50 ways to scan a photo

Make a new scan, Fran.
You don’t need to be coy, Joy.
Just get yourself free.

If a box of printed photos feels like a lover you’ve outgrown, it’s time to make a new scan.

Scanning your printed images will open all kinds of digital doors. Once scanned, you can use those images to:

  • Make a digital album.
  • Create any one of a thousand photo gifts including calendars, mugs, wall hangings and more.
  • Make infinite duplicates for friends and family.
  • Provide peace of mind by storing the digital versions in a location separate from the originals. If anything should happen to the originals, you’re covered.

‘Tis the season for scanning printed photos, it seems. In the past week, I’ve met a librarian who is scanning images of her son to create a keepsake for his wedding and a woman who is scanning images for her mother-in-law to comfort her in new surroundings at the nursing home.

And this time of year, deals can be had, Madge.

Elmhurst Photo Boutique on Spring Road in Elmhurst, Ill., is offering a special this month: Scans for just 29 cents each (act quickly — it’s available through the end of January). Quality Plus Photo in Worth, Ill., will do up to 400 photos for just 32 cents each, including the CD or DVD. And MotoPhoto & Portrait Studio in Wilmette, Ill., will scan 1,000+ photos for 49 cents each or you can use the do-it-yourself station for just 29 cents each.

In the spirit of full disclosure, there are 50 ways to scan a photo including doing it yourself at home (though in the spirit of Paul Simon, we won’t be listing all the ways here). Innovative Technologies has a great little photo scanner available for home projects if you’re willing to invest your own time. If you want to spend a lot more and get a more robust high-speed scanner, the Association of Personal Photo Organizers recommends the Picture Saver Scanning System from Kodak. There are online options, too, including Scan Cafe. Be aware, however, that Scan Cafe sends your photos to India for scanning. At the local photo shops listed above, your photos never leave the store.

Two tips related to scanning photos:

  • Scan images at 300-600 dots per inch (dpi).
  • Use gold DVDs for long-term image storage.

“The problem is all inside your head,” she said to me.
The answer is easy if you take it logically.
I’d like to help you in your struggle to be free.
There must be … 50 ways to scan a photo.

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