For those of us who have lived long enough to see the invention of the internet, smartphones, and the cloud, we know the pain of preserving those precious photos. Kid's birthdays, the video of them walking for the first time, and treasured holidays, thousands upon thousands of photos locked away in a box somewhere.
Luckily, it has never been easier to send your photos into digital format, allowing you to keep them safe, organized, and, most importantly, quick to access at any moment.
You can use three methods: the DIY method, the smartphone method, or the easier method. The only problem with the easiest method is that there will be a small price tag attached. Let's look at the steps you will need to make.
The first thing you are going to need to do is to prepare the pictures.
To start with, you will organize your collection and remove any that you don't want. If you have the time, sorting these pictures into categories will make your life easier later on. Sort things into categories like "Family," "Holiday," "Sports," and "Funny Moments."
Once you have sorted these files, you will need to make sure they are in the best condition you possibly can. When stored for years, pictures can be covered in a layer of dust. Each photo should be wiped down with a dry lint cloth. Don't use your fingers as the oil can damage older photos or leave marks on newer ones.
Now your photos are prepared, you can start.
Related: Best Scanners For Polaroid Pictures
Scan Photos at Home Method
This photo scanning method is for those that already have a scanner at home. Most modern printers have this functionality. These will be perfect for digitalizing your photo albums if you have a flatbed scanner or an all in one printer with a photo scanner.
Most computers come with the software necessary to connect to the scanner, and if your printer is already connected to your laptop, you are already halfway there.
Open the scanner lid, wipe it over with a lint cloth, place your first picture in, and press scan on your computer. Simply rinse and repeat, and your images will be saved to the PC.
Here are a few basic tweaks if you are a bit more advanced and want to play around with some of the photo scans and photo editing settings.
Image Quality / Resolution
Whenever scanning photos, you need to make sure that the settings are for 300DPI or above in order to get the best results. 600DPI or above is best if you plan to edit or enlarge your pictures. If you plan to use your photo for social media and it needs to be of high quality, you need to scan them on a higher dpi.
Related: What Is DMAX And DMIN?
This is a really nice feature. If you have specific locations on your computer that you want the photos to go to, you can choose this in the folder location option.
Remember we told you to categorize your photos earlier, well now you can create those folders on your computer and have them sent straight there. All of your sports photos will be in the sports folder on your computer and so on.
Make sure that if you are scanning colored photos to change this setting to color. If you are scanning old black and white images, you can set your scanner back to the "Greyscale" setting.
Smart Phone Method to Digitize Your Photos
There are a number of new high-tech apps designed for the latest range of high-end smartphones. These apps essentially turn your camera into a scanner, allowing you to scan documents and photos instantly.
One free app that does this is called PhotoScan.
Here is a quick guide to get started after downloading the app:
1. Make sure the photo is positioned within the frame shown in the app.
2. Click Scan to start the processing; you'll see four markers appear in the frame.
3. Move your device over the markers until they change color; the app can use the additional shots at different angles to remove annoying glare and shadows.
After following these steps, PhotoScan will then perform the stitching, enhancing, resizing, and blurring before saving the photo on your smartphone.
Easy Method to Digitize Photos
The final method is the easy method. This method involves you taking many photos to a scanning service. They will have the best equipment for scanning photos and will be able to do the job in a fraction of the time. The only problem with this method is that you will have to pay for the ease.
This is the fastest scanning and the easiest method but can cost a fair bit, especially if you are looking to get an extensive collection digitized.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How can I scan a Bunch of Documents Quickly?
The quickest way would be to take your documents to Photoshop. If you want to do it at home, you will need a feeding scanner.
Related: How To Scan A Double Sided Document
Is it Better to Scan or Photograph old Pictures?
As long as your scanner is of a decent enough quality, scanning is always better quality.
What is the Best Way to Digitize Photos?
All of the methods on this list are a great way to digitize your photos, but getting them done in a professional shop will provide the best results.
How to scan many photos at once?
A powerful scanner or professional photoshop is the only way to scan large amounts of photos quickly.
If you opened this article in the middle of your living room, surrounded by boxes of memories, you're not alone. Hopefully, we have shown you that it is really easy to turn those memories into scanned images. Once they are scanned, you get your space back and it becomes easy to store these digital memories for the long term.
Jake Redman is a UK-born-digital nomad & founder of Ultimate Quality Content, a collective of high-end copywriters formed to provide detailed insight into everything technology-related. Jake is the definition of a man-nerd. He gets excited over things like processor architecture, ray-tracing, & is an avid E-Sports fan, specifically League of Legends. When he isn’t writing detailed tech-related articles, Jake can be found performing fire-breathing shows & wields a dragon staff, or on the sofa playing Mario Kart.