archive your old photos

Photo Scanning - How to Scan & Archive Old Photos

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Old photos are something to be treasured—they provide a unique way to hold onto cherished memories and celebrate the past. Unfortunately, photographs can get lost, damaged, or even destroyed over the years. Thanks to document and photo scanners, you can scan, digitize, and archive all your cherished memories for generations to come. Here’s a fast and simple primer on how to scan photos so you can get started.

  • Security: Nobody likes the sinking sensation when they realize an old photo has been lost or irreparably damaged. By scanning photos, you can keep them safe so you can share them with loved ones. By using a protective carrier sheet when you scan your photos, you won’t have to worry about them fading or tearing at the edges.
  • Space: Running out of room to stack all those photo albums? You can consolidate hundreds of photos by digitizing them, saving space and helping to stay organized at the same time. You can create different digital albums for events, people and time periods and then share them with family and friends around the world.
  • Simplicity: Thanks to advances in technology, photo scanning and digitizing is faster and more convenient than ever. You can easily scan photos yourself, which is a less costly (and far more fun) option than having a professional company scan old photos for you.

Choosing the Right Scanner for Photos

If you’re ready to digitize old photos, you’ll need the right photo scanner to get the job done properly. There are many options on the market, but when you’re looking for the best photo scanner for your cherished memories, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Speed: Digitizing your old photos may take some patience (especially if you have a lot of them), but you don’t want your photo scanner slowing you down. Before you start to scan pictures, check the speed of your scanner to make sure it can keep up with your scanning needs, especially if you have a lot of photos you want to save/preserve.
  • Wireless Capabilities: If you have no time or room for more wires, you’re in luck. Many photo scanners come with wireless capabilities, allowing you to scan to your PC, network destinations, mobile, and more. It’s a great way to archive photos from any location.
  • Image Optimization: Some of your older photos may be looking a bit worse for the wear after many years. That’s why some photo scanners come equipped with the ability to enhance your images. Once scanned, they can automatically detect and improve the color contrast, as well as help prevent bleed-through.

How to Digitize Photos

Scanning photos can be a great DIY project for the whole family. Follow these five steps to learn how to scan photos and to get started:

  1. Choose a reliable scanner that’s specifically designed to scan photographs. This will help ensure high-quality scans.
  2. Brother scanners come with software that makes setup a snap. Simply download the software to your compatible Mac® or PC, start your scanner, and you’re ready to go.
  3. Before you start the actual photo scanning, it’s important to get organized. Sort your photos in neat piles so you can keep track of them all.
  4. Make sure you have a carrier sheet so your photos are always protected.
  5. How to scan a photo as clearly as possible? Make sure both your photos and the scanner itself remain clean and free of dust and debris before you scan your photos. You can wipe them down with a soft, dry cloth beforehand - just remember to be careful with your treasured keepsakes.