Color and black and white prints can be found in many different places - wallets, walls, and desktops. Even though most of us are found carrying a cellphone, many people still have photos in their wallets before they convert photos to digital.
I think it is also safe to say that the walls of your home bear collections of photographs of your family and friends. In addition, I know my desk at work is cluttered with framed prints of my family.
Prints are still popular because there is no fancy equipment necessary to view them. Also, for many people if their prints are damaged they can simply make another copy.
However, care becomes vitally important for the prints that you no longer have the original copies of. Keep in mind storage of color photographs is especially important because of dyes and emulsion layers in color papers.
Protect Your Prints Before You Convert Photos to Digital
Safe Storage Place
Several things impact the life of a print such as light, heat, humidity, and atmospheric containments. One of the most important things you can do for your prints is to try to keep them in a cool, dry, and uncontaminated storage area. An ideal place would be somewhere dark, around 75 degrees or lower with 30-50% humidity. These storage conditions are very similar to other photographic products, like slides and negatives. Instead of using their original packaging, look to use Archival quality boxes and envelopes to store your prints.
Keep Prints in Albums
Keeping prints in an album allows you easy access and better-than-average, long-term storage conditions. Like with individual prints, keeping a photo album in a place where temperature and humidity aren’t extreme is ideal. Bear in mind that an open bookshelf in the best place for an album because fumes from mothballs, mildew, and paint can contaminate drawers. The other important factor to consider before you convert photos to digital is to make sure the quality of your photo album is good. The album needs to be designed for long-term storage to really be of good use. We recommend you confirm the cover, pages, plastic sleeves, and mounting corners are especially made for storing photos.
Mount and Display Prints
This is really up to you – there are arguments both for and against mounting and displaying prints depending on the type of prints you have in your possession. Some people say that if the photo has a high value, it should never be mounted. It may decrease the value it holds and once mounted you might not be able to see the stamp of the past owners, like from museums and institutions.
The other end of the spectrum argues that mounting provides some valuable characteristics. Your prints will be more rigid therefore preventing wrinkling. If you decide to mount, make sure to select the appropriate material, location, and surface protection for the photo (especially if you only have one copy).
Regardless of what you decide, photo scanning services are here to help you preserve your memories in a digital way. Looking for ideas on what to do after you go digital? Check out our FREE ebook detailing 25 ways to share digital photos.
Photo credit: The Image Box