Before the digital age of photography, we all used cameras with film to take photographs and sent the film off to be developed and printed. Sometimes we even got a second copy of the prints for free. We would anxiously wait for the photos to be printed and enthusiastically opened the envelopes to view our photos. If we were diligent, we would put the photos into albums and maybe display a few of them in frames. We might also send a few to grandparents. If not, the envelopes would be put into drawers and eventually into boxes and bins and never looked at again.
Where are you storing your printed photos?
I want to divide the answer to this question into two categories – one dealing with the storage container and the other dealing with the physical location.
Ideally, you want to store your photos in containers that are archival-safe. That means that they are acid-free and lignin-free. I highly recommend the products from Archival Methods or Native Archival. You also want to make sure that they are stored up high and not on the floor. It is not recommended to store your photos in plastic containers, even if they are advertised as acid-free. According to an article in the NY Times it is best to store them in paper boxes.
If your photos are in albums, you want to make sure that they too are archival-safe to prevent deterioration of your photos.
You do not want to store your photos in a basement, crawlspace, shed or attic. Why? Because all of these locations are subject to temperature and humidity variations. To protect your photos, they should be stored in a location that does not have fluctuations in temperature – that means climate controlled – and in an area that is not subject to high humidity. Humidity can damage your photos.
Ultimately, the best way to store and preserve your printed photos is to digitize them. In the digital format they are easier to transport and share. And, if they are stored in private, secure cloud storage, such as Forever.com, they will be protected from weather and natural disasters and you will have guaranteed access for your life time plus 100 years.
So, take a look are where and how you are storing your printed photos and make sure they are safe and protected.
If you need assistance with any of these storage options, please contact me – I would love to help you.