It's natural to want to keep ultrasound photos for as long as possible to commemorate an exciting occasion. However, these photos are often printed on thermal paper, meaning they eventually fade. To ensure you always have photos of an ultrasound, try scanning or taking a picture of the ultrasound using your phone or camera. You can also help preserve the originals by using a heatless laminate or keeping them in an acid-free photo album.
EditProtecting Your Photos
- Handle the ultrasound photos carefully by only touching the edges. Oils from your hands will cause the photos to deteriorate faster than they would if they went untouched. Pick up your ultrasound pictures by their edges, and avoid touching them as much as possible.
- If you're showing the ultrasound photos to others, consider putting the pictures in a protective plastic sleeve so that they won't be touched by lots of fingers.
- Avoid letting the photos touch one another. If your ultrasound photos are in a stack on top of each other or positioned in a photo album where they touch each other once the album is closed, resituate them so that they’re no longer touching to prevent damage.
- If you’re putting the photos in an album, make sure there’s a blank page opposite the photo.
- Placing regular paper between each photo will help preserve them.
- Keep the photos in the dark to help preserve them. Light will cause the ultrasound pictures to fade over time. To prevent this, store them in a darker spot, such as a drawer or clean box.
- Photo boxes are perfect for storing ultrasound photos and can be found at craft stores, big box stores, or online.
- If you're storing the photos in a drawer or closet, make sure they're well-protected. Either put paper underneath and on top of each photo, or wrap them in flat tissue paper.
EditPreserving the Originals
- Laminate the ultrasound photos using a heatless laminate to protect them. If you laminate your photos using heat, the heat will ruin them because the pictures are often printed on thermal paper. Buy a pack of self-laminating pages from an office store, big box store, or online. These are heatless and won’t ruin the photos.
- To use the self-adhesive laminating sheets, all you have to do is peel off the backing and position your picture in between both sheets. Make sure you go slowly and press out any air bubbles.
- Start at a corner of the photo when flattening the sheets together to help prevent wrinkles.
- Use scissors to cut out your photo once it's laminated.
- Place the photos in frames to prevent air and oils from touching them. While they may still fade a little due to light exposure, air particles and the oils from your fingers will cause the ultrasound photos to deteriorate faster. Place the photos in a picture frame with the back securely fastened to help preserve them.
- You can purchase picture frames designed specifically for ultrasound photos online. These frames don’t protect the pictures any differently from other frames, but they are designed to be the same size as the ultrasound photos and have special wording or illustrations on them.
- Put the photos in an acid-free photo album if you want them in a scrapbook. Archival-type scrapbooks are great for storing ultrasound photos — the high-quality paper helps protect the pictures and you can decorate the pages however you’d like. Just make sure your scrapbook is lignin-free, acid-free, and PVC-free.
- Lignin is a chemical compound found in wood, and PVC is a type of plastic, both of which eventually break down and release acids.
- When you’re creating the scrapbook, use photo corner squares to keep the pictures in place and prevent them from being damaged.
EditStoring the Photos Digitally
- Use a scanner to create digital replicas of the ultrasound photo. The best way to ensure your ultrasound photos never disappear is to scan them onto your computer. Make sure your computer and printer are connected before starting up your scanning program.
- If you don’t have a scanner at home, visit an office supply store or shipping store, like Staples or a FedEx Kinkos, and the employees will help you scan your photos.
- Remember to put the ultrasound photo face down on the printer when scanning.
- Save the scanned copies to your computer or portable storage device. If you’re scanning at home, you can save the photos right to your computer. If you scanned the photos somewhere else, make sure you bring a flash drive with you to easily transfer and save the scan.
- You can also email the scanned photos to your email or someone else’s.
- Take a picture of the ultrasound photo using your phone for a quick solution. Snap a picture of the ultrasound photo using your phone, lining up the edges of the picture with the screen and making sure the lens is in focus.
- Using a more professional camera will give you even better results.
- You may need to hang your ultrasound photo against a window or in the light when taking the picture to have it come out clearly.
- There are several apps available for your phone that act as scanners, such as Pic Scanner or Shoebox.
- Order or print out extra copies of the photo once you have a digital version. Whether you took a picture of the ultrasound photo using your phone or a camera, or you created a scan, now you can start printing out paper copies, if desired. Use your home printer to create as many copies as you like, or order copies to be printed on photo paper.
- Drug stores and big box stores often allow you to order prints of photos and pick them up once they’re finished.
- You can print out copies of the original ultrasound photo to put in a photo book, picture frame, or to send to friends and family.
- Design a book of your ultrasound photos for a nice keepsake. There are several photo companies that will turn your photos into a book, even adding wording and additional artwork. Just visit their website, upload your photos, and design the pages to your liking. Once it’s finished and purchased, they’ll ship the book right to your house.
- Examples of these companies include Shutterfly, Mixbook, and Snapfish.
- Drug stores like Walgreens or big box stores such as Walmart can also often create photo books for you.
- Never laminate your ultrasound photos using heat, or you'll destroy the pictures.
EditSources and Citations
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