Photo First Aid


Photo first aid in Cairns


Do you have precious family photographs crammed into boxes or envelopes, or placed in sticky albums in a hot and damp, mouldy cupboard? Properly stored photos are far more likely to last a lifetime (or longer) than those you have haphazardly shoved anywhere! Here are some suggestions for saving and preserving your family's memories through the generations:
  • Store and display your prints using archival, acid-free framing or in acid-free archival photo albums.
  • Store printed photos in archival print boxes and keep them dry and away from excessive heat and light. An easy way to store your photos is in good bond envelopes, keeping the image side of the photo away from the seams. Sort your envelopes by size and place them in stiff, non-brown boxes. You can write down a brief description of the photo so you know what is inside before you insert the photo to prevent embossing. This will help you retrieve the photos you need quickly.
  • Photographs and slides, especially, are susceptible to mould damage. Store them in a part of your house that has low humidity and consistent medium heat.
  • Photographic prints that are handled will deteriorate sooner. For this reason, it's a good idea to make one set of prints to pass around and enjoy, and another to be kept in a photo album only.
  • Avoid photo albums that have self-sticking sleeves. The adhesive breaks down in a matter of years and you will increase the chance of ripping the photos when you want to remove them. The best way to mount photos in an album is with photo corners. Only use albums that are acid-free with tissue sheets between each page. They require your photos to be mounted using photo corners and acid-free removable tabs.
  • Make copies. If you have a photo that you do not want to lose, it should be backed up with either a good copy negative or scanned as a digital file and burnt to a disc.
What will be left for your grandchildren of the digital images and videotapes you made of your last holiday? Migrating digital and other electronic images to new platforms as they develop is a good way to make sure the family album doesn't disappear. Don't think of scanned photos as a replacement for caring for your prints; these photos are your best chance of preserving the past for future generations.

Collect all of our supplies to have your own photo first aid kit on the ready

We have the following supplies to help you keep your photos in good condition.
Silica gel - This absorbs moisture to prevent the growth of mould. Mould growth is one of the most damaging causes of photo damage. These beads will absorb moisture in your storage area to prevent excess water from causing mould to form. The beads begin as a vibrant blue colour and slowly turn pink as they absorb moisture. When this happens, put the beads on a baking tray and heat at 130 degrees C until they turn blue again. They are now ready to use again.
Mould inhibiting crystals - These crystals prevent mould growth and kill existing mould spores.