The memories you’ve created with your friends and family are priceless. Pulling out a box of old photos to relive those memories is one of the best ways to bring your loved ones together. Over time, however, paper photos wither and fade and can lose the original, vibrant quality they once had. One of the best ways to preserve your photographs is to digitize them. If you’ve got a handful of photographs that you want to pass down or share with the family, we’re here to help! Use our guide to learn how to digitize old photos, as well as some other ways you can digitally archive your photo collection.
How to Digitize Old Photos
If you’re a hands-on person who would like to learn how to digitize old photos yourself, then scanning them onto a computer may be the best option for you. Using the tips below you can prepare and scan your photos from the comfort of your own home.
1. Purchase (or Borrow) a Scanner
Scanning your photos keeps the quality of your photographs intact. While scanners range widely in price, there are plenty of great scanners for under $100 that are perfect for digitizing your photos. Or if someone you know has a scanner, you could ask to borrow it for a day.
2. Organize Photos
Before you begin scanning, organize your photos. A helpful tip for organizing photos is to divide them into piles according to date (by year) or event (weddings, reunions, vacations, etc.). Once you’ve organized your photos, take a microfiber cloth and wipe each photo free of dust and fingerprints. This will help ensure the highest quality image when you scan them onto your computer. Wear gloves while handling your old photos to keep them in the best shape possible.
3. Scan Photos
Once your photos are organized, you’re ready to scan them onto your computer. Since each scanner works a little differently, be sure to read the step-by-step instructions in your manual. Once scanned, you can crop, adjust color, and edit your photos to your liking. The last thing you’ll want to do is save them in folders onto your computer – and voila! You’ll have an archive of memories to print and frame. You could also arrange the photos into an album or movie to share with loved ones. Websites like Shutterfly make it easy to transform your digital photos into a photo book or fun gifts like mugs, pillows, and ornaments.
Have a Professional Digitize the Photos
If you prefer to leave the job to a professional, there are plenty of great companies who will digitize your photos for you. FotoBridge is a company that will digitize your photos onto a DVD for a great price. You can also send a box of your photos to Everpresent, and they’ll clean your photos, scan them, and send them back on a DVD and/or a USB drive. Finally, if you would rather digitize your photos in person, you could stop by your local FedEx to have the photos scanned and printed.
Whether you decide to digitize your photos yourself or have a professional do it, you’ll be glad you did. Make copies of your photos for gifts, or bring them to family gatherings and holidays to share with your friends and family. Everyone will enjoy reliving the memories, and you’ll have an archive of beautiful photos that will last a lifetime!
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