With so many memories you made from various experiences, it’s a good thing to have photos that would constantly remind you of such wonderful happenings in your life. Looking through them can entertain you and refresh your mind about numerous people who have touched your life.
However, storing and organizing photos can be challenging as time goes by. Some may get damaged while some may be lost. You might beat your brains out, asking where to get copies of old photos made by your best friend. Likewise, you might find it hard to look for a good-looking and damage-free photo for a project you’re doing.
Well, just chill and relax for now. Here are some tips that can help you handle old photos and secure copies of them.
How do You Extend the Life of Your Photos?
Prolonging the life of your photos highly depends on how you take care of them. Below are some tips that can help you:
- Observe careful handling.
Did you know that your hands contain salts and oils that can damage photos? Yes, it’s true; that is why using cotton gloves is recommended. Or if your situation calls you to get a photo with your bare hands, make sure to just touch in from the edge. Know that while your fingerprints may not be visible today, you will clearly see them in the future as disgusting brown stains.
- Choose the safest storage areas.
Do not place your photos in areas exposed to sunlight. As you may already know, too much exposure to light can damage photos. Also, see to it that your chosen storage spots are not too hot or too cold and too wet or too dry.
Never store your photos in basements and attics, for those areas are prone to mold and mildew. Apparently, mold and mildew can damage or even destroy a photo. The best areas to store your photographs are under the bed or in a linen closet.
- Be careful when picking a container.
If you find it hard to look for a good storage area, opting for a good-quality container will help. Opt for archival boxes because doing so will create an environment that protects photos from dirt, pests, and damage caused by UV rays. Using a box also prevents folding and getting some scratches.
- Take the Photographic Activity Test (PAT) seriously.
In relation to the previous item, it is best to opt for containers that have passed the PAT. This test uses accelerated aging to find out whether a particular container will interact with photos in any way. You can buy these containers from archival suppliers.
How do You Organize Your Photos?
After settling the issue on where to store your photos, it is now time to think of how you should organize them. Below are some helpful tips for you:
- Go for flat and right-sized containers.
To make sure your photos stay flat and don’t get folded, go for flat and stiff ones. Also, make sure your storage box is not too small in both length and width. Using a container that is too small for your photos can definitely cause damage.
- Don’t put too much stuff on your containers.
In relation to the previous item, you should not put too many photos in your box. Even if you get the right size, your photos may still be damaged if you put too much stuff in your container. It doesn’t make any difference from choosing a box that is too small.
- Use non-acidic materials.
When stuffing photos in a container, use a non-acidic divider for each item. Why? This is to avoid peeling them apart later on. Use stiff ones to keep your photos flat. As for albums, choose ones with acid-free sleeves alongside sheet protectors and photo corners.
Doing these things might make you feel too meticulous. But know that they can truly save your photos in the long run.
- Avoid using adhesives.
For your information, adhesives contain acids. So, yes, you should avoid using them. Not many people know about this; hence the separate item in this list.
- Create digital copies of your photos.
While it is still nice to look at physical albums, it will help if you consider making digital copies of your photos. Scan them using physical scanners or photo scanning apps, or capture them using a digital camera. There are numerous ways to make digital versions of your photos. It pays to give it a try, for doing so can add protection to beautiful memories captured in each copy.
How do You Digitize Your Photos?
As mentioned earlier, digitization can add protection to your photos. If you create digital copies, you will secure a lot of souvenirs and memories of your beautiful experiences. Below are the different ways of digitizing photos:
- Using physical scanners
Would you like to scan a whole photo album? If yes, film scanners may be the best option for you. It allows you to scan a large number of photos and do some modifications like removing scratches, improving colors, etc.
But if you wish to scan one photo at a time, a flatbed scanner may be good for you. Once you scan a photo, it will send a digital copy to your computer.
- Using scanning apps
If you don’t have a scanner but you need to do some scanning right away, you may download a scanning app and use your smartphone to capture and scan your photo. The quality may not be as good as that of a physical scanner, but it can be good enough for you.
- Using digital cameras
This is the simplest way to make digital copies of photos. Just capture them and you’re good. You may also want to connect your camera to other devices to save more copies.
Handling and securing copies of your old photos can be tiring and frustrating at times. But if you treasure the memories stored in those photos, you will do the aforementioned tips and more helpful practices. Indeed, it pays to be meticulous and consciously protective of them, for they are your priceless treasures.