We all have boxes of photos stored away or photo albums that we’re “going to put in albums one day.” It’s just something that goes on the to-do list with things like “clean closets,” or “clean out attic and have a yard sale.”
Storing photos in boxes and failing to convert photos to digital files isn’t something you want to put off though. An old pair of shoes may just require some shining before their condition is restored, but if you leave photos in boxes and storage, it’s likely that they may suffer some damage, and unfortunately, a bottle of shoe polish won’t fix them.
#1: Keeping Memories Safe from Natural Disasters
Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires...the list of possible natural disasters goes on and on. Your insurance policy may pay to replace your "big ticket" items, but what about your photos and other memory keepsakes? So far, the insurance industry hasn’t developed a coverage endorsement or coverage limit for those items you can’t put a price on.
So what's the best way to prevent your photos from being damaged in the case of a tragic disaster? You can also try to protect your prints with tools like waterproof storage boxes and plastic Ziploc bags. There's no guarantee these methods will protect your prints, but it's better than nothing.
Digital photos are the best way to ensure your memories are protected. Scanning photos and storing your digitized prints in the virtual cloud will ensure you don't lose a single memory.
#2: Some Like It Hot...but Photographs Don't!
Anyone who has ever stored pictures in an attic or storage unit knows that photos start to stick together and basically “melt” when exposed to high temperatures.
If you leave photos in a hot, humid, damp environment for too long, you may have to pull each sticky, melted print apart from the next. No matter how carefully you pull them apart, if subjected to heat or humidity too long – especially if exposed to both – there’s no avoiding that the photos will be destroyed.
If they haven’t all stuck together, you’ll still probably see spots develop on the prints. Combine that with the edges of the prints curling and you have a mess. Even if you can slightly rescue them by sending them to a photo scanning service, you may have to spend time cropping and editing them to get their color or shape back to even close to what it once was.
#3: Losing Photos in the Confusion of Relocation
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t lost at least one thing during a move. Whether it’s cross country or down the street, it’s inevitable that you will lose something in the confusion of relocation.
This could also mean leaving them behind – think about how many scary movies you’ve seen where new homeowners find the private family photo collections of the old homeowners. Granted, your photo archive may not look like it belongs to the Addams family, but whatever family left those old photos behind probably wishes they’d enlisted the help of a photo scanning service!
Store and Preserve Your Photo Memories
Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee the safety of your photographs. Accidents happen; the best you can do is prepare.
For your physical prints, try storing your photos in a cool, waterproof environment. You can purchase specialized storage boxes or even high-end decor boxes which are made for storing photos. But you know your prints can last forever if they are digitized and stored in the cloud.
Photo Credit: Flickr