How to Scan Old Photos to Digital

So many beautiful memories, all captured in photographs, all shoved away in boxes here and there or stuck to the plastic of bulky albums. It’s a good thing that digital photography is a thing these days. Sure, it’s nice to have a couple of framed photos around your house. But let’s face it—most of the printed photos you have rarely see the light of day.


Of course, snapping a quick pic on your smartphone wasn’t always an option. And what are you supposed to do with all of the photos that existed before that? It’s time to digitize your photo collection. Read this article to learn how to scan old photos to digital ones. We’ll give you all of the tips for scanning photos that you need to bring your memories back to life.


Tips for Scanning Photos

Is it even worth it to scan your old photos to digital ones? If those photos mean anything to you, it might. In addition to eliminating clutter to help downsize your living space, turning your old photos to digital ones will mean you have a digital backup of your most important memories. That will protect them in case of fire, flood, or any other disaster that could befall your much beloved memories.


Another perk? Once you digitize your pictures, you’ll be able to transfer them to digital photo frames that will let you look at all of your old photos all of the time.

The most affordable way to digitize pictures

Use a smartphone app. With an app, you can scan photos using your smartphone camera. You’ll want to find the right lighting for this and make sure that you aren’t creating a shadow over the photo when you do it. Once your phone has snapped the photo, the app will automatically crop the edges where the photo leaves off—so you don’t have to get it perfect. Just make sure the whole photo is within the frame.


The downside of turning your old photos to digital one this way is that you might not get the best quality results. And if you have a ton of photos, this could take forever.

The quickest way to digitize pictures on your own

Invest in a high-speed photo scanner to scan your old photos to digital ones. It will cost you—around $500 or so. But this might just be worth the investment for you if you need to scan a ton of old photos to digital ones. With this type of machine, you can add stacks of photos to the scanner at once. And the machine can scan them as quickly as a photo per second.


If you’re looking to turn an entire old photo collection into digital memories, this is probably the way to go. Unless you want to pay someone else to do it.

Paying someone to digitize pictures for you

Paying over $500 for a scanner might seem a bit ridiculous, and why buy equipment that you won’t have a need for at some point? Well, you can pay someone to do all the heavy lifting for you. But if you have a lot of photos, it’s going to cost you. On average, it’ll cost you about $100 to pay someone else to scan your photos for you. And that’s for just ten prints. It’s about double for 20 items and about $385 for 40 items.


If your plan is to turn more than 60 photos to digital ones, you’ll save yourself money by just investing in a machine. And the machines don’t take up too much space, but they do require you to have a lot of time on your hands to get through everything.


Scanning old photos to digital ones can be a great way to preserve some of your most important memories and share them with those that you love. It can also help you declutter your home or, if you choose to invest, give you a new retirement hobby that everyone in your family will also appreciate.



Contributed to The 55+ Society 

Looking for more Society tips and learnings? Return Home here.

Published 12.30.21  

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