4 Tips on How to Protect Your Printed Photos from Fading

We all agree that printed photos are priceless memories. Whether we have them framed or placed in a photo album, if we do not take good care of them, the photos are prone to fading. Photo fading is not an occurrence that happens spontaneously. Rather, we start noticing the lack of lustre in the photos with each new day. How devastating this can be!

Imagine flipping through your photo album and noticing a shirt that looked bright red in one of your photographs a year ago now looking not as brilliant. You may wonder why the photo has faded despite having been preserved in a place like an album. Here are several factors that may cause the fading:

  1. Direct sunlight: Dyes that have been used to print your photos can easily be affected by sunlight which breaks down the pigment molecules. This causes the fading effect in images.
  2. Environmental factors like dust and chemicals can also land on the photo, thus making it to change.
  3. Humidity is also a culprit when it comes to photo fading. Water can damage the photos through silvering. High humidity can also cause photo discoloration.
  4. Exposure to acidic material can also cause your photos to fade.
  5. Depending on the kind of color photography that has been applied in the photo production, your photos are also likely to fade if the colors used were unstable.

Prolonging the Luster in your Photos:

It is possible to enjoy the vibrancy of your photos without them fading and listed below are four tips on how you can achieve that:

1. Invest in a good quality photo album:

A good-quality photo album that has acid-free archival papers is a sure way on protecting your photos from direct sunlight. This will save you the hustle of binding your photos with staples, binder clips or rubber bands that could damage them or even leave permanent marks on them. Photo albums are a much better way of archiving your memories as compared to storing them in boxes or other forms of containers.

2. Avoid storing your photos near air vents:

Air vents are likely to harbor dust particles at any given time despite how often you change your air filter. It is therefore important to keep your printed photos and photo album away from the vicinity of the vent.

3. Choose the right environment:

High humidity and temperatures will definitely ruin your precious photos. A place like your garage or attic may be the least appropriate place unless you perfectly control the temperatures and humidity within. In addition, limit how much your photos are exposed to natural sunlight and any other source of light that may produce ultraviolet light. This will prevent chemical reactions that eventually produce the fading effect on the photos.

4. Use archival paper when printing and storing photos:

Although the most common photo printing papers are matte, gloss, satin and lustre finish papers but there are also archival papers that do not contain acids. This acid-free material will keep your photos vibrant through ages when used.

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