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How to Digitize Family Photo Albums


Living in clutter leads to low productivity while working from home, and one way to declutter is to digitize your family photo albums. Scanning your photos to CDs and DVDs will save space, and is a better alternative to storing them in boxes or piles. You should still hold on to the originals, but at least you can keep them in storage or tucked away. Here's how to digitize your pictures:

Step 1: Estimate How Many Photos You Have

The amount of family photo albums that you want to digitize will help you to determine whether it's worth your time to do it yourself, or to hire someone else to do it for you. For example, if you have two hundred photos or less, then you and your children could work on scanning all the photos yourself. If you've got more than that, you should consider using a photo album scanning service to do it for you. It's a time consuming task, and your time is better spent on your business.

Step 2: Scan Photos or Mail Them In

If you've decided to digitize the photos yourself, you'll need a way to scan the photos on to your computer. Your home office scanner may not be sufficient. You'll need a flat bed scanner, one with a high resolution, at least 36-bit color and 1200 dpi. If you don't have one that fits these criteria, then compare the costs of hiring a company to scan your photos versus buying a scanner just for this project. When you have the right scanner, simply place individual photos in the scanner and follow the instructions for your model.

Step 3: Hire Company to Scan It for You

Many companies charge a flat rate for scanning up to 1,000 photos for you. These companies have photo scanning machines that can scan as much as one hundred or more photos per 60 seconds. You can ask for the photos to be put on DVDs or CDs. Some companies to consider are:


The costs range from $50 to $100 depending on which company you choose, and any additional services you require. Some companies may ask you to sort photos by size or just to send them all in an envelope.

Step 4: Edit Photos in Software Program

Scanning photos are not enough. You have to make your family photo albums look presentable. For example, you can crop the photos to make them look neat. If any of the pictures have wrinkles or scratches, then your photo editing software can get rid of them. You may already have one on your computer, such as Adobe Photoshop. If not, you may have to purchase one or find one to download for free. Factor in the costs of photo editing software to determine whether using an album scanning service is worth it.

Step 5: Save Photos to CDs or DVDs

Once your family photo albums are on your computer, you should save them to CDs and DVDs. One advantage of digitizing your photos is that you can send many more photos to extended family and friends. You can also store them in a safety deposit box in case of a fire or flood.

Your family photo albums are precious and cannot be replaced. Backup the photos you have on your computer by keeping extra CDs and storing them on other computers.

Daphne Mallory, Esqis the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.

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