I just received a whole box of old (some very old- sepia style) photos from my mother's estate.  Most are in excellent condition and I want them to stay that way.  I would also like to frame many of them and make copies so my children can have them.  So 1) I am looking for a good place to have the few that need restoration, who will advice me how to store them, and for the rest to be replicated well and 2) a good place that frames with the right kind of backing to maintain the ones I wish to display.  I would not mind doing some myself if  store sold what I needed to frame them properly.

Tags: Photos, framing, restoration

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We do restorations at http://aperture-labs.com. We would scan it and you would get back the original high-res image, and our retouched and restored image. We can also reprint it on archival paper and inks.

 

For storing old photos, you basically want to make sure they stay out of direct sunlight. If you frame them, it would be a good idea to use UV resistant glass (although visible bright light can also damage them if not developed properly). Some might be brittle due to acid in the paper. If you have any questions about it, give me a call -- number is on the website.

 

(I would've sent you a message, but there's that whole "you have to be friends to send messages", so I'm posting it.)

Stef- have you used their services?

Sorta... I *am* the service :)

 

Sorry for some reason I could not read your first post except the link.
btw, if you're still interested, you can see some recent photo restorations we did.

For general storage of the originals, since you will only frame so many, what you need is a proper box and some proper interleaving or sleeves. 

 

Now, I don't know how many photos we are talking, so I'll assume is 50 or less. Probably one box and set of materials will do ya.

 

Box-wise, you can go to either Artisans or [the other place on Carlisle around Comanche whose name eludes me] and look for an acid-free box that is the size that works best. It's better to have a smaller box, rather than a bigger box. In the long (and even short) run, you will be much happier if you have one photo per "layer," rather than trying to keep 2 or 3 or 4 photos arranged in a layer.

 

If you choose to go with interleaving, which means sheets of paper in between each photo, you'll have trouble finding the proper product here in Albuquerque. Art supply stores will sell you various papers, usually in large sheets, and you'd have to tear down. I've had mediocre luck with these, they often have tooth or texture (which is bad for photos), tearing down is hard, and you don't really truly know if the papers are acid-free or not, if they're chemically treated or not, etc. What you really want is Renaissance interleaving paper from Light Impressions (lightimpressionsdirect [dot] com). Seemingly no one in ABQ carries this stuff, and you'll have to order it. It comes in packs, in a variety of pre-cut sizes, and you really want the one that's closest to your box size, to minimize shifting and chaos.

 

Or you can go with sleeves. You can get polyester sleeves at our local art supply stores, again in a variety of sizes. These usually have a pulls-strip to expose an adhesive line to seal them with. Don't use that. Adhesives and photography are not good friends. You can leave the sleeves "open," because they are going in a box, right? Which will keep dust and crud generally out. These sleeves are fine general barriers, but are cheap and thin. Don't expect miracles from them. Or again, you can shop Light Impressions for fold-lock sleeves, which don't have adhesive. They also have the benefit of being comparatively stiff, so that you can much more easily handle the photographs, once enclosed, without bending, crimping, dog-earing, etc. Fold locks come in Mylar and Polypropylene. Mylar is much more expensive. Poly is fine, though it does degrade from long-term UV exposure. But if you've taken the advice of Stef above, you are going to keep these generally in the dark, which is the thing to do! 

 

Light Impressions stuff isn't particularly cheap, and their customer service is pretty crappy. BUT, it's what museums use, and it is highly recommended if you want to protect your family treasures and significantly slow their aging process. 

I would like to update on my suggestion of Light Impressions products.

 

Eject! Eject! Eject!

 

I had placed an order with LI earlier in the year when I wrote this, and was patiently waiting. After MUCH effort, I finally got a hold of customer service and cancelled my order. And now, 6 weeks on, I still have not received a refund (they charged my card at the time of order, even though nothing I ordered was apparently in stock).

 

I have since started dealing with a company called Print File (.com), and they have been absolutely the opposite experience. Orders are processed and shipped promptly, and when one item on my second order in a month was out of stock, they actually called me on the phone—a real human being called me on the phone!—and informed me, and gave me options.

 

Print File doesn't have everything that Light Impressions does, product wise, but they have all the basics and more.

 

Today I went and filed a complaint with the LA County BBB. And I found 171 other complaints similar to mine.

 

LI: no.

Print File: Yes!

 

My apologies for an obviously bad recommendation before. 

High Desert Art & Frame (Tramway & Montgomery) can do both for you - restore the ones that need restoration, and make copies of any/all that you want to frame, and frame them. They can also create archival boxes for you to store the photos in using museum quality materials. www.highdesertartandframe.com Tell them I sent you.
I've had them frame some antique posters and they've done an excellent job.

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