How To Safely Store Your Print & Digital Photos

how to safely store your digital and print photos

Why Is Proper Photo Storage So Important?

In many instances, like weddings, elopements, and sports, your photos can’t be recreated – they are special, once-in-a-lifetime moments. And those photos may be the only thing you have from those times. Ask yourself this:

  • “How would I feel if I lost all of my Snapchat memories, camera roll, etc?”
  • “How would I feel if I lost every photo from my wedding day? If the prints got water damage? Or the digital files corrupted?”

Scary right! Those photo prints, custom printed albums, USB flash drives, CDs, and computer files can all be damaged in some way – errors happen, things fail, and your data can be lost. So how do you prevent it? By using the methods below.

For Print Photos

Print/canvas photos are susceptible to a number of different elements – fading, water and fire damage, bending/tearing, and much more. Though, with the right quality photo print and the proper storage practices, one can make a photo last generations. Some of my favorite print storing practices include:

  • Use acid-free everything! The paper you print on, whatever you use to store them in, etc.
  • When storing away for long periods, use a dry, dark, and temp-controlled space.
  • When putting photos in an album or archive box, adding a mylar sleeve to each photo would give it an extra layer of protection.
  • When framing, instead of glass use a UV protected acrylic.

For Digital Photos

Digital Photos can become inaccessible for a number of reasons. If they are on a physical storage device, they are susceptible to water and fire damage, breaking, and depending on the type of storage device they get worn out over time and/or become unreadable. Some best practices to prevent losing your digital photos due to any of these factors include:

  • Backup your images in multiple places!
  • Use high-quality external hard drives.
  • Backup photos to at least two and put one in a safe, off-site location.
  • Sync your photos to at least one cloud. Your iPhone camera roll, for example, is synced to your iCloud making your photos accessible from anywhere.
  • CDs are good option too, just be sure to store and care for them properly.


Your photos are special and unique. They tell the story of your life and events in your life. Proper care and storage of your photos is key in maintaining those captured memories and passing them on to the next generations. My best recommendation, when possible, is to have print and digital copies of your photos and always store them in multiple locations – you’ll alway have backups.

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