How many times have you wished you some of your childhood photos on a computer? Digitizing old photos makes it easier to access all your precious memories at a whim. It also lets you print them or convert them into fashionable gifts. They’ll be right there for you the next time nostalgia hits you.
Organizing and digitizing old photos the easy way
Old photos bring back memories and emotions. They capture precious moments that are long gone. And although the originals will inevitably succumb to time, their digital versions can live forever. So why not set aside a little time to digitize your old shoe-boxes of memories and preserve them for posterity with these tips?
Select and sort your photos
Converting your boxes of photos into a digital archive is no easy endeavor. First of all, you’ll need a clear idea on how to organize them. Depending on the number of photos you have, this can take up to several days.
You should dedicate sufficient time and attention to select the photos you want to scan and sort them.
For instance, you can sort them by year or decade, depending on the time span of your photo collection. You can base some of your categories on significant periods and events.
- You can categorize photos by a range of years (childhood days, high-school days)
- You can base it on special events such as weddings, graduation, family celebrations
- Or perhaps by dates of different holidays that you celebrate
- Perhaps even based on locations that are important to you, let’s say “grandma’s house”
Once you finish this process, you’ll simply save the scanned images in previously created folders on your device or computer.
Handle photos with care
Handle your old photos with care as they are extremely susceptible to damage. This includes damaging the photos with excessive light, moisture and drastic temperature changes.
Old photos are also prone to mechanical damage. Make sure your hands are always clean or use protective gloves to protect the photos from the natural oils on your fingers. Hold the photos by the edges and avoid picking them up with your thumb and index finger. And of course, keep them away from food, drinks, and small children.
Use a scanner to scan the photos
Scanning is a simple way to digitize your photos. You can scan the photos yourself or outsource the process. Doing it yourself, you can engage in an enjoyable activity for the entire family. You can have fun and reminisce together about the good old times.
Remove any dust particles from the surface of the photos as they can affect the end result. Clean the scanner’s glass surface to keep the scanned images as clean as possible. The quality of the scan will depend on the type and quality of the scanner.
Flatbed scanners are good when you want to scan a smaller number of photos, which can be then quickly saved on your computer. Film scanners are a better choice if you want to scan a pile of photos. They also improve the quality of the images by removing film scratches and enhancing color reproduction.
To reduce scanning time, you can scan several photos at once and edit them later. Most scanners allow you to crop the images and adjust the color and brightness. Set the resolution to at least 300 dpi, and save the files in JPG format. 600 dpi is preferable if you plan to enlarge the files later.
Use your cell phone to scan the photos
Of course, the fastest and cheapest way for digitizing old photos is scanning them using your cell phone camera. You can easily transfer the scanned copies to your computer and share them on social networks.
Most smartphones of the past few years have come equipped with high-quality cameras. Almost all of them are capable of producing images of sufficient quality. You can use any smartphone with an 8 MP+ camera for this purpose.
Also, there is a myriad of photo-editing and scanning apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac and PC to make your job easier.
It’s safe to assume the photo quality won’t match that of a conventional scanner, but it’s fast and free. Just as you would with conventional scanning, clean the photos of any dust residue prior to scanning, and handle them with care. Place the photos on a flat, well-lit surface. Make sure your phone is parallel to the photos when taking the shots.
Use a digital camera to re-photograph the photos
If your photos are really old and delicate, scanning can damage them. To avoid this, you can try re-shooting them. You can also use this technique for old albums that are too fragile to disassemble and scan.
To do this, you’ll need a digital camera, and a tripod to keep the camera still. The camera lens should be facing the surface, parallel to the photos. Providing plenty of light is essential.
To capture as many details as possible, use the “raw format” setting. This format captures and saves all of the available information and detail. It will make easy to correct over and underexposed images and even change color temperate. This is because of the additional file information contained in this format.
Outsource the process
If you don’t want to invest in a scanner, you can send your photos to professional scanning companies that will do the job for you. Their services include scanning, cropping, editing and archiving of photos at affordable rates, as well as enhancing the photo quality.
Store your photos online
Once you’re done with the scanning part, you’ll need to find a home for your digital photo collection. A safe, private space where you can store, edit and share your memories. With Sherish, the unique, all-in-one photo app, you can do this in a simple and convenient way.
Sherish offers unlimited storage so your entire family history can be safely stored in one place for future generations.
Sherish allows you to store and share your photos with the people you trust, without others watching. No ads, no user profiling.
So, bring your old photos back to life with Sherish. Keep all your unforgettable events fresh forever, add details, and share them with your family and close friends, no matter where they are. Sherish will keep you close and connected.
You can neatly organize your photo collection by date, place or person. If you like, you can also turn your favorite photos into precious mementos, such as striking wall art, coffee mugs, and greeting cards. You can do this quickly and easily at your local Walgreens.