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Don’t Let Those Memories Fade! How to Scan Old Photos with Your Phone

Do you have an old box or album of photos you would LOVE to scan/digitize, but simply don’t know how, much-less have the time? There are myriad professional options (you can send them off, etc.), but those are very expensive; you could also buy a high-powered scanner and do it all with your computer, but there HAS to be an easier way!

Thankfully as our mobile phones have become more powerful and advanced, so to have their cameras.  This means that you can now use your PHONE to take a picture of your old photos — which is the same thing as scanning!  So let’s go through how to do it…

old photos one

How to Scan Photos with Your Phone – 5 Steps

1. Clear a flat space on a desk or table, and lay a piece of white paper down. This will be your scanning background. If your photos are larger format, use a few pieces of paper to create a larger background, but if you are doing standard sizes, a normal 8″x11.5″ paper should be just fine.

2. Place two small lamps on either side of the paper. The trick with scanning is making sure that there is good lighting that comes from both sides rather than top-down (which is where your phone will be. If you have an extra lamp, you can put one at the top as well, but one on each side should suffice.

3. Place your photo at the center of the white paper. Make sure the photo is as flat as possible, so that there are no shadows on the photo itself.

4. Turn on the camera on your phone and hold it over the photo. Using the viewer, try to center the photo in the frame and make sure the edges line up with the edges of your phone. To do this, you’ll need to hold the camera as directly above the photo as possible. Once you have it ready, take 3-4 snapshots of it and view your results. Most cameras are great in accounting for the natural shakes we all have, but you’ll likely notice that one photo is better than the others. This is your scan!

5. Edit the photo on your phone or computer! Once you have your image or images scanned, you can crop them to the right size on your phone or computer *and* you can even do some color restoration or touchups. After that, you can share them with family, friends, or on Facebook.

Good luck with your scanning! If you are like us, you’ll LOVE making sure that the photos are preserved for future generations.

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