographer’s vision. Malone understands “people’s narratives are increasingly being told with imagery, and it’s important that an image can be brought to life simply and beautifully.”