How to preserve a Polaroid

Updated: May 7, 2020

Polaroids have stolen the hearts of so many, they where revolutionary in the 1970 creating the concept of instant photography. In recent years instant photography has become more popular, when The Impossible Project started manufacturing films for vintage cameras again.

Unlike its counterparts 'Instax', 'Polaroids' are created by exposing a layer of liquid colour to light. For this reason if not looked after, Polaroid prints, can fade throughout the years. There are multiple ways you can you prolong its' lifetime.

1. Scan Your Polaroid

The best way of preserving your polaroid is to make a digital copy of it.

Place your polaroid in a scanner and press scan, simple. The only thing you need to take into consideration is the scanner thinks you are scanning an A4. If you want a high resolution scan, make sure to set your scanning resolution to above 800dpi which will give your small polaroid a resolution of above 240dpi.

2. Box It

Place your polaroids in a nice box. There are many suppliers out there who produce boxes. For my wedding photos, I got this beautiful watercolour floral box from Paperchase.

3. Album

Organise your Polaroids in an album. There are many options out there. and are great sources of personalised albums. Just be mindful that you get the right size for your Polaroids as there are different instant film sizes out there.

4. Shadows

You love Polaroids, because of their size and convenient way you can display them around the house. Don't worry, you can still do that. If you are opting for this option, scan your photo first, then display it an area where is shadowed by light. Direct sunlight will fade your polaroid faster.

There you go, these are my top tips for preserving and Polaroid's lifetime. Polaroids are there for you to enjoy them, so I do highly recommend you display your polaroid out in the open. It will fade, but that is the nature of a Polaroid, and if you ask me, it makes the time being displayed even more special. Just make sure you make a high resolution scan of it straight after developing for safekeeping.

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