Caring for your Images
Something we strongly believe in at Kelly Gordon Photography is the importance of having printed copies of your images. Not only is it wonderful to see your memories displayed in your home each day, but prints and albums are something that can last and be handed down to your children, grandchildren and beyond.
Your images are a way to preserve your memories, which are incredibly important, and the proper care of your prints will help them last generations. Here are our suggestions on how to keep your prints, digital files and albums in good shape.
Keep prints out of direct sunlight. Even the best quality images are subject to cracking or fading when exposed to prolong periods of sunlight. Normal incandescent light bulbs do not present a problem, but fluorescent lights do emit UV rays that can be harmful. Prints placed in direct sunlight, particularly with non-UV protected windows, can eventually fade or warp. Mounted prints can also separate from the mounting substrate.
Prints last best in areas of consistent temperature. Look for areas that are cool and dry. Avoid placing prints in areas that are prone to humidity and temperature changes, like a bathroom, kitchen or laundry room, or near heating and cooling vents and fireplaces. This will cause damage like warping to prints.
Be gentle with your prints. Avoid bending, denting or scratching. Also try to avoid touching the front of the print as to not get prints on them. When handling prints frequently, wash your hands or consider wearing light cotton gloves to reduce the transfer of oil from your hands onto the paper. Use both hands and support the back of the print when picking it up.
We encourage you not to write directly on the back of prints. Instead, label the packaging using a soft pencil (grade B). Inks and pens can penetrate the surface or bleed through, especially on lighter areas of a print.
Framing and Mounting:
Framing prints helps protect against dust, dirt, pollution and climate changes. We recommend framing prints behind glass with either matting or glass spacers, so the print does not directly touch the glass.
When selecting materials, we recommend acid-free frames, mats, backing and other materials.
Avoid laminating prints — this can permanently damage the emulsion layer. Do not use glues, spray adhesives or adhesive sticky tapes on your images — these degrade and become yellow and tacky over time, cannot be removed and are detrimental to your images. Archival quality corner mounts is the best way of attaching your prints.
Any time prints are not being displayed, they should be kept flat, preferably between sheets of acid-free paper or in photographic sleeves. Do not stack prints on top of each other; separate them with pieces of acid-free paper. Store in an acid-free box or photo album to avoid dust and yellowing. Avoid storing them where something could press against the image surface to prevent scratching, ripping or tearing.
As with prints on display, avoid storing them in areas with UV light, high temperatures and high humidity. Also avoid damp areas, which can lead to warping of images and deterioration due to mildew. Avoid covering prints with plastic; if there is humidity in the air, mold can grow inside the plastic and ruin the print.
If a print needs to be cleaned, please use a clean, soft rag. Do not using cleaning products or water and avoid blowing the print because you may inadvertently deposit water droplets onto the print.
If using compressed air, apply short bursts while keeping the nozzle at least 12 inches from the surface of the print.
Digital files should be backed up and saved to at least one additional location. We recommend having at least one back up, and storing it in a different location than the original. There is no harm in having multiple backups, saved in a variety of places, including your home, work, and/or a family member of friend’s house, as well as full-size images saved online.
Should be stored flat to protect the spine. Avoid reading anything heavy on an album. Do not place albums near liquid, as any liquid on the pages could cause warping. If the album gets wet, dry pages quickly and let the book dry before closing. As with prints, store books in a dry, moderately tempered location.
If you have any questions about caring for your prints, files or albums, please contact Kelly Gordon Photography. We are also happy to provide recommendations on labs that provide quality printing, online resources to store files and where to find archival products.