Will my photo booth photos fade?

I’m often asked if digital photobooth pictures will fade. This is a great question because there are some photobooth companies out there who print using cheap inks and papers that will deffinetely fade in a few years or shorter.

 When you rent a photobooth be sure to ask your vendor what type of process they use to make the photos. There are 3 main types:

1. Dye Sub Printers are very archival and use heat to fuse inks onto paper. These prints will easily last a life time if handled correctly. They can take a lot of abuse and are water proof. Even ifyou kept these images in your wallet they would look pretty good after a year.

2. Old chemical booths use silverhalide chemical process to make images. Generally these last a very long time, however if the chemicals are not fresh then you can get photos that fade easily. There is a chemical called fixer that smells like wet socks that “fixes” the silver halide to the photo paper. If this chemical is not fresh your photos will fade eventually.

 3. Ink Jet printers. There are two types of inks used in printers, pigment inks and dye inks. Pigment inks are very archival and will last a lifetime if handled correctly. However they are not that durable and if you put them in your wallet they would deffinetely have scuffs and marks all over the surface after a year. Dye inks will deffinetely fade over time. There are a couple of dye based ink jet printers that would work OK, like the epson r280 or canon ip4500 due to the special dyes they use, but generally I’d recommend avoiding them.

 In conclusion if you want the longest lasting most durable prints you should use a photobooth rental company that uses dye sub printers.

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