What is a 'White Sheet' Autographed Photo?
Many newer and inexperienced in-person autograph collectors are resorting to what are called ‘White Sheets’ in order to obtain autographs when they are not prepared, simply do not know what they are doing, are cheap, are just too lazy, or simply do not care about their customers.
A ‘white sheet’ photo is a piece of blank ink-jet photo paper that has had a photo printed on it over an autograph. The collector has the celebrity sign the blank sheet of ink-jet paper (usually in a blue Sharpie as most other colors do not work), then later, once they are home, they load the paper into their ink-jet printer and print an image of their choice onto the sheet and over the autograph. For some reason this works and does not damage the autograph.
They then sell these to unsuspecting autograph collectors who end up with an authentic autograph but printed on a piece of ink-jet paper that has a very short shelf life. Unfortunately, ink-jet photos can start to fade very quickly (sometimes as quickly as a month) depending on the quality of the paper and what types of ink they used to print the photo. They are very cheap to create and of very cheap quality. I overhead one collector who only uses ‘white sheets’ say that if it were not for them he simply could not afford to be in this business. Is this the kind of person you want to do business with?
How would you feel if one day you looked at your prized (and likely very expensive) autographed photo to notice it has faded and all you have left is a signature on a faded blank piece of paper. I know I would be very disappointed to say the least.
Do not let this happen to you.
Be sure to ask every seller you buy a signed photo from if it is a ‘white sheet’ or in ink-jet printed photo. Make sure they say that it is an actual Photo Lab Printed (developed) photo. Also make sure they let you know what is printed on the back of the photo. The back will likely indicate ‘Fujicolor Crystal Archive Paper’ (most labs use this paper) though it may also indicate 'AGFA Professional' or ‘Kodak Paper', though you have to be careful with Kodak as they also manufacture ink-jet paper. Also many ink-jet/ 'white sheet' papers are simply blank on the back which does not help.
I have attached some scans of the back of real lab developed photos for you to see below.
Luckily, celebrities do not like to sign these and the word is spreading around Hollywood. Someday this will be stopped but, in the meantime, please do your part by making sure you do not buy any of these monstrosities and once the word is out, and these stop selling, unscrupulous in-person autograph collectors will stop creating them.
Examples of the back of real lab developed photos:
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