Rescuing Your Old Photos From Ruin

Old family photos scanned by professional scanning service
Old family photos scanned for a photo book

How I wish I been smart and used the best photo scanning service I could find when I was trying to make a photo memory book in honor of a family member. I had photos that were turning yellow or blue, some were scratched, others faded and many had dust specks, which were especially evident in b&w. Some were stuck in some of those old 80’s sticky photo albums and I couldn’t get them unstuck from the now yellowing page.

No, I decided to save money and do the scanning myself. I don’t even want to think about all the tedious hours (and there were many) I spent first hand-scanning each photo one by one and then hand-correcting them one by one in Photoshop. Plus if you don’t keep the scanning bed absolutely spotless, you end up scanning specks of dust that you will have to remove later, like I did. Sound like fun? While I was proud of the beautiful photo book I made, the process was definitely not fun. I was going bug-eyed from looking at my computer screen.

How a Photo Scanning Service Could Have Saved My Sanity

If I had used a photo scanning service, I could have simply boxed up everything, even the sticky old magnetic photo album, and sent all the photos off for professional scanning and enhancing and it would have been painless. It would have saved me tons of time, stress about finishing on time, and the sheer drudgery of scanning and correcting hundreds of photos. True, it isn’t free, but the prices aren’t bad when you consider how valuable your time and sanity are.

My original family photos would have been returned to me along with DVDs burned with the scanned and digitized images, all of them cleaned of dust and fingerprints and color corrected. I wouldn’t have even had to turn on my computer, other than to place my order with the photo scanning service, although some companies offer customers the opportunity to view and share their scanned photos on line as well as via DVD.

Digitally Preserve Photos Forever

Most of us have probably thousands of old photos and slides hanging out in boxes and stored in places they shouldn’t be, like garages, basements, or sitting framed somewhere in direct sunlight. If my old family photos had been kept in a cool, dry place without extreme temperature changes and low humidity, perhaps they wouldn’t have needed so much color correcting. However, we can’t stop time, and photographs are made of organic material and face it, photos are going to deteriorate to some degree no matter what we do. The best plan is to use a photo scanning service so we have a digitized copy of our precious photos.

Ditch the Paper Photos

Nowadays, when I put photos in a scrapbook or album it’s the digital kind and I either store them online or print a photo book, with the originals safely stored on my computer with an off-site back-up. In fact, I have been going through all my important old photos and packing them off to a photo scanning service. That way I’ll never have to worry about losing them to fading, color-shift, scratches or improper storage issues and I will have them available for all kinds of photo projects and sharing.

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