I know some of you will be thinking DIY Framing? What are you going to tell me 1. Go to Meijer 2. Pick out Frame 3. Open back...
Believe me, I know this topic may sound silly but how many of us have a picture that has become one with the glass or looks wavy and warped under the glass? I know I have a few and the worse thing about it, is many of the photo in these frames were from the film days...and of course I do not still have the negatives.
The great news is there are a few very simple things you can do to protect your photos from damage above and beyond framing them.
1. Never, ever place a photo directly on glass. When any photo is placed against glass, over time moisture from the environment will find its way into the frame and cause the ink to stick to the glass, ruining your photo and making it look horrible in the frame. Mats on photos are not just pretty, they are functional! They create a barrier between the photo and the glass preventing this sticking from happening. If you hate mats, you can bring your photo to a professional framer and request they use spacers between the glass and photo.
2. Place a sheet of acid free paper behind your photo. Keeping photos away from acid is very important, over time if a photo is exposed to acid you will see color deterioration. Many people do not know that most frame backs contain acid, so using a sheet of acid free paper to keep your print from touching the frame back will help it last much longer.
3. When matting photos only use acid free tape and only tape the top center or use acid free photo corners (often sold in craft and scrapbooking stores). Doing this allows for movement due to changes in humidity and temperature. If you tape all the way around your prints, they will warp over time.
4. This is probably the most pain in the butt item, as you will probably have to visit a custom framer to purchase. But for really special prints, especially for prints you envision as heirloom items like wedding portraits this is really important. Use UV protection glass. Normal glass does not provide any UV protection and if you are using normal glass, you may see color deterioration in as little as 6-12 months.
5. If #4 is just a length you are not willing to go, make sure you avoid hanging your photographic art in direct sun light. However, do keep in mind that even indirect sunlight can cause color fade over time. Another important point is even with UV protected glass, it is a good idea to avoid hanging photos in direct sunlight.
6. Always use glass or acrilic for prints. A matted print on an easel or a shelf is pretty, but has no protection from dust and other environmental elements - for those with kids I will include flying food.
Well I hope this post was educational and that it helps you enjoy your photography art for years to come!