A Guide to Laminated Photograph

Lamination is simply the process of enveloping a document between two layers of plastic film and sealing its edges in order to provide a level of protection against outside influences that may cause damage. Photos, posters, letters, certificates and cards are all examples of documents that commonly utilize such a technique, and the items can either be produced professionally or with special laminating products that are used in the home.
I was hoping you could provide some information to me on whether or not Laminating Photographs will help preserve them, or if it will damage them.
Is a special Laminating film required so as the chemicals don’t damage the photo over time…and is a special laminator or temperature for the laminator needed so that the photos don’t get damaged from the heat? Do people usually laminate their photographs?

The photographs that may get Laminated(depending on your response) were professionally printed and cost a fair amount…so I’m just skeptical of whether laminating would ruin them, or if they are better off tucked away in my portfolio and in albums.
The other way to laminate them is to do it like a driver’s license, where the photo is simply encased in a thin plastic sleeve which is then stuck or heat-sealed together. This is like the type of sticky laminate sold at the office-supply store. Again, a professional will do a much better job using his specialty equipment than you can do at home with a sticky plastic sheet and your fingers. You have to be careful not to trap dust under the plastic; you have to get all the bubbles out; the seal must be perfect. It’s a PIA. However, done correctly, it’ll be water-resistant, if not waterproof. The edges will be surrounded by a small amount of clear laminate, which may not be attractive to you.