Scanner’s Handbook

To scan an image, you reproduce it in an electronic, digital form. With the digital version, you can then do many things, including: store and retrieve the image to and from a digital storage tool, edit it in software programs, get it printed, or share with others. Once the image is scanned the original can be discarded or archived for future reference.

I have used most of the options below and find that the method I choose depends on how many photos I plan on scanning, where I am, and how I plan on using the scanned image. Use what works for you pat yourself on the back for a job well done!


You maintain control of your photos when you scan it yourself.

Option 1: Flatbed scanners

Flatbed scanners are easy to use, affordable, and a great tool for photo scanning, especially if you are planning on scanning a large amount of photos. I use my flatbed scanner when I have a chunk of time and set aside and want to scan multiple photos.

Recommended Flatbed scanners under $100:

  1. Epson Perfection V370 Photo Scanner $99
  2. Canon CanoScan LiDE110 $59

Option 2: Scan using smart phone app

The Shoebox app puts a scanner in your pocket. Just take a picture of an old paper photo with your smart phone camera, and you have a scan.
Using my phone as a scanner is free, convenient and always available. This is my preferred method for scanning photos.

My recommendation for a handheld smartphone scanning is to use the Shoebox App. It is free, for app for iphone and android devices.


Many fabulous services scan photos for you. Typically you purchase a set amount of scans, such as 600 photos, and send in your originals. After they are scanned you receive your originals back with digitized images. The services listed below also scan slides and negatives. They all offer prepaid options plus bulk discounts. I have used ScanCafe and was thrilled with the quality of scans and handling of my originals.


Q. What resolution should I scan my photo at?
A. The recommended DPI, or dots per inch, depends on the output you desire

  • scan to view on web 72 dpi
  • scan to print identical size 300 dpi
  • scan to enlarge 600 dpi

Scanning at a higher dpi will take up more space but will give you more options.

Q. Will scanning an original photo give me the same quality as the original?

A. The answer is subjective and varies according to the original image and equipment it was scanned on. You can expect nearly equal quality when you reprint the scanned image the same size as the original. The scanned image can also be improved and enhanced using the scanner software or your photo editing software. If you are dealing with damaged photos, look into the services provided by a professional photo restoration services, such as local company,

Q. How does work?
A. 1000memories lets you organize, preserve, and share the photos sitting in your old albums and on your hard drives. It becomes easy to digitize old photos and create digital albums called shoeboxes where you collect and display your favorite photos and mementos from the past. You can also invite collaborators to contribute your shoeboxes and share your memories with whomever you choose.

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