Storing Hard Copy Photos

There are times when storing hard copy photos becomes necessary. Perhaps you’re going to move into a new home and don’t have time immediately to decide where to place them. Or you have new photos and want to display them for a while.

Whatever the reason for storing hard copy photos, there are some factors you must take into consideration so you’ll have the photos for a very long time to come. Three main factors must be considered: humidity, temperature, and light.

When you think about humidity in storing hard copy photos, remember this: The National Archives and Records Administration recommends humidity levels no lower than 15% and no higher than 65%.

The paper photos are printed on can become very brittle at really low relative humidity. But when most people consider storing hard copy photos, they think about places with too high relative humidity.

Basements for example can have very high relative humidity. This encourages the growth of mold, can cause photos to stick together because the ink and pigments run together, and encourage the growth of insects that can destroy your photos. Avoid high humidity when storing hard copy photos.

Usually, the lower the temperature when storing hard copy photos the better. Lower temperatures keep down the growth of insects and slow the degradation of paper and ink.

For sure, when storing hard copy photos choose a place with temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This means your attic is not a good place.

Garages are also not a good place to choose when storing hard copy photos. This is because the temperature there fluctuates with the outside temperature.

Ultimately, a climate controlled environment is best for storing hard copy photos because both temperature and humidity can be controlled.

Most of the time, when storing hard copy photos you should choose a dark place. Light will break down the images over time, especially UV light or fluorescent lights. Fading due to exposure to light can be a definite issue when storing hard copy photos, so it’s best to have the original stored in a dark place while you display a copy.

Be sure also to store your photos in a place safe from insects, rodents, and water.

When you handle your photos, do so with no lotion on your hands that are also clean and dry. Handle the photos by the edges only.

There are more tips coming next month concerning both storing hard copy photos and handling them. Meanwhile, you want the best photographers available to take your photos. Pixel Perfect Photography in Amherst, NH, is the perfect place to capture the magic of your moments. Karen and Kiera are waiting to do their best for you. Call 603-672-8780 to schedule a time to get together and plan how they will meet your needs.