Storing your Photographs
When you take a photograph or have your photograph taken, there's always a reason. That reason is mostly as a visual reminder. After that moment your photograph becomes a memory which has been visually captured so you can look back on it.
With digital technology we sometimes get so swept up in the concept of documenting our moments that we forget to print them. Printing your photographs gives you a tangible reminder of that moment. Touching a quality photograph no matter the age, brings back memories, even the actual print has a scent of it's own. A digital image can become lost by corruption, deleted accidentally or the USB lost. If you have an image printed and stored correctly you'll be able to refer to it many years down the track and tell young family members about that special moment.
Printing photographs ...
Where and how do you have your photographs printed?
It's important to look for a photo lab that prints archival prints of high quality. This means the paper AND the ink are archival. You may need to ask them to check your colour correction. There are few computer screens that are set at lab specifications but in general most home PC's aren't calibrated for photographs. If you don't ask for colour correction you may be disappointed with your results. I use two New Zealand labs for my personal snaps that I would like to keep for prosperity (my client photographs are printed on Fine Art paper so are printed elsewhere). If you are after reliable archival printing for your photo albums Wellington Photographic Supplies are very good with consistent results, along with Happy Moose in Dunedin.
As a professional photographer, I have client photographs printed on Fine Art paper. This paper is optimal archival quality. However, it's rather pricey to have all your home photographs printed on. Fine art printers are also a little hard to find. I'll be doing a blog about the importance of fine art prints for your family photographs another day. I also have a computer screen which is especially calibrated to my lab so when I print your photographs they look the same as on my screen.
How to store your prints ...
Loose prints ...
Many people become stuck with what to do with loose prints. I recently purchased this archival print box from New Zealand company Conservation Supplies. It comes in various sizes (I like 5" x 7" prints so I selected that box size). There's archival card slips too so you can write what year or event the photographs were taken at. Remember to get an archival photographic pen to write details on the back of the photograph.
These gorgeous archival envelopes are made to fit into the boxes above. They are also perfect for giving your girlfriends a nice gift from a dinner or evening out to add to their photo collection.
Photo albums ...
There are all sorts of photo albums to choose from. There's black and white page albums, book albums both hard and soft cover, and handmade albums. Just be aware to select archival quality albums. The cream page album is a Semikolon album that I had imported from Australia (because I love their look). If you are after something local, any quality photo lab will have a selection although white pages are fairly difficult to source.
There's also book style albums available too. There's many different types to select from so once again look for archival quality albums if you're after photographs to keep forever. All my clients receive Museum Fine Art Flush Mount albums to keep their special family photographs for generations to come. These are stunning and these particular albums are only available to professional photographers.
Make your own album...
When our kids were little I used to make stories for them from an event with photos. They still like looking at them. Make sure you use acid free paper and everything is archival. There's so much choice when it comes to paper that you can design any theme!
Looking for information on how to display your artwork? For more info head over to Ideas on How to Display Artwork in Your Home.
I hope you've received some inspiration and helpful tips on options of how best to keep your photographs safe for future generations.
Caroline is a Family Lifestyle Photographer who loves to document family stories in an emotive and creative way. She enjoys tangibly preserving stories into beautiful albums and framed or boxed artwork