How to Scan Family Photos

Check your photos for dirt, lint, or smudges. Gently remove surface dust and dirt with a soft brush or lint-free photowipe.

Select the type of scan. If you're scanning photos, choose color photo vs. black and white. When scanning family photos, scan in color, even if the source photo is black & white.

Place the family photo on the scanner face down on the glass, just like on a copier. Click "prescan" or "preview." The scanner will take a quick pass of the image and display the results on screen. Check that it's straight, that no part of the photo has been cut off, and that the photo appears free of dust and lint.

Do not tweak the image while scanning. After scanning, you'll be able to edit the image in a graphics software program which offers much more control. The order should be: 1. Scan a basic image, 2. Save it, 3. Change it.

Scan the original family portrait or group picture. This shouldn't take too long, but if your scanning at high resolution it could take a few minutes.

Clean the scanner glass of dirt lint, hair, fingerprints, or smudges. Household glass cleaner can be used but do not spray it directly on the glass surface.

Select your scan resolution. Most scanners give you many options from 3000 to 72 dpi. If you are going to print copy of the original images select 300 dpi. If you are only going to upload to your Family Crossings™ family website then you can make the resolution as little as 72 dpi. Doing so will take up less of your storage allocation.

Crop the previewed image to include the content you want (usually the whole photo).

Make the file size small enough that your computer can handle it. If you do not have 1 Gb of RAM don't make a 3 gb image scan.

Usually a photo editing program will open after the family photo is scanned. Create a new folder "New Scans" on your desktop and place each image into that folder. DO NOT FORGET TO SAVE EACH PHOTO!