Digitalizing Old Photos

old photos

We all have old photographs at home. Some of those photos may be in old traditional photo albums, maybe some in a shoebox somewhere, or even those select few placed in a picture frame. Overtime, old photos can take on a yellowish colouring and even begin to fray or fall apart. What’s important is the memory and history that these old photos hold. To help preserve them, we highly recommend scanning those images into digital files.


Here are a few tips for scanning your images:

  1. Make sure the scanners platen (the glass scanning bed) is clean and void of any dust or dirt. You will want to clean the platen multiple times throughout the scanning process as old photos tend to have more dust and dirt on them.
  2. Take time lining the photographs up so that you scan them straight. You don’t want to have crooked photos to work with later.
  3. You will want to save your photographs as a JPG format. This will be the best quality and size file to work with.
  4. We recommend you scan each photo at 300 DPI. This will ensure the best print quality without having a photo size that is too large.
  5. We also recommend you scan your photos with a RGB (Red Green Blue) colour space instead of CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Key) . This will make for the truest print; closely matching what you see on screen.

After you’ve scanned old photos remember to back your files up on an external hard drive or an USB stick. Following this, sort through the digital files, place them into newly named folders and start creating your photo book. Photo books are the ideal keepsake for archiving old photographs as the paper is archival and acid-free and won’t yellow or fade over time. It most cases, old photos are family members and can result in a fantastic family history book and heirloom that will be passed down for years to come.

Looking into the past really does make you appreciate your roots and how far you and your family have come. Scanning your old photos can be a fun and memorable trip down memory lane.

Happy scanning!


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4 Responses to “Digitalizing Old Photos”

    • RGB is the usual setting we use on our computers – red, green, blue.

      CMYK is four colours – cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Usually used for printing.

      Just check your settings, default should be RGB i think.

  1. Scanning is so painfully slow. And worse, you have to dismantle your old photoalbums to scan individual photos – I would rather not disturb them. Can you please make some recommendations on how to photograph old photos. Are there some techniques that could be employed to get the maximum quality photograph? Thanks, I value your input.

    • Hi Lisa,

      One advise, scanners back in 2003 have software that will allow u to scan up to 4 photos and crop them automatically for you. I normally scan photos for my clients, and yes it takes a long time. Maybe u might want to change ur settings to 200DPI if you don’t require to make an image a full page. The quality is unnoticeable. Plus, if you scan the image till 300 DPI or 600 DPI you might even see the pixel or dust in the pictures.. Hope this helps. And ur your looking
      for someone to scan your photos and converting them into fabulous photobook please email to me. TQ