It was my friend’s second wedding anniversary and we all got together to celebrate the event with the couple. I thought it would be fun to look at her wedding album pictures together so I asked her to bring the album.
Can you imagine our horror to see mold on the side of the album and pages stuck together!
Her husband managed to pry some pages open and that’s when we realized that someone had managed to drop cake on the album and then it was shut and stored away. In the meantime fungus developed and wreaked havoc on the album. It was beyond repair, a lot of pages had been affected. The print came off when we tried to pry open the pages.
This Photo Book Album was so precious to her. She had made this Photo Book with a lot of care. She had spent months going through thousands of pictures that the wedding photographer had shared and then some candid ones that friends and family had taken. Selecting final ones that would go into the book had been a difficult task. This Photo Book Album was supposed to last a lifetime and it was heartbreaking to see all that effort wasted and the keepsake destroyed due to a little carelessness.
Photobooks are very precious assets and are supposed to last a long time. The memories contained within photo books become even more valuable as time goes by. They also take a lot of effort and time to make and it’s difficult to get into the frame of mind to pick up this project and actually finish it. That’s all the more reason to preserve Photo Books like Family Treasures! It’s important to store Photo Albums for the long-term.
That’s when we decided to learn:
How To Take Care Of Photo Books?
Here are some key ways to take care of your New Wedding albums, Photo Book Albums so that they last a lifetime.
1. Don’t place Photo Books in a High-Traffic area of your home
It makes sense to keep Photo Books on the center table and use them as coffee table books, so you can flip through them anytime. Likewise visitors to your home can have easy access to the Photo Book and see those precious memories with ease.
While this is a great idea, in the long term, it turns out to be counter-productive. Keeping them within easy reach makes the Photo Books prone to coffee/water spills, paper tears, the book falling and damaging the spine, and many such accidents.
Recommendation: Have a designated area where Photo Books are stored with care.
2. Create an experience out of Looking at the Photo Book
Photo Books are treasured objects and therefore should be treated as such. Just like you prepare for a movie experience, prepare for a Photo Book Watching experience. Here are the steps:
- Select a time when the Photo Book will be made available.
- Whoever is looking at it should make sure their hands are washed clean and dry, we don’t want sticky fingerprints on those lovely pages.
- Please turn the pages using your finger-tips making minimal contact with the pages.
- Human hands contain oils and salt that over a period of time can take a toll on the prints.
- Better still, ask them to wear soft fabric gloves while handling the Photo Book.
- Make sure, the book is kept flat on a clean surface so that undue pressure is not put on the spine of the book.
- Ensure that the area is spill-proof, move any flower arrangements, drinks, etc out of the way.
- If you notice any finger-prints or marks, use a soft dry cloth to gently clean the area.
- Once they have enjoyed the experience, make sure the book goes back into storage the way it was before.
- It is recommended to keep your Photo Books out of easy reach to ensure longevity.
Recommendation: Don’t treat Photo Books like casual magazines
3. Store away from direct Sunlight
Keeping it in sunlight will expose your Photo Book to both heat and harmful UV rays. Due to this the pages can become dry and disfigured. The prints can fade. The outer cover as well as binding can be adversely affected by this. The ideal temperature for keeping your Photo Books safe is between 55° and 95° F.
Recommendation: Keep your Photo Books in a dark clean area.
4. Protect Photo Books from humidity
A friend of mine had stored her Photo Books in the basement. They didn’t realize but there was a slight leak in a pipe that increased the level of humidity there. After a few months when she went to take out a book she found that the pages had stuck together. The paper used in Photobook printing has an emulsion covering, coming into contact with moisture can cause the pages to stick together and when pried open the ink from one page will get transferred to the other thus ruining both sides. Left unattended in a humid environment, there are chances of mold development in the books. If the cover is made of leather or fabric, the mold can develop even faster.
It is recommended to ensure that humidity is between 5% to 60%.
Recommendation: Keep away from Moisture
5. Temperature Control
Exposure to hot or cold temperatures can cause damage to Photo Books. The attic in summer can become hot, the basement in winters can become too cold, the garage is exposed to changing temperatures every time you use the car. Any area that is too hot or too cold is not good for storing Photo Books. Proximity to radiators, vents, heaters, air conditioning units, etc. is likely to be harmful.
It is recommended that if the temperature and humidity is uncomfortable for you, so it is for the Photo Books.
Recommendation: Keep Photo books at normal room temperature.
6. Lay Flat
You may be tempted to keep your Photobooks neatly side by side on your bookshelf for easy view. This can have an adverse effect in the long-term. Photo Books should be kept flat horizontally. This way the hardcover will remain flat, there is a chance of the books becoming slightly curved from standing on the edge too long. The print pages can also warp standing upright. Make sure that larger books are kept at the bottom so that uneven weight doesn’t cause damage to the structure of your books.
Recommendation: Store Photo Books laying flat horizontally on an even surface.
7. Archival Boxes
Most Photo Book print companies will ask if you would like to order an archival photo box for your books, some offer it complimentary. While at that time it may seem an added extravagance, it will pay-off in the long term. Acid-free, archival boxes are your Photo Books’ best friends and will ensure they remain in pristine condition long-term.
MILK Presentation Box is a perfect way to enhance and protect your precious memories within your Photo Book or Album. These boxes help you create a safe haven for your books away from dust, UV light, humidity, and human hands.
Books with leather or fabric covers require special care. These should be wrapped in soft cotton/linen fabric or acid-free paper and then kept flat within Archival boxes.
Recommendation: Investing in Acid-free archival boxes will enhance the life of your Photo Book treasures.
8. Label the Boxes
If you leave the boxes unlabeled, you may have to open several before finding the Photo Book you were looking for. Put labels on the sides on the boxes so those are easy to read even if the boxes are stacked on top of each other.
Recommendation: Label the Boxes with the name of the album, year for easy retrieval.
9. Cleaning and Maintenance
As with everything else, overtime you may notice some dust or dirt on your Photo Albums. With a delicate touch you can use a soft cloth to remove dust from your books. For stubborn stains you may gently wipe the area with a slightly damp cloth.
Recommendation: Use soft dry cloth to clean the Photo Books gently.
It would be nice to hear about your experiences around storing Photo Books and Photo Albums. I hope your Photo Books stay safe and in pristine condition. Do you have any tips on keeping them safe for the longterm? Please do share in the comments.