Home Forums Challenges Sentimental Clutter Digitizing Photos?

This topic contains 17 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  simplyparticular 6 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #160248

    blissing
    Member

    Hi everyone,

    There’s an older post about companies that digitize photos, but I’m wondering if anyone has some more recent experiences. I’m talking about sending boxes of photos out and they do all the scanning and send back your photos and a DVD/thumb drive, etc. Thanks!

    Heidi

  • #227927

    herisff
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    This isn’t quite what you asked, but – I’m digitizing my own photos. I have a ScanSnap, made a “photos” profile (higher resolution than documents), and am just taking my time with it. I occasionally run across something that I can’t send through the ScanSnap (my SIL loves to put doodads on her Christmas cards) so then I scan it using my HP printer/scanner. The color isn’t as good, but it’s still acceptable.

    Now it isn’t as fast as sending it out, but my album pile is going away. I’ve worked through 3 slimmer albums, and have started the 1st of 5 big albums. My goal is 5 double-sided pages per week (aka 1 page per workday), since I’m giving myself a break for the times I’m on call.

    Frequently I’ve gotten enthused about the project (like when I hit my sister’s candid wedding shots) and just kept on going until I was done w/ her album! And then I sent her a few of the digitized shots which she had never seen… and in the end she created a folder in Dropbox where I put all of the photos I had of the event, and she and her hubby looked at them and enjoyed them hugely 🙂

    I’m also taking the time to weed out boring photos as I go – not too many, as I did this before I created the scrapbooks, but still… there are a few that don’t need to be scanned!

    So if you have the time and inclination, I say do it yourself. Just take it in bite-sized chunks, and I’ve found it very doable. This would also lend itself very well to the 15-minute process. It’s been more fun that I thought it would be. Seeing the pictures of the nieces/nephews growing up again, that great Halloween costume, the beach trip to see the spinner dolphins… it’s been well worth the time spent so far.

  • #227928

    Claycat
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    Herisff, what kind of ScanSnap do you have? Thanks!

    Blissing, it seems like that is very expensive.

  • #227931

    Endof20s
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    I’m also scanning my own photos – I’m currently about 5 years and 5,000 photos in so this works for me. I scan with my laptop while I’m watching TV or movies on Amazon streaming so it’s already “wasted” time.

    I think my scanner was initially about $150 which means its cost me about 3 cents a photo. So far it’s helped me put together albums for my parents for Christmas, an 80th birthday party, grandma’s funeral, grandpa’s funeral and my cousin’s memorial service when he died suddenly this summer.

    To me it’s more secure and cheap than sending them out to a third party. If you do want someone else to manage it then you might find it cheaper to hire a teenager who needs some cash and can come to your house and (since it’s kinda boring for hours at a time) can listen to music or watch TV while they work.

  • #227943

    herisff
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    @Claycat – I have a ScanSnap S510M (Mac version) which I got about 4 years ago. It was quite pricey but is still going strong and still doing everything I need. The first major project it ate with ease was scanning all the tax documents for the then-current tax year and the 6 previous years. There have been a couple of generations since the one I bought, though, so if you’re thinking about one of these, I’d get a more current version.

  • #227950

    Claycat
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    Herisff, I have a Mac, too, so that is good information for me! Thanks!

    I have a Canon all-in-one, but it is so slow! I may get a ScanSnap.

  • #227951

    Zora
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    I’m scanning my own photos. Using an Epson flatbed.

  • #227952

    Sky
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    I scanned my own slides and plan to scan photos as well. I was scared to send them off and have it done. It’s easy to do, just time consuming but I enjoyed it.

  • #227955

    Xiro
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    Like others here I have never sent any in yet have been working on scanning them myself, 2,220 done so far, it does take some time, I have some negatives and slides to scan once I get a device that can scan those.

  • #227969

    pkilmain
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    Sky – what did you use to scan slides? We have thousands….. I tried a dedicated slide scanner, but it was slow and the software archiac. It’s low on my list as they are contained and stored well, but DH would love them digitized some day.

  • #228020

    OnARoll
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    I’ve just finished doing all the photos in the house, mostly using the Fujitsu Scansnap, I think it’s an S1500, can process a roll’s worth of photos in just a couple of minutes. A few I had to do on the old flatbed, just the very delicate ones.

    The Scanshap has a major helpful feature, an organizer system that helps you organize things into folders and ‘cabinets’ as you go.

