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How to take care of your wedding album

Your wedding day has been captured, you have spent several hours to properly select your wedding photos to include in your photo-book. You have approved the album layouts, picked a cover, and you are now waiting for your precious album to arrive, or it might already be delivered.

So now, you are wondering how to take care of your wedding album so it can last a lifetime. Let’s start the presentation!

First Thing to do immediately after your album has been delivered.

wedding photo albums

Take it out of the cardboard box and inspect your photo-book and it’s box. You want to make sure it’s in good shape. Look for any damage that could have occurred during transportation.

If you see anything (a broken corner for instance), take a picture and contact your wedding photographer immediately so he can activate the insurance.

Why should you take care of your album?

Your wedding album gathers the best pictures of your wedding day, showcasing a special milestone in your family history.

Much more than its monetary value , this amazing and beautiful piece of craft (handmade) carries memories and sentimental value. Thus, this investment is more than a keepsake, it’s a part of your family heirloom. And you can make it last a lifetime (more than 100 years ), if you show it some love.

And you want to cherish your family heirloom!

Let’s see how to:

  • protect your album from aging
  • manipulate it
    Given it’s an expensive album, it would be a shame to break it.
  • Finally, how to clean it.

Prevent your album from damaging

There are few things that can spoil your photo-book.


Moisture and Temperature variation

Moisture and temperature variation have a mechanical effect on the photo paper. It would dilate and contract, which can lead to damage to the top layer of the page, and the cover.

Therefore keep it in a cold room heated between 40 °F to 72 °F (4° C-22°C) , with a level of moisture between 35% to 50%.


Sunlight Exposition

Sun creates UV (UltraViolet Radiation), that can hurt photo paper. Don’t leave your book open on the coffee table with direct sunlight on it.


Smoke and Molecules in the Airs

Photo paper can be altered with molecules present in the air. Pay attention to all kinds of smoke (cigarette, vape pen, cooking vapor)

Store your album in the perfect conservation condition

You can keep your album:

  • in a closet
  • in  a spare room
  • in office room
  • in a storage room

Avoid storing your album in those locations

Keep your album away from :

  • the heater and the AC (temperature variation)
  • the chimney (heat variation)
  • windows (heat variation)
  • houseplants (that create a lot of moisture)
  • bathroom (moisture)
  • basement (moisture)
  • attic (temperature variation)
  • kitchen (smokes)

TIPS: Store your album horizontal in a dark location

If you want your page to remain flat, store your album on a flat bookshell instead of vertical!

If you keep your album in this condition, this one should last forever. That recommendation also applies to any photo prints: you want to conserve them in an acid free box.

How to carefully manipulate your album


Wash your hands

Always wash your hands before touching the pages. Indeed human fingers are covered by a thin layer of oil and acidity. Those chemical products can interact with the composition of the ink and alter the colors.

In the same way, avoid liquid soap with strong soap. Or rinse your hands thoroughly to get rid of any remaining.


Don’t Write or Paste Anything

It might be tempting to write a message (vows for instance) on the first page. Avoid that. If you really want, use an acid-free pen.


Avoid Glueing Anything

In the same way, some people would tape or glue an envelope with their vows. If you do that, use acid-free tape and glue.


Put your album back in the box

After you have enjoyed your album, put it back in its box to protect it from any spill.


Don’t hold the album by the cover

It is advisable to provide support to the back cover of the album while viewing it, for instance, by placing it on a table or bench.


Watchout your ring doesn’t scratch the surface

Diamond rings can be sharp and you could accidentally notch the protective layer of the photo emulsion.


The pages of our photos book are made from RC papers. Thus they are pretty resistant and are very easy to clean.

Clean any dirt immediately.


How to clean up a spill on a cover

Actions to take would vary depending on the nature of the dirt and the cover’s material.
Avoid any aggressive chemical product such as bleach which can damage the product. 

Linen and Velvet are pretty sensitive to dirt, and, unfortunately, you can’t just throw them in the washer machine! So be extremely careful

How to clean up a spill on a photograph

  • Take a fiber-free dry cloth such as a microfiber clothes (avoid tissue paper, or take an acid free one)
  • With soft circular movement gently wipe any dirt
  • Use a soft-bristled if needed
  • Make sure the pages are well dry before closing the book (don’t use hair dryer)

How to take off dry dirt

If the dirt is dry, you can use a slightly wet cloth. Pay attention not to put water on the piece of cardboard on which the prints are glued. And, very important, make sure that the page well dries before closing the book!

Don’t use your fingernails

Avoir scratching the surface of paper with your fingernails!

Which cleaning solution to clean your print?

And, in any scenario avoid using home cleaner solutions of any kind, they could create some chemical reaction in the future.

If the dirt is solidly attached, use a photographic emulsion cleaner

Can you use isopropyl alcohol to clean a photograph?

No! Alcohol can dissolve the top layers of prints and damage the pigments. Don’t use alcohol.

Worst-Case Scenario, what to do when two pages of your photo album are stuck together?

What you absolutely want to avoid is having two pages stuck together due to some dirt (for instance a dry stick substance such as dry Coca-Cola). The risk here is that the next time you open your book, you tear apart the surface of the pages. That’s why it’s better to clean any spill immediately without it drying out and get sticky.

If you need to separate two pages, be gentle. You can use a plastic spatula or dental floss to carefully separate the pages.

You might as well use a Q-tip soaked in warm water, and try to rehydrate the sticky part. Take your time.

What to do if your wedding album is badly damaged?

Despite all the common sense, a variety of accidents can happen.

Do not try to fix your album yourself

If any damage occurs, contact your photographer’s studio and ask for expertise.

Can you change just the faulty page?

No, the pages are bound to each other.

Your album is ruined? You can reorder a second one

Keep in mind that in the worst scenario you can still order a new wedding album from your wedding photographer. Indeed, he should still have the digital files of your album.

Now, Enjoy Your Wedding Album

Now you know all the secrets to take care of your album :  avoid humidity and heat variation, store it lay flat, on bookshelf, in its box, manipulate it with care, and clean it immediately when it gets dirty. Those few tips will increase the longevity of your wedding photo book that would be able to transmit to the next generations.

Now, Open open you album, look at it, share your story, all those scenes of happynes with your friends and family!

Black and White Portrait of Alexandre Mayeur, photographer at French-Touch-Photography

Born and raised in Paris, I am now a proud Wedding Photographer in Rochester, MN, serving MPLS.

I don’t only capture emotions in candid pictures, I also create timeless images and artful photographs.
Recognized as one of the best photographers in the Twin Cities.

I serve Duluth and also far beyond the 10,000 Lakes State (Wisconsin, Iowa, and destination). I am more than happy to discover beautiful landscapes and new horizons.

Have a look at my previous publications to learn more. As an experienced professional photographer, I don’t limit my field to lifestyle, family, or event photography! I invite you to visit my portfolio and discover my photography and work out of the studio.