How to Preserve Photos
You've got your old print photos out of the shoeboxes, organized, scanned into your computer and integrated in your digital albums. Now you're probably wondering what to do with all those prints.
Photos, unfortunately, are subject to wear and tear and will not last forever. There are steps, however, that you can take to prolong the life of your prints. Make sure that pages in photo albums and scrapbooks lay flat and are not overloaded to the extent they bend or buckle when the album is closed. Most photo album pages are manufactured to be photo-safe, but look for verification just to be sure. And don't use album pages or paper storage boxes that contain acid, which can discolor photos over time [source: Davis].
Furthermore, pay attention to where your photos are physically stored. For maximum durability, they should remain in an area that's cool and dry. This may mean you'll have to dig them out of your crawlspace and make room for them in the hall closet. Photos also need to stay out of the sun. Go ahead and display your favorite framed photos near the window -- just be sure you have copies in case the sunlight fades them [source: Davis].
And finally, if you're intent on taking film photos as opposed to digital, consider using black and white as an alternative to color. Because of differences in the types of film, black-and-white photos can last twice as long as color photos [source: Davis].
For more tips on preserving, organizing and storing photos, visit the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Better Homes and Gardens. "How to Organize Photos." 2010 (Accessed 1/10/2010) http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/storage/around-the-house/how-to-organize-photos/?page=1
- Coleman, Michelle. "Digital Designs: Advanced Technique." Memory Makers Magazine. January 2008 (Accessed 1/10/2010) http://www.memorymakersmagazine.com/article.aspx?id=216
- Davis, Vicki. "Tips for Storing Photos." Genealogy Forum. 2004 (Accessed 1/10/2010) http://www.genealogyforum.com/gfaol/resource/PPStorePhoto.htm
- Desmond, Michael. "Organize Those Digital Photos!" PC World. September 23, 2003 (Accessed 1/10/2010) http://www.pcworld.com/article/112623/organize_those_digital_photos.html
- Hendricks, Gary. "How to Organize Your Digital Photos." Photos of the Year. (Accessed 1/10/2010) http://www.photos-of-the-year.com/articles/digital-photo/
- Hesseldahl, Arik. "How to Preserve Photos for 500 Years." Forbes. April 14, 2005 (Accessed 1/10/2010) http://www.forbes.com/2005/04/14/cx_ah_0414photo.html
- Hewlett-Packard. "Tips for Organizing Your Digital Photos." 2009 (Accessed 1/10/2010) http://www.hp.com/united-states/consumer/digital_photography/organize_archive_photos/tips/photo_organization.html
- Kodak. "Storing Digital Pictures on CDs." (Accessed 1/10/2010) http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=6191/6193&pq-locale=en_US
- Northrup, Tony. "Organize Your Digital Photos." Using Windows XP. 2010 (Accessed 1/10/2010) http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/learnmore/folders.mspx
- Pash, Adam. "Five Best Digital Photo Organizers." Life Hacker. March 28, 2008 (Accessed 1/10/2010) http://lifehacker.com/373220/five-best-digital-photo-organizers
- Smedley, Wendy and Aby Garvey. "5 Simple Steps to Becoming an Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker." Simple Scrapbooks Magazine. January 2009 (Accessed 1/9/2010)http://www.simplescrapbooksmag.com/content_downloads/LFEA_JF09.pdf
- Steveson, Sherry. "Make the Most of Blurry Photos." Memory Makers Magazine. 2009 (Accessed 1/9/2010) http://www.memorymakersmagazine.com/article.aspx?id=291
- Sutton, Christine and Tracey DuBois. "How to Organize and Protect Your Entire Photo Collection in as Little as 10 Days…Without Losing Your Mind." Organized Photos. 2007 (Accessed 1/9/2010) http://www.organizedphotos.com/photoorganizing.html
- Williams, Leah Blanco. "Choosing An Album." Memory Makers Magazine. 2009 (Accessed 1/9/2010) http://www.memorymakersmagazine.com/article.aspx?id=26