What's the best way to archive photos?

Episode 1218 (30:15)

Dave from Washington DC

Dave runs a photo lab and he says it's very important to print photos on archival material because most photo labs have pictures on a CD, which may not be able to be read in 10-20 years. Especially if they're burned discs. He agrees with Leo that the best long term solution is printing on archival quality prints. A basic one hour lab doesn't do that. Printing at home can be even worse. The heads clog up, and the paper is substandard, and the ink is dye based. Dye based inks have improved and some printers actually print archival quality images, though. The paper you print on actually matters too. Pigment based printers are better. Leo also says that most one hour photo labs have converted over to ink jet printers. And then there's those cheap photo books that are made with PVC pages and when heated, it destroys the dye in the paper of the photos.

Leo also says it's best not to rely on a single method of storing. Print the ones you want to look at, save all of your images in several places and in different formats. The 3-2-1 backup strategy is made up of three copies, on two different formats, with one off site. That's the best way to future proof and protect your memories in the long run.