Protect Your Family Memories by Scanning and Digitizing
Have you ever wanted to find a specific photo for a family event or that special one that made everyone laugh? So you quickly start flipping pages of old albums or rummaging through boxes or drawers with no luck?
When is Someday?
What if the above memory had been lost?
If you are laughing, it’s okay, it means you understand why I search for it so often.
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Imagine what it would be like if you could have ALL your pictures available to you digitally, organized by years, and find that photo in less than 5 minutes?
Does the thought of scanning a few thousand pictures to make them digital make you physically ill? I hear ya.
So have you put it off, telling yourself, you’ll do it SOMEDAY?
The reality is, Someday is here.
Okay, so you know where I am going with this, you realize it needs to be done and if you don’t do it, who will?
Now, don’t get all stressed and overwhelmed.
No worries, I am going to help you make a manageable plan before you even start.
I promise you won’t be sorry. In fact, you are going to be really proud of yourself.
I’m not going to lie, it will take a while for sure. – I know because I scanned close to 5,000 photos.
WHY SCAN ALL THOSE PICTURES?
Moms make memories, did you know that?
When you have all your pictures scanned you will have created life-long memories for your children and for generations to come- Good work Mom.
Ultimately, scanning pictures is the safest way to protect your pictures as well. What if you had a fire, flood, or any disaster that destroyed your photos?
You would be devastated and for good reason.
You don’t want to take the chance of losing those memories forever.
Our children are grown and we are blessed to have two amazing grandsons. I have loved every stage of being a mom and wouldn’t trade a day. ( although I would like to relive many).
As our children were growing, I very carefully put all of our photos into albums or filed them into photo boxes sorted by years, and then there was a full box that was NOT sorted.
Ugh! It was an overwhelming amount of photos.
If you are like me, you don’t have to be convinced WHY you want to scan photos, but the How can seem very overwhelming and stressful.
I know how it feels to tackle a project that requires skills that I don’t have. You might be nervous about scanning because you haven’t done it before, or you aren’t sure how you are going to file them yet.
As I said, no worries, I have got you covered
How to Scan Your Photos
Even though I was nervous and in uncharted waters, I was very excited and hoped it was going to be fun.
And it was!
Honestly, when you stop and think about what a gift this will be for your kids, that will be your motivation to keep going.
In the end, I bought an inexpensive scanner and I scanned close to 5,000 photos!
We’ll get to buying scanners in a minute.
What‘s Your Plan to Scan?
1. Get Organized Before You Start.
This Is So Important.
To set up, get a card table or some kind of table where you can make it your workspace and can keep it undisturbed for quite a while.
You will also need a box of tissues (for your tears) and a soft cloth to wipe the photos before scanning.
Trust me, plan on taking your time. You want to be able to enjoy this job, after all, you will be reminiscing and be tearing up on a regular basis.
Next, you are going to be planning how you would like to organize your pictures.
2. Sort Your Photos Before Scanning
Tip: Don’t just start scanning willy nilly thinking you will be able to organize them later. Actually, you would be really doubling your task.
Tip: You don’t need to scan every photo.!
When you come across ones that you know will mortify one of your children – Throw it.
Tip: As you know, just like digital photos, we have lots and lots of pictures we really don’t need, they may blurry or the 6th copy of the exact pose – Throw them.
Tip: Use a soft cloth and gently wipe each photo for dust or
Sorting Your Photos Before You Scan
Next, will need to decide how you want to sort your pictures.
What I would recommend, is putting them into piles that are sorted by milestones in your family’s life.
For example, I put photos together in increments of 2-3 years.
This is how far apart our children’s milestones are, so that made it easier.
I labeled baskets in increments of years, like 1978-1981 and then got to work.
If you are NOT like me and already have all your photos sorted by dates – Good For You. Your job will be so much easier.
You don’t need anything fancy or expensive, check out these simple wicker baskets from Amazon.
Tip: I left my photos grouped in 3-year increments mixed.
You can put them in order by year if you like.
I discovered that scrolling through the photos in the 3-year chunk is fun.
3. TIME TO SCAN
WAIT! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SCAN WITH?
You have a few options with what you use to scan.
Your best option might be to buy a scanner. Flatbed Scanners are the most commonly used scanners and do claim high-quality photos.
I used a Flatbed Scanner for the majority of my photos.
PhotoScan is a FREE google app I have used and had good results. You can
Apple’s Notes app is one of the best-kept secrets. You can find it
Press scan and away you go!. The quality has great reviews so give it a try. Keep in mind, you won’t always have your scanner with you, so scanning with your phone is a great option.
Image Capture is an App on Mac computers. Get Apple’s Instructions for Image Capture.
I have a MacBook so decided to test it.
Wow! It told our HP Printer to scan, and in literally seconds, the picture was on my computer, in my
The Windows version of Image Capture is compatible with OS and Windows.
After plowing through mountains of photo albums and boxes on our dining room table, I began to scan photos four at a time! It is so much easier now!
To scan several photos at the same time, you will probably want to use a flatbed scanner or a scanning printer.
As I scanned the pictures, I put them into folders on my laptop in 3-year increments.
If you need a little tutorial on how to make folders in Photos so you can move your photos- 7 Steps to Declutter & Organize Digital Photos.
Your other option is to contact me at [email protected] and ask for help- I will get back to you ASAP.
4. You Are Done Scanning Photos?
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SCANNING IS DONE?
When I shared what I had accomplished with my family I was overjoyed with their response!
They would not put my computer down! As they looked through the folders, the stories, text messages, & laughter was all the reward I needed for my efforts.
However, my kids were often texting me and asking me to send a photo they wanted to share with friends, a cute baby picture, Halloween costume, graduation, etc. A photo stick is one solution to that problem, but…….
Thank Goodness for the Cloud!!
Next, I figured out how to share all the folders I had created on the cloud with my whole family. Now, they have access to all of the pictures anytime they want.
After 2014 the age of quality digital photos resulted in new shared family folders for each year. Now, we can all contribute pictures now to new shared folders.
Sharing pictures helps us keep up with what everyone is doing which is really important to me because we live far apart.
Create Slide Shows for All Occasions
Creating your own slide shows with your photos is super easy and so enjoyed by everyone. Here is a step by step guide to making a slide show in virtually minutes, 7 Steps to Creating Amazing Slide Shows.
When your slide show is complete just display it through your Apple TV with your favorite music
What about the digital photos that you have taken with your smartphone or other digital cameras? You need to declutter and organize digital photos too. Find out how here, 7 Steps to Declutter & Organize Digital Photos. You can download a FREE Cheat Sheet for this project too.
My Final A
dvice. DO THIS!
In all honesty, everyone should consider scanning in at least some of their old photos to protect your memories.
It may take some time or money to get started, but the benefits of having old photos protected shared and edited completely outweigh the costs.
Grab your free List of Tips to help you scan your photos.
No matter your age, you will want to capture memories from the past.
For example, here is a picture of my husband’s grandpa and his parents as Grandpa is leaving for WWI, Seriously.
If you are lucky enough to have older relatives, ask them for their pictures.
They don’t know how to do this stuff, but they will love you even more for doing it for them.
You will never be completely done scanning. You will need to scan all school pictures, holiday cards, and children’s artwork, it’s endless.
Botton line, give your family a digital version of their family memories.
Please share how you keep memories alive in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. I
Please let me know if you need help