Care of Photo Prints
It's important that you should care for your fine art prints just as you would any delicate and valuable artwork. With proper handling, your prints will remain in pristine condition for many years to come.
Follow these recommendations
- Natural skin oils or other contaminants can easily transfer to the print. As a preventative measure, we recommend washing your hands before touching a photograph. If possible wear clean, white cotton gloves that are lint free and designed for handling the art.
- Use both hands and support the back of a print when picking up the photograph.
- Never attempt to rub the surface of the image with your finger or fingernail as this could scratch the surface of the print.
Exposure to Elements
- Keep your print out of direct sunlight. Even the best quality materials are subject to cracking or fading if exposed to prolonged periods of sunlight. Although normal incandescent light bulbs do not present a problem for photographic images; fluorescent lights do emit harmful ultraviolet rays.
- Hang your print away from areas where airborne grime, dust and pollutants such as cigarette smoke can leave a discolouring residue.
- Avoid extreme fluctuations in moisture and temperature. Excessive fluctuations between dryness and humidity, or extreme heat and cold can negatively affect the state of your print. Museums keep the temperature generally around 18 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of 40%. If the humidity is too high, be on the lookout for mold.
- When framing your print use a good quality glass specifically designed for protecting fine art and photographic images. We also recommend using an acid-free archival mat to prevent the print and glass from touching.
- To prevent accidents, store your print away from anything that might press against the image surface. Some objects may not seem sharp enough to damage the print, but you'd be surprised at what will cause a scratch, a tear, or a rip.
- Do not stack prints on top of each other. Separate them with pieces of acid-free paper to avoid damage.
- Wrap your print well if you plan to transport it. Be sure to put a piece of acid-free paper over the front to protect the print. Rough handling can damage the print so pack it securely.
- Do not cover your print with plastic for long periods of time. If there is humidity in the air, the mold may begin to grow. Cotton, acid-free sheets are the best for keeping dust away.
- The print should be dusted with a clean, soft rag, to prevent dust buildup. Never use cleaning products or water as this may permanently damage the print.
- Do not blow on your print as you may inadvertently deposit water droplets that can mark your print.
- If using compressed air, apply short bursts while keeping the nozzle at least 12" back from the face of the print.