How to Digitize Your Old Family Photos

Beth Forester


Spring cleaning might be a distant memory now, but there’s nothing like the start of a new season to inspire a little organization. Well, many of us probably have a few shoe boxes full of old photos, gathering dust in the corner of some random closet. But why let those precious photos clutter your space when they’d make great videos that can be shared and enjoyed?

The process of digitizing old photos isn’t as difficult as you may think. We’ve put together a list of four ways.

Use your smartphone

The easiest and quickest method to digitize your photos is to use your smartphone’s built-in camera. Snap away, then upload images  from your camera roll directly to your computer or into a cloud storage service that’s compatible with your operating system — whether that’s Android or iOS. You can also upload these photographs of photos to Facebook and share these fun throwback moments with your friends.

Scan it yourself

If you’re on a limited budget or you’d like to give things a go yourself, get a scanner and digitize away. Scanners run the gamut, but a decent one can be purchased for less than $100. As an added bonus, you get to relive your memories as you scan them, one by one. Rope in your family or friends to help organize piles of photos, and have fun sharing memories and reminiscing.

Use an app

There’s an app for everything, and yes — there’s one to help you digitize your photos with your smartphone. Shoebox and Pic Scanner are just some of the apps available to help you tackle the task at hand.

Outsource it

If you’re short on time or patience, there are several companies that do the scanning for you when you send them your photos. iMemories is one such company, digitizing everything from negatives and slides to regular prints. If you’ve got videotapes, they also offer the option to transfer them to DVD or Blu-ray.

So there you have it: 4 ways to breathe new life into your photo prints by digitizing them, and making them available for generations to come. Why not take it one step further and create a memorable Animoto video that tells the story of a special person, a time in your life, or an unforgettable event? We’re willing to bet a tissue box might come in handy — for tears from laughing too hard, sharing a poignant moment, or from the joy of reliving the past.

Have you created a video featuring your old photos? We’d love to see it. Share a link with us in the comments below.

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