Protecting your images from damage or loss preserves the history you’ve experienced with your family and friends. Ensuring that every special moment you’ve ever captured is archived and secure brings peace of mind and comfort; especially during times of disaster. Losing your most treasured documented moments in a fire, flood or other natural disaster can be heartbreaking to say the least.
Proper archiving and storage are even more important for someone that’s a career photographer. As a professional photographer it is your responsibility to ensure the protection and safety of your images. The idea of a career photographer losing their entire catalog of imagery due to a lack of motivation, is terrible; you must archive your catalog properly.
Thankfully, there are many options that allow you to safely, securely and properly store you’re your photographic memories and experiences. Below are some great tips to assist you in the protection of your photographs. Don’t wait until it’s too late; I cannot even begin to express the horror stories that I’ve heard and have personally experienced. Here are some other Great Photography Tips & Advice I recently shared; I hope you enjoy them!
BACK-UP & STORAGE
Existing Prints: The best way to preserve your existing prints is to convert them into digital form. By converting your images you are essentially backing them; now you have them in digital and print form. The most efficient way to convert your images is by a home scanner. Scanners are very inexpensive and can actually save you money; professional archivist can be expensive. If at all possible, invest in a home scanner and do it yourself.
When scanning your images, make sure to scan them at a resolution of at least 250dpi; this will assist you in printing crisp, clear photographs in the future; anything less proves unusable. Though you can scan at a higher resolution, I wouldn’t suggest it; you don’t want surface imperfections such as hair, lint, stains or watermarks to be visible.
If you happen to be well versed in Photoshop or a like program, then I would suggest scanning at a higher resolution of no more than 600 dpi; retouching should be easy. You may also need to adjust the settings when scanning color or black & white imagery. Always double check your settings to ensure efficiency.
Having the ability to print images from your distant past is fantastic; they make for great gifts. There are plenty of photography print services online that can accommodate all of your printing needs.
There are a variety of portable / external hard drives that are conveniently small, lightweight, and inexpensive. Hard drives are extremely user friendly and easily connect to desktop and laptop computers via a USB or firewire port. Advancements in technology are providing greater memory capability at increasingly affordable prices.
This is another excellent option for backing up your imagery. Always use CD’s or DVD’s that are specifically designed for photography archival; regular disks deteriorate rapidly losing quality; archival disks are designed to have a shelf life of 100 or more years.
Upon completing your backup to an archival disk, you should always test the disk to ensure it burned properly without any errors; very important. In addition, you should never delete anything until you are confident that you’ve completed your transfer successfully.
Protecting your archives should be a top priority, especially for a career photographer. Having a fire-resistant safe is an excellent option for safely securing your prints, negatives, archival disks and external/portable hard drives. Fires are one of the leading causes of archival loss; it’s always better to be prepared!
Archival Sprays: It’s not complicated to protect your photographs from age, wear, and damaging effects of acid and light. I suggest Archival Mist, a safe non-toxic alkaline buffer you spray onto your photo paper; the application of the treatment is simple and it does extremely well over time. This treatment helps to protect brittle or weakening paper by neutralizing the acids in the paper; treated paper lasts roughly five times longer.
You should also treat you photo paper with, Krylon, a safe non-toxic acid-free formula with UV absorbing compounds that helps paper retain its brightness by eliminating the yellowing effects of age. You should also treat the paper containers in which your photographs are stored including albums, books, boxes and scrapbooks.
Light, moisture, pollution and extreme temperature are the leading causes of photographic damage. It’s extremely important that you store your photographs properly to ensure long-term photo preservation. Fire / weather resistant safes are a great option for safely and securely storing your archives. Never store your archives in an addict or basement and always keep them away from direct sunlight.
Should you have any further questions regarding photography archiving or proper storage techniques feel free to email me. Remember, it is extremely important to protect and secure your imagery. Known that your images are protected will give you peace of mind; preserve your memories for a lifetime.