Care and Handling of Photographs

StoryWeaversWorking with Photos

Working with photos

The National Archives of Australia provides some excellent information on the care and storage of photographs.

In short:

  • Never store photographs in adhesive albums and avoid the use of sticky labels on the face of the image;
  • It’s best to avoid writing on photographs completely, however if an annotation is necessary, write on the reverse of the image with a soft lead pencil;
  • Store large photos flat in a drawer, folder or box rather than rolling or folding them; and
  • Photographs are sensitive to light and extended exposure to light while on display in photo frames may fade or darken images.

The good news is that a lot of damage inflicted by the passage of time can be digitally removed. We often restore red-tinged prints from the 70’s to full colour and fill in the gaps left by wear and tear.

Preparing Photos for your Digital Production

If you are sending original images to Story Weavers to be scanned for your presentation, number your photographs in the order you would like them to appear with a small Post-It note on the back.  We recommend that you number each image by tens (eg: 010, 020, 030) so that if you find new images that you would like to include in the sequence later, you can do so easily (eg: 011).

Do not:

  • cut your photos to size
  • tape, glue or staple your photos to sheets of paper
  • put sticky labels on the front of the photo
  • write on labels while attached to the photo
  • attach labels or captions with sticky tape or paper clips

If sending original photographs through the mail, you may prefer to choose Registered Post for greater security.  Pre-paid Registered Post envelopes are available – see Australia Post for further information.