Do You Have a Lot Of Prints? Here Are A Few Ways That You Can Use To Preserve Them Forever.
Photographs are more than just images printed on paper, they are a reminder of a special moment that silently exists even today. Taking care of these photographs are taking care of those moments that you cared about.
I think of photographs as a piece of our lived life that we managed to freeze in time, forever. These moments are priceless and so the reason to safeguard these printed images is paramount. Because ‘the images do not change, even if people in them change’. Here are a few ways you can take care of all those amazing images that you have.
Back them up:
Most of the photographs that are taken today are through a digital mediums; digital cameras, cell phones, etc. Hence backing these up is a good start. Preserving them in at least in two places is a good idea. You may write them up on a good quality DVD and keep another copy on your computer’s hard disk or an external hard disk.
If you have any old images already printed on paper then keep them in a safe place away from direct sunlight or moisture. Scan and keep a digital copy of the photographs as I said before. Digital images are a lot easier to preserve than printed images. Make multiple copies of the printed images and give them out to friends and relatives to keep; so that the photographs get stored at different location, just in case.
Preserve old negative too like the photographs, they may come in handy if the original image is damaged later on for any reason.
Opt for good quality paper while printing images:
Most people while taking deliveries of their photos do not look carefully at the back to figure out the type of paper on which the images have been printed. There are various kinds of paper that studios generally use to print photos. Make sure you ask about it before you place an order for your photographs. Ask for archival-quality paper. This will ensure long life of your photographs as they are very durable and long lasting.
Keep Them In A Photo Friendly Place:
Direct Sunlight (yes, sunlight falling directly on the image you have on the wall, that too!), high humidity or moisture, insects, dust, substantial fluctuations in temperature may all prematurely damage your printed images and cause them to fade away.
If possible keep your photos in a wooden box (since wood is a good insulator) or even an old shoe box and place a few silica gel packets inside. This will contain the humidity well. You may find silica gel in new shoe boxes or you may buy some from a drugstore. You can also create a larger storage space, if you have many photographs, made of wood and place a low-powered light bulb inside to contain the humidity.
Handle with care:
Prints are very susceptible to oils and other dirt on our hands. Try not to touch the surface of the print. Hold them along the edges and never with dirty hands. These are photographs remember, you just cannot go out and buy another set, so treat them with respect.
Find time and revisit your photographs once in a while. Look for any sign of wear and tear and treat them as soon as you can. If you do not nip the problems in the bud, they will only grow overtime. Protect your photos against fungus by cleaning them occasionally with some cotton and alcohol. Never glue your photos into the albums. The glue will only damage the photographs if kept in contact for long periods of time.
Catalog your prints in such a manner so that it is easy for you to remember and find out where is what. Use labels if needed. Do not keep a bunch of loose photos together. In due course of time, they will either get lost or get stuck together, something that you really don’t want. If you use an album, always use acid-free version of it.
Framed and Laminated Photographs:
Framed and laminated images also need some love and care. Please do not think that just because you have got them laminated you can leave them to take abuse from the environment. Make sure that the wall on which these photos are on are not subjected to direct sunlight. Clean them regularly with water or mild chemical cleaners so that they remain in pristine condition.
Your photographs are like little windows into your past. Only they have the capability to take you right to the moment when something amazing happened. They offer you something invaluable and priceless. So love them a little, they will always remind you of something beautiful.