What to do when older relatives pass and you inherit their collection of old photographs – picture albums, shoe boxes and manila envelopes stuffed with family photos? Legacy that forms an important part of your family history, yet you cannot put names to many of the faces and places in those fading, decades-old photos.
This short article suggests steps to get your treasured photos ready for conservation. The steps are: Assess, Protect, Sort, Start and Store.
Spot anything missing? Yes! The only way to preserve these fragile pictures for posterity is to scan them. Today, we will show you a really fast and easy DIY way to do this.
How to scan photos
Once you have assessed and sorted your photos, consider scanning the best and most memorable of the lot. This not only preserves them forever, it also makes them portable and shareable. Digitizing makes your photos easy to enhance, restore, label and organize.
The easiest and fastest way to scan photos is to use your iPhone or iPad, and an inexpensive app such as Pic Scanner Gold. This is much quicker than using an old fashioned flatbed scanner, transferring the scans to a computer, then cropping and editing each photo.
Current iPhone and iPad models come equipped with 12 MP cameras. Pic Scanner Gold app’s proprietary algorithm harnesses this power to capture amazingly high resolution scans with relatively small file sizes. The app comes with a built-in advanced editor, which includes some tools that are particularly useful for old photos. It also has some other features for organizing and sharing photos, but we won’t go into those (You can read about them here).
Pic Scanner Gold has another advanced feature: If you scan multiple photos with one click, the app can automatically detect, perspective-correct, and save all photos individually. This is great if you are scanning photos to post on your Facebook page. However, when scanning old photos for archiving or reprinting, always scan one photo at a time. The app crops the photos automatically and accurately, which will save you a lot of time.
Scanned. Now what?
Upload scanned photos to your preferred cloud service. Pic Scanner Gold provide direct links to iCloud, Google Photos, Dropbox, and many other apps. Uploading to cloud serves two purposes: One, it ensures that your photos stay safe even if your iPhone or iPad is lost or damaged. Two, you can share photos with family members, and invite them to help add the forgotten details.
Many apps allow you to capture these details electronically. This extra effort is well worth it, since it ensures that the stories behind every photo are preserved. In Pic Scanner Gold, you can use the ‘Captions’ feature to save these details, as shown in the example below.