Embellishments in Scrapbook Photo Albums

What materials can safely be used in a scrapbook photo album? The answer to this question depends on what level of risk is acceptable. The safest tactic is too avoid anything that might potentially harm photographs; however this approach excludes memorabilia, including newspaper clippings, certificates, and ribbons, from the album. These items put photographs in context and add to their value. For this reason, I recommend including related items in a scrapbook photo album. 


There is also no difference between buttons and ribbons defined as memorabilia and those added as page decorations and for consistency the same standards should be applied in both cases.


ISO standards would suggest not including either memorabilia or embellishments; however the risk can be minimized by not placing these items directly adjacent to or on top of photographs and by using Page Protectors to protect photographs on opposing pages. These recommendations will help preserve your memories for the future.


ISO photo safety requirements also recommend avoiding embellishments that could create a physical impression on photographs on the opposing page or positioning them in such a way that physical damage to opposing photos is unlikely. Scrapbook creators who are not concerned about photo safety may position the embellishments as they choose.


Product information must be very clear and not imply that embellishments or other items meet photo-safety or ISO requirements, when they do not.



About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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