Protecting your precious photos should be priority once you get them printed, which is very rare these days. People prefer to store photos in their laptops, smartphones or online photo storage websites, and feel that getting prints is just additional burden.
But there is also a big group of enthusiasts who like to print photos and organize them into albums. The physical storage space required is no doubt more, but protecting them from factors that could permanently damage them is also important.
1. Hang framed photos on a wall that won't get the direct sunlight, as this fades and discolours photos at a fast rate. If the spot where you want to hand receives ample sunlight, then use draperies to control the light. Always frame photos using acid-free matting materials.
2. Temperature and humidity also affect photos. Stash stored photos and albums away in a cool and dry area. Avoid storing photos in basements or attics, where temperatures and humidity fluctuate.
3. Oils on your fingers, though not visible, can degrade photos and negatives, so handle them by the edges only. For additional protection, you can wear clean cotton gloves.
4. Paper clips, rubber bands, glue, and tape anywhere near your photo is a complete no-no. It shouldn't come in contact with photos, unless specifically designed as safe for photos.
5. Plastic pages or boxes that aren't acid-free might release harmful vapours that have the ability to permanently damage your cherished photos. Before you buy, check labels on photo boxes or albums to make sure they're acid-free.
6. Adhesives can also chemically interact with photo prints and ruin them. So, use only acid-free glue, pens, markers and corners on your photos.
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