On vintage photos...

Two years ago I was given a shoe box full of old pictures, most of them had yellowed and most of them were curled and were crying out for a better mode of preservation... so of course my first thought was Scrapbook !

Received (scrapbooking) wisdom is that you should never use an original on your layouts , if you don't have the negatives, and I started by scanning my pictures.

On the plus side,  I could get rid of that yellow tinge, correct crooked pictures, take out blemishes, increase contrast etc... and re-size (as long as it is smaller)
However, having spent an inordinate amount of time correcting my first 4 pictures and completed my layout I thought OK what do I do with the originals ? Return them to the box ? Well that would defeat the purpose !

I concluded that the photos were going to be better preserved in a scrapbook album than any box ! I do store my own photos in a box but because they are of standard size (4"x6") they keep flat in neat piles. But as I discovered, vintage photos can be any size, any width/style of frame, and possibly have been printed at a slight angle.
This leads to the 2nd reason why I chose to scrapbook my originals : if the photos are cropped, straightened, whitened etc.. future generations looking at those will have no idea what the actual photo looked really like.

Of course there is a price to pay if one is using originals:
  1. A compromise is made to the detriment of the design. If the chosen photos have different sizes, it doesn't look as good as if they were identical. Or if one photo has yellowed and the others not... I have decided to live with it !
  2. You need to find clever ways of attaching the photos so that they can be removed in the future if necessary.
  3. No element can glued on top of the photo, although it is possible to have flowers, tags etc.. overhanging the photo a little - just make sure the photo can still be taken out without destroying the layout.
Here are some tips I have found to:

Attaching photos:
  • using cardstock mats punched with slots in the corners (I have 3 different punches and wish someone came out with dies for this...)
  • using photo safe removable glue : I use Pinflair foto glue
  • using tissue/washi tape. Test them first as some are more tacky than others and can lift the top layer of card.
Flatten curled photos:

Apply pressure with a plastic bottle (I used my glue bottle) and pull the photo right side down underneath. If still curled use these silicone tipped "eraser" tools used in metal work and drag them on the back of the photo whilst holding it firmly, taking care not to press to hard to avoid indenting the picture.

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