Nowadays, when smartphone cameras and disappearing social media posts abound, there is something so meaningful about a tangible photograph. In contrast, prints on paper or other analog formats such as negatives or slides deteriorate as time passes. Loss or destruction of them is also possible.

In the hidden corners of your house, there are likely old photo albums and shoeboxes that have decades’ worth of images. At this time, digitizing them would make a lot of sense.

These prints are sure to age poorly, no doubt about it. Thanks to technology, we are able to scan these analog photos and store them in digital format, so the memories we make can last forever.

We will explain how to digitally digitize your old photos below. If you use an external hard drive or the cloud, or both, then you will be able to store all of the documents electronically. Digitizing your old photos before they become unusable is the best way to share them online, have them reprinted, and prevent them from disappearing.

Use an app to scan your photos on your smartphone

Mobile phone scanning apps have become more and more useful as smartphone cameras become more sophisticated, making it easier to convert old prints into digital files.

Consider using the camera on your new iPhone or many Android devices to produce high-quality scans. When taking photos, wipe the phone lens and your microfiber cloth with the microfiber cloth first. You must scan the photos in well-lit conditions with no shadows.

For scanning print photos, we recommend Photomyne and Google Photo Scan. You can scan photos using both apps on the go.

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It is easy to use, powerful, and reliable to use the iPhone photo scanner app Photomyne. Photomyne is so easy to use – just hold your phone over the printed photo and it’ll crop and take the picture. It is also possible to edit and restore scanned photos. Retouching old photographs can give them new life, especially if the original is extremely old or worn out.

Google Scanner for Photos

The free Google Photos app PhotoScan lets you scan and save your favorite photos directly from the camera of your smartphone. The app automatically detects edges, adjusts perspective, and rotates images to produce enhanced digital scans. With PhotoScan, you can digitize your photos by stitching pictures together to eliminate glare and improve quality.

As convenient as they are, apps aren’t always the best way to scan. You may want to consider a dedicated photo scanner like one of the options below if you want to reprint your photos at a much larger size later. Detailed reviews of Google PhotoScan indicate that you can specify that you plan to reprint images later.

The second option is to scan your photos

Dedicated photo scanners are ideal for taking high-quality digital photos. Make sure to follow the specific instructions provided with each scanner. For best results, follow these tips.

Scanner selection

Photo scanners vary in price and feature sets and are widely available in the market. You can save a lot of money on your home or office computer with a flatbed scanner, and most are reasonably priced. If you prefer to scan from anywhere you can also purchase a portable scanner like Doxie.

Consider your scanning priorities when choosing a scanner, as well as the possibility of printers reprinting some of the prints in a larger format (or any other format) with Fracture glass.

Best portable scanner: PORTABLE 3D BODY SCANNER

Most budget-friendly: BOSS PHOTO FRAME

For film, slides and prints: BORDERLESS PHOTO PRINTER

Best scanner for pros: PHOTO TRANSFER PAPER FOR FABRIC

Scans should be cleaned

Any dust, hair or other types of artifacts will show up clearly in your scanners’ scans, as scanners are highly sensitive to even the smallest particles. Hence, make sure the scanner glass and your photographs are both clean. Dust should not be allowed to accumulate in scanning stations. If you want to use canned air, a microfiber rag can help.

Multiply your scans

A scanner of average size can scan four photos of size 4*6 inches at once, and you can digitally separate and crop the photos afterwards. Many scanners come with software that handles this automatically, which is very convenient.

High-quality images are recommended

You should select a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi), or even more if you are planning to order enlargements. This will ensure the highest quality scans and makes reprinting them easier.

Negatives and slides for scanning

With the right type of scanner, you can scan images from 35mm film photo slides or original negatives from your photos. You’ll want a scanner that can handle negatives and slides, such as the Epson Perfection V600, which comes with a tray to load them. Many regular photo scanners will not scan these formats.

Editing tools for photos

Your digital photos can be edited in a variety of ways. Some scanners allow users to make basic adjustments such as cropping and red-eye removal, color adjustment, contrast, and brightness. Adobe Photoshop and mobile editing apps allow you to rejuvenate old photos with more advanced editing features. (Especially if your photos are older and need retouching) New, AI-based tools are even available to colorize black-and-white photos automatically.

Third option: Hire a service to digitize your photos

Sometimes, stepping back from the hard work and letting the professionals handle it is better. It’s possible to have Legacybox digitize your old analog media, such as slides, VHS tapes, and more, so that you don’t have to scan them yourself.

Add your tapes, prints, negatives, and slides to Legacybox. If you send it in, you’ll receive DVDs and a thumb drive with all your memories preserved.

The ability to scan your photos in digital form can open up a world of new possibilities no matter how you decide to do it. The priceless memories you digitize, whether they’re shared on social media or made into Fracture glass prints, will be worth the time you take to do so.

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