Do You Know How to Take Care of and Handle Fine Art Photographs?

We all know how delicate fine art photographs are.  These can be very easily damaged, and given the fact that they are an investment, it is wise to be extra careful and take the necessary measures to ensure they are safe and well-guarded.

It is necessary to understand and learn how to protect fine art photographs from different hazards and handling mishaps.  It is not just one thing that can go wrong, there are many situations that can endanger these valuable images and we must be prepared to face them all, from everyday situations to once in a lifetime events. 

It is much easier to prevent an accident than to correct the damage caused to fine art photographs once it has happened. We just have to know where the potential hazards are:

  1. Handling fine art photographs

Correct handling is one of the easiest and most effective ways to avoid fine photo damage.  Simple habits like washing your hands before touching fine art photographs and wearing clean white cotton gloves when picking a photo up will go a long way in maintaining your art impeccable.  Always use both hands to pick up fine art photographs and ensure the back is supported to avoid bending.  Never, under any circumstance, touch the surface of the photograph with your fingers, and when blowing dust off its surface, make sure you don’t spit on the image.  The photograph’s surface can be damaged if two images are slid against each other or if an object is placed on top of it, in this case, repairing the damage is almost impossible.

  1. Light

Fine art photographs should never be exhibited under direct sunlight, and strong indirect daylight must be also avoided.  If any of the photographs are exposed to strong light conditions, it is necessary to rotate them frequently with other photos located in less dangerous places.  What must be avoided is exposure to ultraviolet light, thus, if using lamps with this type of light, make sure to use the proper filters to protect the photographs under them.  A practical and sure way to protect fine art photographs from hazardous light conditions is to frame them using ultraviolet- shielding glass, however normal light bulbs like the ones used at home will not be a problem. 

  1. Heat and humidity

Extreme conditions like these two are never desired.  Avoid hanging fine art photographs near fireplaces or radiators, and never store them in damp basements or hot attics.  These photos require constant temperature humidity, like in museums, where they are kept at about sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit and under a relative humidity of 40%.  If the photographs are going to be hanged in a tropical atmosphere, the best thing you can do is contact a local museum and ask for information on how to keep fine art photographs intact.

  1. External contaminants

There are many considerations when deciding where to hang fine art photographs.  Sometimes it is easier to list the situations you should avoid, in order to be as clear as possible, so, this is what you don’t want your fine art photographs to come in contact with:

  1. Smog, and it is everywhere! 
  2. Fumes from fresh paint
  3. Cleaning solvents
  4. Motor exhausts
  5. Burning wood
  6. Any type of smoke
  7. Kitchens
  8. Moist air from the ocean
  9. Rubber bands and other rubber based products

In short, photographs must be kept away from places where extreme conditions can occur.  Depending on the size and importance of the project, one may consider installing a heavy-duty air filtration system or a home one, but if the photographs are well framed and covered with glass, most air contaminants will find it hard to crawl in.

  1. Internal Chemicals

Fine art photographs are created in chemical baths, and they must be thoroughly cleaned after the process ends.  This is the photographer’s responsibility, so there isn’t too much you can do once the photos are hanging on the wall.  It could take years to see the effects of an incorrectly washed image, so the best protection here is to make sure you hire a professional photographer with ample experience and solid recommendations to ensure the final product is guaranteed.

  1. Insects

Never underestimate the destructive power of an insect.  They can eat the emulsion on fine art photographs, and are attracted to some types of glue.  Their secretions can stain the photographs too, so, the best protection is a professionally framed photo.  Always be on the lookout for nests. 

  1. Earthquakes

Make sure your fine art photographs are securely attached to the walls with the appropriate security hangers.  Use high quality hanging hooks, the ones recommended by your framer.

  1. Framing

Make sure you find a professional framer to handle your fine art photographs.  Maybe even ask the photographer to recommend one to you.  Get someone who knows about handling photos and about archival framing, but also ensure they understand the importance of the job in their hands and the value of your art, so that they are extra careful when handling it.

  1. Restoration

Before running to restore a photo, consider the options.  Sometimes it is better to do nothing.  You can always ask the photographer for advice.

  1. Moving

If you are moving fine art photographs, beware of careless movers.  Protect your images as much as possible, covering them up with plastic and cushion material.  Wrap them completely in cardboard if necessary.

Byron Jorjorian knows about caring for fine art photographs, he shoots professional nature images and understands what a valuable investment they are.  The care he puts into creating his art is the same you should put into keeping it intact and vibrant for many years to come.  This is why he is there to advise you and take you by the hand along the whole process of visualizing, selecting, acquiring and keeping fine art photographs.

As soon as you admire his galleries, you understand how valuable and special each of the images is and you can envision them in your spaces, causing delight in the viewers, awing them with their natural mystery and immersing them in the beauty of nature.  Nature is fragile and powerful at the same time. Fine art photographs are too. This is the secret behind the use of this art to decorate a room; you communicate the magic of nature through its visual representation. It is alive, and it is real.  True fine art photographs like Byron’s show nature at its best and will enrich every wall with a feeling of peace, harmony, strength, beauty, aliveness, hope, mystery and intimacy.

Let's get in touch!  Browse around the website, take a look at Byron’s work, and let’s meet and talk about your next project and how we can be there to help you make it easy and meaningful for your clients.