At Lori A. Seals Photography & Boutique, I pride myself in offering my clients the highest-grade photo products money can buy. Portrait prints that are purchased from my studio are sourced from top-end professional printing labs that sell only directly to professional photographers. Each product I deliver to my clients is cropped, meticulously color corrected, and custom designed just for you.
All photo products (with the exception of cards and press-printed items) are rated as archival grade, meaning they will retain their luster and brilliant color for decades. It’s up to you to ensure that your investment stays beautiful for generations. I’ve created this little guide to help you care for your products properly. If you have any questions or need advice on how to care for a product, please contact me and I’ll be more than happy to help!
CARING FOR SMALL PRINTS - STORAGE
Small prints are one of the most common gift items purchased from my studio. They’re also some of the first photo products to get scratched, banged, and faded as they are displayed casually in various settings around the house. If you have or are planning to gift small prints without an immediate plan for display, storage in an acid-free box will protect them from dust and yellowing. A mylar plastic sleeve will add additional protection for long-term storage.
CARING FOR SMALL PRINTS - DISPLAY
The casual display of small prints is a classic household tradition. Pinned to a cork board, held up by a fridge magnet, or taped to a desk, small prints can brighten the gloomiest of days. Unfortunately, if not displayed properly, they deteriorate quickly from adhesives, sunlight, and dust. To encourage their longevity we highly recommend ordering small prints mounted to styrene or framing loose prints behind glass or plexiglass immediately upon their arrival. Please make sure that anything the print touches is acid-free - this will prevent yellowing over time!
CARING FOR LARGE PRINTS
Large prints are investment pieces that should be treated as museum-grade works of art. When you order a large print from my studio, you have the option of purchasing it as either a wall-ready mounted piece, or a loose print delivered for immediate framing.
CARING FOR YOUR LARGE PRINTS - MOUNTED PRINTS
Wall-ready mounted prints are crafted by hand with acid-free adhesives to archival grade backing which supports the print against bending and damaged corners. The prints also have a protective anti scratch coating to assist with long-term display. When your mounted print arrives, handle it very gently with clean hands (or preferably soft gloves) to prevent any scratching or oil marks. Choose an area in the house where the print will not be in direct sunlight at any point during the day; this will cause fading over time. Mount on the wall as directed in a place that will be inaccessible to children or pets. With proper care your mounted prints will last for decades!
CARING FOR YOUR LARGE PRINTS - LOOSE PRINTS
Large loose (unmounted) prints call for immediate framing upon arrival. In fact, if possible, the print should not be removed from its original packaging and delivered directly to the framing company. I highly recommend having your beautiful print framed professionally with acid-free materials to ensure a long-term preservation of your investment. Museum-grade glass or acrylic protection is a good option for your print to remain in beautiful condition throughout the years. My studio offers two beautifully crafted frame lines and I would be more than happy to help guide you through the process of choosing the right colors and materials to fit your home decor and your budget.
CARING FOR YOUR ALBUM - STORAGE
Always store your album closed and in an acid-free protective bag or box. This is considered “dark storage” and is ideal for preserving the photographic prints. Do not store your album where it may be subject to extreme heat, direct sunlight, excessive humidity, or contact with moisture. Such conditions may cause warping of the cover or pages. If you notice your book beginning to warp, place it on a clean table with several heavy books on top of it until warping has disappeared.
CARING FOR YOUR ALBUM - VIEWING
The best viewing method is to rest the back cover on a clean tabletop or on your lap, supporting the front cover with your left hand as you flip through the album. Never suspend your album by only its cover; the page block is very heavy, and this can stress the flush mounting.
CARING FOR YOUR ARCHIVAL DVD - MAKE A DUPLICATE
If you ask any archivist for the first step in preventing DVD data loss, they will tell you to make a duplicate copy of your original. We highly recommend making a "working" copy or two of your delivered DVD of images that you can have to share and use frequently without damaging the original.
