Tackle this To Do List Item- Photo Storage for Prints and Negatives

Is that a negative?
Image by Stitch via Flickr
Old or new, your actual photographic prints are not indestructible.  In fact, they do require a little extra TLC than you might have expected to make them last for generations.  Run through this quick list to make sure you’re protecting your memories.
  1. No matter what method of storage you choose, remember to look for products that are archival and photo safe.  These ensure that the quality of your photo will not be affected over time.
  2. Remove your prints from the photo processing envelopes they come in.  Surprisingly these are often not acid-free and can damage the photos.  Invest in photo envelopes instead.  These can be found in office supplies or scrap booking sections in stores.
  3. Place your prints in photo boxes and sort them with dividers.  It makes it easy to flip through and find what you are looking for.  Do this as soon as you bring them home and they won’t pile up!
  4. Divided page protectors offer the option of storing multiple photos per protector which can then be slipped into scrap-book albums or stored separately.
  5. Photo Albums are still a classic way to store and display photos at the same time.  They are safe from fingerprints, stay organized, and can be moved easily.  They are the easiest decoration, as Holiday albums can be switched for vacation, birthday, special occasion or theme albums as the seasons change.
  6. Pick a place to store your items that isn’t too hot or too cold, or damp.

Negative Storage:

  • Place negatives in clear plastic sheets or paper envelopes and boxes designed for that purpose.
  • Store them separately from prints.  Consider placing these along with your other important documents in a fire-safe box or even out of your home, like at a friend’s house or safe deposit box.  This way you won’t lose both if something happens.
  • If you have the equipment you can scan negatives and store them digitally.  BHG Life in Photos Scan Café (bhglifeinphotos.com) will scan negatives and send them back to you, or some local labs offer this service.
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