April 12

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How to Scan Photos to Digital

Preserving family photos is important, but scanning them can be a daunting time-consuming and overwhelming task. However, with the right approach, you can bulk scan your family photos efficiently and effectively. Here are some dos and don'ts to help you get the best results.

Organise your photos before scanning

Before you start scanning, it's important to organise your photos. This will save you time and ensure that you don't miss any important photos. Sort your photos by date, event, or person, and label them accordingly. You can use sticky notes or index cards to keep track of which photos you've scanned. This will also make it easier to find specific photos later on. Make sure you look through the photos and discard any that are blurry, under or over exposed or ones that just look awful or duplicates! Don't waste time scanning pictures that you don't want or like, cull them before you start scanning! This will save you time and will make the process of scanning a little less daunting. If you've decided to continue scanning all your photos as a DIY project rather than using a professional photo scanning service, you'll now need the right equipment. 

Invest in a high-quality scanner.

When it comes to bulk scanning your family photos, investing in a high-quality scanner is essential. A good scanner will produce high-resolution images that capture all the details and colours of your photos. Look for a scanner with a high DPI (dots per inch) resolution, which will ensure that your scanned photos look crisp and clear. Additionally, if your budget allows, consider buying a commercial photo scanner with a top feeder, which will allow you to scan multiple photos at once, saving you a lot of time and effort.

Of course there are many flatbed scanners available too.  They will be considerably slower than a top feeding scanner but can produce some awesome scans. Do research and read previous customer reviews and if possible, see the scanner before you buy.

Once you have your scanner, it’s important to properly clean and prepare your photos before scanning. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any dust or debris from the surface of the photo, and consider using a photo-safe cleaning solution if necessary. Next, organise your photos into batches based on size and orientation and you are nearly ready to get started with scanning.      

Adjust the settings for optimal results.

Once you have your high-quality scanner, it’s important to adjust the settings for optimal results. Make sure to select the appropriate resolution for your photos – typically 300 DPI or 600 DPI. Read “What DPI”.

You should also adjust the colour settings to ensure that your scanned images accurately reflect the colours of the original photos. Your scanner should come with scanning software or you can use top quality third party scanner like Silverfast or VueScan to adjust the brightness, contrast, and colour balance of each batch before scanning. This will ensure that your scanned photos are well on their way to looking their best.

Finally, consider using a photo editing software to touch up any imperfections or blemishes in your scanned images. With these adjustments, you can ensure that your bulk scanning results in high-quality, beautiful digital copies of your family photos.

Use software to enhance and organise your scanned photos.

After you have finished bulk scanning your family photos, it’s important to organise and enhance them using photo editing software.

This will allow you to easily find and share your photos with family and friends. Consider using software like Adobe Lightroom, Apple Photos or Google Photos to organise your photos into albums and add tags for easy searching.

You can also use these tools to further enhance your photos by adjusting brightness, contrast, and colour balance. With a little bit of editing, your scanned photos can look even better than the originals.

Store your digital copies in a safe and secure location.

Once you have finished scanning and editing your family photos, it’s important to store your digital copies in a safe and secure location.

Save onto your computer and consider using an external hard drive or cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox as well to keep your photos backed up and easily accessible. 

Make sure to also keep a backup copy in a separate location in case of any unforeseen disasters like a fire or flood. By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your precious family memories are protected for years to come.

Professional Scanning Service Option

If you find that the task is just too big and daunting to complete yourself, consider using a professional bulk scanning service like PicSave. We can handle all the labour-intensive work of scanning your photos to digital.

 Our service includes photo cropping, color correction, contrast and exposure tweaking where required to ensure that your digital images look as good as the originals. 

Once the scanning has been completed, we'll send your prints back to you along with a choice of USB memory stick or a download link containing your digital images. Save time and hassle by trusting your photo scanning needs to the professionals at PicSave.


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