The brilliance and luster of your digital photo prints won’t last forever. Colors fade and details blur into the background. However, some simple and effective ways exist to prolong the life of your printed images. If you want to enjoy vibrant and colorful photos for years to come, take the following preventive measures.
Buy Quality Equipment
Invest in a good printer, avoid third-party inks, and pick photo paper that your printer manufacturer recommends using. Cheap printers, refilled cartridges, and generic paper may save you money up front, but your prints will resist fading for a longer period of time if you match everything up the way the manufacturer intended. Epson, for instance, says that its ink, printed on its paper, lasts up to 200 years when stored in the dark, and up to 96 years when displayed behind glass.
Invest in an Album
Placing printed photos in an album ensures longevity by protecting them from natural light. Go the extra step and buy an album that uses acid-free archival paper. They are not as expensive as you might think.
Frame photos behind glass and out of direct sunlight. One of the quickest ways to spoil a photo is to display it in an area that gets full sun for most of the day. For best results, rely on artificial lighting to illuminate your framed images.
Avoid storing photos in damp places like the garage or the attic. Room temperature is kinder to your prints, with cool, dark places being the ideal environment.
Delay the Stack
Avoid placing prints on top of each other when they first come out of your printer. Instead, wait until the ink is completely dry to avoid photos sticking together and removing ink from the photo paper. Although it is not always necessary, HP suggests that you wait up to 24 hours before stacking prints.