CARING FOR YOUR ARCHIVAL DVD - HANDLING
When handling your DVD, only touch the outer rim or center hole of the disk. Even light contact with the surface of the disc can produce fingerprints or small scratches which may interfere with its functionality. Only bring the disc out of its case to be inserted directly into the computer's DVD drive. Bending or forcing your DVD into the drive may cause permanent damage and should be avoided. As soon as you are finished with the disc on your computer, gently place it back into its storage case. The fewer times the disc is handled, the longer it will last.
CARING FOR YOUR ARCHIVAL DVD - STORAGE
Never leave your DVD out of its protective case! Even infinitesimal bits of dirt and sand sitting on your desk can scratch the disc's surface. Leaving the disc in your computer for long periods of time can also cause unnecessary wear. Ideally, your DVD should be stored in its archival case vertically, like a book in a shelf. Place your DVD case in an area that isn't prone to extreme temperatures or humidity changes (such as a basement or attic). Direct sunlight can cause the material to disintegrate, so the darker the storage area, the better! Leaving your DVD stored in its proper protective case will ensure longevity.
CARING FOR YOUR ARCHIVAL DVD - CLEANING
Only clean your disc with isopropyl alcohol, methanol, or a special DVD cleaning agent. Use a soft, clean cotton cloth and wipe from the center hole outwards like rays of sunshine; never wipe in circles around the disc. Only clean your DVD when absolutely necessary!
CARING FOR YOUR USB DRIVE - MAKING A DUPLICATE
My first recommendation when you receive your archival thumb drive is to purchase a duplicate drive at any electronics store and create a back-up copy of your files on this as well as your
CARING FOR YOUR USB DRIVE - TRANSPORTATION
When transporting your thumb drive, keeping it stored in a safe, secure position will ensure longevity. Although many like to dangle their drive from a key ring or attach it to larger objects, this can stress the drive and increase chances of banging, bending, or crushing.
CARING FOR YOUR USB DRIVE - STORAGE
Always store your thumb drive with its protective cap on and in a soft bag or container. Leaving the drive's connector exposed will attract dust and sediments which will rapidly decrease its functioning ability. It is not recommended to store your drive in a hot place or direct sunlight; cooler temperatures and dark storage are ideal.
CARING FOR YOUR USB DRIVE - IN THE COMPUTER
I recommend keeping a copy of your images on your personal computer to minimize the wear and tear on your thumb drive due to repeated insertion. Only plug your thumb drive in with ample light sources to ensure the drive is properly inserted on the first try. Many drives have been irreparably damaged due to being plugged in upside down or forced into the computer incorrectly. If the drive won't plug in for some reason, don't force it; double-check to make sure its positioning is correct. Forcing the drive in improperly will not only damage the drive, but your computer as well!
CARING FOR YOUR GALLERY WRAP - TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY
It's very important to hang your gallery wrap in a place where it will be kept free of moisture and extreme temperatures. Moisture can cause molding in cracks of the artwork as well as the hardwood framing, which is bad news for a beautiful gallery wrap art piece! Extreme heat and cold, or fluctuations between the two, can cause permanent warping of the wood, preventing the wrap from lying flat against the wall. Cool, dry rooms, away from open windows, are the ideal location for your gallery wrap.
CARING FOR YOUR GALLERY WRAP - DUST & CLEANING
Of course, anything hanging on a wall for an extended period of time will collect dust and soot from the air surrounding. Wiping the gallery wrap gently, with a damp, super-soft towel periodically will ensure your lovely artwork continues to look incredible year after year.
CARING FOR YOUR GALLERY WRAP - PLACEMENT
Your beautiful new gallery wrap is archival grade, which means with proper care and storage it may last for generations! As with any print, however, it's important to follow a few guidelines for hanging that will ensure its brilliant color will stay that way over time. Hanging your gallery wrap in direct sunlight, or under direct artificial light, will cause the colors to fade more quickly than in darker areas. We recommend choosing a hanging space under softer artificial light or bounce light, out of the direct rays of the sun.