Tuesday Tip: Scanning in Batches

Digitizing photos can be a piece of cake with a flat bed scanner. I have used the scanner to preserve my family history, to preserve the photos I received after mother passed away, and scan scrapbooks on a family history research trip. Scanning is an essential part of my power scrapbooking method of my living family. I have a few tips I want to share with you on how to scan your photos in batches for faster processing.

If you are like many individuals, you have a collection of photos that looks like this:

Disorganized Photos
Prepare to scan your disorganized photo collection

This stack of loose photos makes sorting through photos easy. So for once, celebrate the disorganized mess.

Tip 1: Sort my photo color type

As you are sorting through this stack for scanning purposes, organize your photos according to the coloration of the photos.

Organize your photos according to color type
Organize your photos according to color type

In this photo, you can see the loose groups: sepia, black and white, 1970s orange tint, more modern photo colors. Most scanners have a hard time processing your photos when the coloration are vastly different. As much as possible, stick to similar color processes. Your scans will look much better.

Tip 2: Leave space around the photos 

When you place photos on your flat bed scanner, put as many as you can without them touching. When your photos touch, separating them later becomes very time consuming and tedious.

Scanning Tips
When your photos touch on a scanner, separating them becomes tedious.

Instead, leave as much space around your images when you place them on your scanner bed. This will enable many photo editing programs to separate your scan into multiple images with a few clicks of the mouse, rather than the laborious task of crop and copy.

Scanning Tips
Leave space around your photos on a scanner

Tip 3: Scan the back

Notice all of the writing on the back of these photos? If you’re fortunate enough to have labeled photos, be sure to scan the back.

For more great family history ideas, 

check out my new book 21st Century Family Historian available at Amazon.com .

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