    Then I found it helpful to move the scanned stuff over to where the regular digital photos are, get them all organized the way you want, and fire up Picasa, which lets you do virtual albums on different subjects/people, very easy to share virtual albums, get prints and enlargements, etc.

    A scansnap is ‘expensive’ but to me getting these precious bits out of shoeboxes where I can see them daily, and the ability to start scanning and culling file cabinets worth of paperwork, well, that is worth a ton of money to me.

  • #228111

    chacha1
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    I’ve just started on mine using an Epson V330 which cost $100.

    One reason I chose this scanner is, it’s a flatbed. So I’m using it for books (without having to destroy them), scrapbooks, *and* photos. My first custom profile is for the scrapbooks, scanning to pdfs, which can be compiled as I go so that I end up with a single document that contains all the images for that year. For my first scrapbook, I also typed up a “highlights” log which will be printed to pdf and then appended to the set of images using Nuance. Presto, electronic scrapbook, and old papery rubbish + old calendar are gone.

    To my eye, a medium-resolution pdf scan is visually indistinguishable from a medium-resolution jpeg scan. My “good” photographs were taken digitally anyway.

    This process is not nearly as fast as using a ScanSnap but it will allow me to do *all* my scanning on a single device. The Epson does slides and negatives as well as prints, flats, 3-D objects up to 1/2 inch, and books.

  • #228180

    Anonymous

    Digitizing Photos?

    pkilman, I have an Epson Perfection 4990 flatbed scanner that I use to scan slides. It is now about 7 years old and works fine. It came with holders for slides, and several sizes of negative film, plus the software for dust removal and photo editing. I’ve seen them on e-bay in case you want to invest in something used for less money.

  • #228313

    Xiro
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    What type of reasons does everyone wish to digitize their photographs? Mine is for backup and to give other family members access to some photos. I still like to have tangible copies of a lot of pictures.

    On another topic, not every digital image requires a print out. It can be fine for digital use however a photo album likely does not need the same basic image three times.

  • #228347

    chacha1
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    I am digitizing various things – old printed photos, scrapbooks, etc. – so that this sentimental Stuff is A) more manageable space-wise and B) easier to manipulate.

    We have at least twelve linear feet of shelf space devoted to scrapbooks and albums that are almost never looked at. The longer I live, the more of this stuff will accumulate … and I am quite all right with having the material in e-form. Easier to transport, easier to store (or restore!), don’t even have to think about the backup (automated), and easier to USE.

    Computer memory is cheap. Shelf space, over a lifetime, really isn’t.

  • #228428

    Xiro
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    That is something I seem to battle with myself about, how much do I want to be in a physical format vs digital. I only have two photo albums and likely need one more, about three thousand pictures. I do think about how much room things will take over time and I think this will not be an issue.

    Memory is cheap, add in a back up and so much can be stored in such a small area. When it comes to media I like the idea that thousands of books, comics etc.. can fit into something the same of a deck of cards.

    Aside from movies, comics, books etc.. hardly take up any space, thousands upon thousands of books and issues can fit in a few GBs of space. That is hard not to like. I will always have backups so not really worried about anything happening to my data.

  • #228739

    Claycat
    Member

    Digitizing Photos?

    I can’t afford a ScanSnap at this time, but I found MP Navigator for my Canon that should help scanning be an easier job for me. Yay!

  • #228765

    Digitizing Photos?

    I’ve taken a multi-faceted approach to scanning photos and memorabilia. I have 4 generations of photos, in pretty much every format, so one solution wasn’t going to work.

    Slides and negatives were all digitized over time by a send away service (Scan Cafe), which did it in India. I used their prepaid gift box kits, over time. it was worth every penny to get them put on DVDs. I tried doing them with my flatbed, but it was the definition of the word TEDIOUS. The quality was quite good, and they came back unharmed. The only annoyance is renaming the files in my preferred structure.

    Children’s artwork is photographed – quickly and easy.

    Other bulky items are being slowly scanned on my flatbed, box by box.

    Genealogy documents are scanned in my ScanSnap.

    I am continuing to scan fragile, really old prints with the flatbed (HP Photosmart all in one) using the VueScan driver. It’s a slow process, as many of them are weird sizes, thin papers, and the albums the are in are crumbling.

    I haven’t created a workflow for scanning photos with the ScanSnap yet, as VueScan doesn’t support it. I did receive a Kodak 4×6 scanner for Christmas – it scans to SD card, so I can do it away from the computer, which appeals.

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