Your family videos and photos are probably the most precious thing in the world to you. However, paper and film only last so long when exposed to the elements. Pictures fade and film can start to bubble and wear away. So, the question then becomes: how do you preserve your family memories and not lose them forever? There is a good chance that you want to show your kids these videos and photos – and then hopefully pass them down for generations to enjoy. Here are the top five family photo and video preservation tips.
- Scan all your photos. You can place your photos in plastic – but what if you want to take them out and enjoy them? Eventually, all that handling will have a ruining effect. Fingerprints contain oils that can seep into the photograph and cause damage. So, you want to make sure to invest the time to scan all your photographs. Scanning will make sure to digitally encapsulate the photos forever. You can then categorize and archive the photos on a hard drive.
- Place precious film reels in the refrigerator. Old film reels are made of nitrate and other sensitive materials. Not only is nitrate more flammable than paper, but it can also disintegrate over time. A lot of old movies that were shot on nitrate formats have become so disintegrated that they are hard to watch. However, you can stop this process by placing your reels in your refrigerator. Yet, you want to make sure that there isn’t too much moisture, because that can wind up destroying your film. If you have a garage, you could purchase a few mini-fridges to store your film reels.
- Have your old home movies digitally scanned and placed on a DVD. There is a good chance that you are having a hard time finding a way to watch all those home movies. The technology to play old films has long been obsolete. So, the best option is to find a service that can transfer the film onto a format that isn’t obsolete. For instance, if you visit Just8mm.com, you can find a way to send your old super 8mm film in to be scanned and transferred, so that you can not only protect and preserve your old home movies, but also watch them too.
- Make sure that your precious photos and videos are protected against fires. One fire can literally wipe out decades of photos and videos. So, the smartest thing you can do is to store your photos and videos in a fireproof safe. Keeping your film in a safe will protect your family memories from flames as high as a thousand degrees.
- Use gloves when handling old photos. Our hands are not only full of oils that can damage photos, but they are also clumsy. If you want to preserve your family photos and videos, you want to make sure that you use gloves when handling film, photographs and other sensitive materials. The last thing you want is for a smudge to severely discolor a precious photograph – older photographic paper is extremely sensitive to oxidation and staining.