There’s nothing like looking at old photos of your family’s travels. They’re a colorful, sometimes hazy reminder of the good ol’ days—the days when we didn’t have to worry about things like “social media” and “selfies.” But those old photos can fade over time, and they need help to stay looking their best.
Luckily, we’ve got some simple tips for preserving and displaying your old travel photos that are sure to make them last for generations!
Do: Use photo frames that are made from high-quality materials.
First, let’s talk about display frames. What kind of frame should you choose? It depends on whether or not the photo is mounted on cardboard or paper. If the photo is mounted on cardboard, then a wood frame would be a good choice. This will prevent any damage caused by humidity and moisture.
If the photo is mounted on paper, then a plastic frame would be better suited for this application. However, if you want to preserve the original condition of your photo as much as possible (and keep it away from dust), then consider placing it inside an acid-free cover made from cotton rag paper instead of using an actual frame altogether!
You’ll want one that is made from a material that won’t warp or crack over time—wood, metal, or plastic all work well. If possible, choose a frame with glass on both sides so that the photo isn’t exposed to dust or other particles in the air.
Don’t: Use photo frames that are too big or too small for your travel photos.
You want to ensure that whatever frame you choose fits with the image itself, not just because it looks cool. The frame should be proportional to the photo; otherwise, you risk damaging both the frame and the image itself.
If the frame is too small, it will make the photo look lost, which is not a good look. If the frame is too big, it will make the photo look like it’s floating in space, which also isn’t ideal. This can be really tricky if you’re trying to display photos taken on different types of cameras, but just keep in mind that smaller frames are generally better for smaller pictures, and larger ones work well with large images.
Do: Display the photo where it will be seen by as many people as possible!
You want everyone who comes over to see your awesome photos, right? So, make sure they’re somewhere where people can see them. Think about putting them in a hallway or near the entrance of your home so that anyone who walks through will see them.
When your family members or guests see your photos, they’ll feel like they were there. So don’t just hang them in a closet—hang them in your living room where everyone can enjoy them. If there is a spot in an office or other public area where people will walk by often and see them without making an effort, then it might be worth considering placing them there instead.
Don’t: Cram too many photos on one wall.
This is a common mistake when people first start collecting old travel photos. They want to show off all their favorite shots from their travels but cramming too many on one wall can actually damage the photos. The acidity of the photo paper will often break down over time, leading to discoloration and eventually decay if not properly cared for.
You want your memories to come alive in your home, but if there are too many photos crammed together on one wall, they won’t stand out as much, and their impact will be lost.
Do: Put a protective coating or matte over the photo before you frame it.
Framing your old travel photos is an excellent way to preserve them and keep them from yellowing or fading. If you frame them without adding any protection between the glass and the photo itself (like a protective coating), it can interfere with convection—which means that moisture from the air can get trapped behind the glass and cause some damage over time.
The coating will help prevent moisture from seeping behind the picture and causing it to warp or even disappear. You can buy this at any art supply store, and it will protect your photo from damage caused by UV rays and dust.
Don’t: Display photos in direct sunlight.
This is one of the most common mistakes people make when trying to preserve their old photos. If you’re going to display your photos, ensure they don’t get too much sun exposure—they’ll fade faster than if they were kept in a dark place like an album or drawer.
If you find yourself in a situation where there is no alternative to displaying your photos in sunlight, try placing them under UV-protective glass or coverings such as UV filters or glass filters.
But the best way to maintain the condition of your old photos is to store them in a cool, dry place. If you don’t have a suitable environment for storing them, consider putting them on a travel photo album with acid-free pages.
Whether you’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled far or simply through your imagination, it’s quite possible that you have some wonderful memories in the form of photos to remind you of trips past. But if you’ve never gotten around to displaying those images, or some more recent ones for that matter, fear not!
The best way to preserve the original quality of an old photo is to keep it in a family album. These are crucial issues, not just to maintain the physical integrity of your photos but also to preserve a part of your family’s memories.