It is best to leave photographs lying flat on the table when viewing them. Do not pick it up from a corner, or even from two sides and hold it at eye level. Every time the photograph bends, even a little, this can break down the emulsion .  The very nature of enclosing a photograph in plastic encourages users to pick it up; users tend to handle plastic enclosed photographs less gently than non-enclosed photographs, simply because they feel the plastic enclosure makes the photo impervious to all mishandling. As long as a photo is in its folder, there is no need to touch it; simply remove the folder from the box, lay it flat on the table, and open the folder. If for some reason the researcher or archivist does need to handle the actual photo, perhaps to examine the verso for writing, he or she can use gloves if there appears to be a risk from oils or dirt on the hands.