Guide to Archive and Custom Frame Vintage Family Photos

As the world has moved into the digital age, those old photos up in your attic seem ancient. But it wasn’t too long ago when your parents were showing you photos of your grandparents and other ancestors. Maybe your parents have photos of themselves when they were your age. Looking through old photos can bring lots of smiles and spark warm memories. They are certainly invaluable keepsakes. You may be saving them for future generations and maybe planning on digitizing them for memory’s sake. It just makes sense to custom frame vintage family photos.

Preserving and displaying old photos is important. Your family can enjoy them now and later if they are properly preserved. They are subject to wear and tear, and if you don’t do something, they’ll be lost forever. Here is a short guide to help you archive and custom frame vintage family photos.

Preserving Vintage Photos

How to Handle Heirloom and Vintage Family Photos

When working with old black-and-white photos, be conscious of your hands and the environment. Wearing gloves can help prevent getting fingerprints on older photographs and negatives if you still have any of those around. Your fingers have natural oils that can smudge or stain cherished images. Make sure the workspace is clean and clear. Don’t drink, eat, or smoke in the area.

How to Store Old Photographs

The way your family photos are stored can impact their longevity. Here are a few storage tips to help preserve them.

  • The room temperature where photos are stored is important. It needs to be lower than 75 degrees optimally. Keeping the temperatures cooler slows the rate of chemical decay.
  • A relative humidity below 65% is ideal. It helps reduce mold and discourages insect activity. However, if it is lower than 15%, it can cause the photos to become brittle.
  • Visible light can cause unwanted changes to your photos, like fading. Limit how much light they are exposed to.

How to Digitize Vintage Family Photos

In the modern age, digitizing the photos you want to preserve is a great idea. Using a high-resolution scanner digitizes them so they can be stored in the cloud. Be careful handling them when placing them on the scanner and removing them. You can re-print the images too. Use a higher .jpg setting to get better quality for editing, viewing, and printing. Don’t forget to back up your work after you scan the images to your computer.

Restoring Old Family Photos

Once you’ve digitally stored your vintage photographs, there are lots of choices for editing them. Software will let you adjust imperfections, lighting, color, and lots more. Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular editing tools. It’s also easy for a beginner to learn. Software editing programs can do wonders for erasing scratches, dust, and other little imperfections.

Tips to Custom Frame Vintage Family Photos

Scanning, uploading, and printing vintage family photos on archival paper can create the same look. Sometimes, it’s even better. To protect the integrity of your “new” old photos, you can use acid-free mats, paper, and special backing. If you want a little extra protection, talk to a custom framing professional at Suburban Frames in Atlanta about using a shadowbox frame. This minimizes contact between your vintage photo and the glass.

Use Caution When Captioning Old Photographs

Most of the time, when photos are passed down from one generation to another, they have a description written on the back. It is usually a person’s name and age or the holiday and year. If you want to record history on the back of photos, use a pencil. Markers and ink pens tend to bleed through and damage the photo over time. Using a pencil allows you to capture the story and keep the image safe.

UV Protection

During the process of choosing the various elements to custom frame vintage family photos, you’ll be given the option of choosing UV protective materials like glass or acrylic. This type of acrylic will help block UV rays that can be damaging to old and new photos alike. Think of it like how sunscreen blocks the sun’s harmful rays from damaging your skin. Of course, you’ll want to hang the photo in an area where there isn’t a lot of direct light and humidity are at a minimum.

Let Atlanta’s Suburban Frames Help!

If you are ready to custom frame vintage family photos, let the best custom framer in Atlanta help out! Call us today, and let us help you preserve your family in photos by creating custom frames. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff can help you choose the best framing materials so you can display your prized pieces and preserve them for your family to enjoy for years to come.