Why you should preserve those old photos…

Example of photograph fading over time

Photographs are so important to us. Sometimes this is the only link to who someone was besides a name or a birth and death date. I get so passionate about the older photographs, why, because often this is the only glimpse into who someone was. Do you ever take the time to look at the photograph and wonder who that person was, who they became, what did they want to be in life, what did they enjoy, what were their dreams. With a photo of a baby…maybe not.. but I still think about the life they were about to live and somehow their life is already over.

Ok lets get back to the topic at hand. Why do we need to preserve the older photos in our collections. The answer is simple. Photographs, just like, film has a shelf life. They start to fade (especially if placed in light), humidity, environment, pollutants, fungus, dust and mostly age of photograph all play an important in the chemical bond of the image. The biggest role is sunlight, or UV rays, but it all plays an impact on the rate of fading.

I had a client recently who was discussing with me that her daughters baby pictures had begun to fade. These photos were not that old and not right in front of a window, but yes in time they had started to fade. It is important to display our photos… I mean that is why we spend so much money on them, but it’s also important to be aware of factors that over time cause our photographs to fade.

Ways to prevent more fading:

  1. Do not put photographs in direct sunlight.
  2. Rotate photographs so photos are not up all the time. We want to enjoy our photos..thats why we paid for them but there are ways to be careful.
  3. Yes theres even window film to help with sunlight in the home.
  4. Store older photographs or those you aren’t displaying in acid free albums, tissues, or boxes (such as the one below https://amzn.to/3SjBFH4)

So what do we do with the photographs that are already fading?

  1. The best thing to do is first get it out of the light. Sunlight or even artificial light will continue to aid in fading.
  2. The next thing to do is to call a Photo Organizer, such as myself. You can reach us at www.reclaimedmemories.net
  3. We are able to help you by scanning, preserving, and any restoration that we are able to do. If it’s super super faded there may not be much to bring back, but we can capture the image where it is currently.
  4. The next step is for us to order or purchase your own archival products, whether, tissue, boxes, or even archival sleeves to keep the original image in.

Now it’s time to think about the photographs in your own collection. The best advice is to get those scanned and lets put the older photographs in proper storage. I have a lot of clients that bring me their 100 year old photographs. They are now able to display their photographs and able to preserve the original with proper archival protection to be passed down to more family safely.

As the holidays approach…now is the time to think about those important photographs. A gift certificate is also a great gift to give your family member for Christmas to finally get that favorite photograph protected. We look forward to helping with your families favorite memories.

Digitizing and Preserving Family Memories