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Safely Store Your Treasure Trove of Photos

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By Katy Sommerfeld

Now that you’ve received the digital copies of your precious family photos from Legacybox, you may be wondering what to do with all the original print photographs. There aren’t enough picture frames in the world or enough space on the walls to display each photo in your house, and scrapbooking can take way too long, but you just can’t bring yourself to throw them away. We totally get it. Those print photos have traveled with you over the years from home to home, state to state, life stage to life stage, and getting rid of them isn’t that simple. There’s something special about the nostalgia of print photographs, and throwing them in the garbage feels like a betrayal. So, what can you do to keep your print photographs safely stored now that you’ve got easily accessible and shareable digital copies?


Three Rules for Photo Storage

When storing print photographs, there are three very important factors to keep in mind. 

 

1. Keep it Dark

Your photographs, especially as they get older, do well in dark environments. The chemicals in photographs are sensitive to light, and the more they are exposed to light, whether natural or artificial, the more likely they are to become distorted and discolored. Keeping photographs stored in opaque boxes will prevent this sort of damage from occurring. 

 

2. Keep it Dry

Two of the greatest causes of damage to photographs are water and humidity. Many people store their photographs in attics or basements that are not insulated well and are exposed to higher levels of humidity. Areas with high-humidity encourage mold and mildew growth, and photographs are not immune to damage from these fungi. To ensure that your photos won’t start sprouting spores, keep them out of basements and attics and all environments that may be more exposed to the weather. A better storage environment would be a closet on the main floor of your home. 

 

3. Keep it Temperate

Photographs thrive and last longer in temperate environments. It is best to store temperatures in areas under 75 degrees. Extreme heat and cold can warp photographs and cause permanent damage, so keep your photographs inside with you at all times and out of basements, garages, and attics. 


These three tips are probably the most important to remember when it comes to storing photographs after digitization. However, there are a few other things you can do to help prevent any damage or deterioration of your photos:

  • Store photographs individually in plastic sandwich baggies to prevent photos from sticking.
  • Stack photos with acid-free slips of paper between each photo to prevent them from sticking to one another. 
  • When framing photos, use an acid-free mat inside the picture frame to prevent the photo from sticking to the glass.
  • Store your photos in an opaque metal box if you have one, or if you’re using a cardboard box, make sure it’s acid-free, too.

Those are our best tips for optimal photograph storage after digitization through Legacybox. We are so glad you took the steps to get your family’s memories preserved digitally so that you can enjoy them and pass them on for decades to come.

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