How to scan old photos in 6 simple tips

It’s often the old photos that mean the most, but they’re usually not as easy to access as all your digital photos so they can get forgotten. To stop this happening we’ve come up with a definitive guide to scanning your photos and have discovered a range of mobile scanner apps that will make it easy for you.

1 – Choose a scanning app

There are lots of mobile scanning apps available and here are some of our favourite.

Google PhotoScan (Available for Android and iOS)
Outstanding features: takes multiple shots of single photo, gets rid of glare, resulting in high quality scan.

CamScanner (Available for Android and iOS)
Outstanding features: best app for scanning mementos. (There is a free version available that leaves a watermark on scanned items).

Photo Album Scanner by Photomyne (Available for Android and iOS)
Outstanding features: allows you to scan multiple photos in one go.

Pic Scanner Gold (Available for iOS only)
Outstanding features: scans multiple photos at once. It has an Instagram-like feed with photos from other app users.

2 – Or choose a scanner

For top quality scans, use a scanner (they typically cost between €90 for basic ones and up to €500 for professional ones) or a professional paid service.

3 – Select your photos

This is the fun part. Dig out all of your old photos and have a look through for the ones that you want to keep. You can discard all the blurry ones (or ones where Grandad got his thumb over the lens).

4 – Don’t forget the mementos

It’s not just photos that you can scan. Why not scan maps from your travels, train tickets from day trips to the beach or cinema stubs from your first date. You can add all these things to your photo products.

5 – Consider some order

Think about how you’re going to organise your photos before you start scanning. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to organising your photos so have a browse through that for some inspiration.

6 – Get your prints ready

To make sure the results are as good as possible, get your prints ready before scanning them:

  1. Use a microfiber cloth to get the dust off your photos, or an alcohol-based wipe for really dirty ones.
  2. Clean your phone’s camera lens with a microfiber cloth or cotton and a drop of isopropyl alcohol.
  3. Go into a room with lots of natural light and as few shadows possible.
  4. Get scanning!

Now that you have all your photos in digital form, it will be simple to create some beautiful photo products.

For inspiration on what to create, read our easy photo book creation guide where there’s loads of hints, tips and advice for making the most out of your moments.

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