How to Quickly Scan and Digitize Your Entire Photo Collection


Memories are forever! I well remember the day when my Grandpa showed me 100 years old portraits, pictorial paintings and vintage photo albums of his journey through life. He often used to flip through these memories and used to worry for those pictures with torn corners or fading colours.

Now he is a memory for us and I tried my best to nurture those memories for my Dad. I prepared a family tree along with the journey milestones and converted all the pictures, portraits, and photos into digital form. All those memories live on my computer and my smartphone and any of our family members can relive them at any point in time. Here is how I did it!

Get it Done or DIY?

You have two options, either you can contact a professional or you can do it yourself. Handing it over to a professional will get the things done in a much efficient manner however it will cost you a good amount of money. And trust me if you do it yourself, you’ll feel much connected to them and you can also develop the same perfection within the first few minutes. It’s not rocket science!

What Do You Need?

There are several third-party apps that can help you scan and transform your photos digitally. You can do it with your smartphone if they are less in number and you are ready to compromise a little on quality. You can also use a scanner or all-in-one device to scan and save the photos on your computer.

What Professionals Suggest?

A lot of photo professionals and artists recommend using a scanner to scan and transform photos digitally. Epson Perfection V39 and Canon CanoScanLiDE 120 Colour Image Scanner are budget scanners that come under $100. The more room you have on the flatbed scanner, the greater number of pictures can be scanned at once.

Additionally, you will also need a clean microfiber cloth to clean the flatbed scanner and your photos before scanning. If you know how to use Adobe Photoshop and edit photos to get special effects, that will be cherry on the cake.

What I Chose?

I’m a technology geek and always prefer to explore new methods to get things done easy and effective. I chose to do it myself and got hands-on experience on a lot of third-party applications. Out of all that I tried, PhotoScan by Google Photos was one of the perfect matches that best suits my need.

It’s a patience game and you need to do a lot of manual job like touch-ups, trim, crops, and adding special effects. I chose to do it using a smartphone as I wanted to put them on Google Drive after final editing and share it with all my family and friends. 

How to Do It?

Before you start scanning, ensure it’s a sunny day. Create a workplace with enough natural light and choose your angles wisely to avoid creating shadows, glare, or distortion.

Step 1. Open Google Play Store on your Android device. Search for Google’s PhotoScan app.

Step 2. Download and install the Android or iOSversion of PhotoScan App on your phone.

Step 3. Ensure you have ample amount of space to store all the scanned images on the phone.

Step 4. This app is integrated with Google Photos that you already know and love to use.

Step 5. Once you launch the app, it will show you a demo video to pass on the expertise on the best way to scan old photos and transform a photo into a digital picture.

Step 6. Adjust the angle, brightness and you’re all set to go. Tap on the start scanning button and allow all the necessary permissions for the app to start scanning photos.

Step 7. Set your photo on a flat surface and keep it between the 4 white dots before you click the shutter sound.

Step 8. You can instantly add photo filters and effects to your photographs and save it in Google Photos. You can also scan all the images at once and do the touch-ups later on with a different app. Learn more about the Features of PhotoScan App at a glance and the app is absolutely FREE to use.

Summing Up

I have created a family tree of 5 generations wherein all my ancestors, my grandparents, their siblings, my parents, my siblings, my kids and every lovely person is digitized. Everybody is secured in the same software on the same platform wherein all the photos are linked to their respective folders. The photos can easily be stored and shared on Google Photos with everyone in the family. Be in sync with the technology and embrace love to the family!