New Year’s Resolution? Scanning photos.

Time for scanning photos?

Will this be the year when you get down to scanning photos in those old picture albums? Well, it’s resolution time, so why not take the leap?

Oh, wait! We know why you are hesitating. It’s the thought of rigging up the bulky old scanner, scanning photos one by one, saving them on the computer, then manually cropping each photo flashing through your head? Then there’s the other option – to send everything to a scanning service. But that would mean taking the photos out of albums, flat packing and shipping off those one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable photos to some far-away factory for a couple of weeks, then putting them all back in the albums when they come back. Tedious, and not exactly cheap.

Well, there’s another way to do it. As Apple says, there’s an app for it.

Use iPhone or iPad – and Pic Scanner app

With an iPhone or iPad, and Pic Scanner app, you can get the job of scanning photos done real quick. Without the hassles of scanners, computers, cropping software and scanning services.

iPhone and iPad have pretty awesome, high resolution cameras. Pic Scanner turns this high quality camera into a high performance photo scanner.

The real effort-saving part is that you can scan up to four photos simultaneously. Pic Scanner will automatically (and accurately) crop and save them as individual images. It also has built-in (and easy to use) editing tools, filters, and the ability to add captions. Scan loose photos or albums – a page at a time, without having to take photos out. An entire album in just minutes.

You can try the app free. Download the full-featured version from the App Store, view 3-4 tips, then try a dozen scans. If you like what you see, get the unlimited version (unlimited scanning and sharing) with one one-time $2.99 in-app purchase. Costs less than a cup of coffee! The app has got great reviews from the BBC, Cult of Mac, iPad Insight and lots of happy users.

Done scanning photos? What next?

Once you are done scanning photos, you can have lots of fun with them. Post a few Throwback Thursdays pics on Facebook or Twitter for ‘likes’ and laughs. Create a “Then and now” set of photos. Here are a couple of examples:

Scanning photos: then and now

Scanning old photos: Then and now

Find lots more photo crafts inspiration on our Facebook and Pinterest pages. Make that New Year’s (or birthday, or Thanksgiving) resolution, download Pic Scanner, and get started NOW!

Scanning photos? What next?

scanned photos photobooks



You’ve been scanning photos? Now what?

Scanning photos with Pic Scanner app is only the first step in bringing nostalgic memories back to life (If you haven’t heard about this must-have app for iPhone and iPad, or don’t know how to scan old photos, read this post).

Scanning photos ensures that they are preserved forever. But you can use them for lots more. Make your living space more beautiful – surround yourself with personalized objets d’art featuring your fondest memories and favorite people.

Get it done

Converting scanned photos into picture books, cards or desk calendars is easy. There are many online services, such as ShutterflyMixbook – to name a few (Find more recommendations here). That’s a nice way to celebrate beautiful, meaningful moments and people. These also make thoughtful gifts for colleagues, family, and friends – you can be sure they would cherish these.

Do it yourself

You can easily create slideshows, which can be put on DVD for viewing on TV. Transfer the scanned photos from Pic Scanner to your computer (Via Photos app), then read this tutorial on how to create a slideshow.

If you are good at DIY or crafts, you might want to be a bit more adventurous and try your hand at some of the projects listed on our Pinterest and Facebook pages. Most of these also come with tutorials or instructions. Here are a few examples:

How to create a family tree wall

Brilliant gift wrapping with old photos

Frame a door with scanned photos

Create ‘then and now’ photos

Beautiful DIY photo luminaries

Old photos collage in oversized frame

Mother’s Day gift: Memories planters

There are lots more ideas on our Pinterest page (Follow the ‘DO Try This At Home’ and ‘Good Ideas’ boards) and Facebook page (‘Like’ the page for fresh ideas every week).

DIY Photo Crafts: Photos Trowels, via Pic Scanner

Once you have scanned old family photos, it’s easy to use them for photo crafts – convert them into beautiful objects that bring back nostalgic memories.

Got a couple of old trowels in the garage or garden shed? Let’s see what we can turn them into.


Clean and measure the trowels. Scan a few old photos with Pic Scanner app (Download free here), give them a uniform, vintage look with the app’s filters, and print to size.

Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge on the front of each trowel, all the way to the edges. Press a photo on the wet coat on each trowel, let dry for 5 min.

Apply 3 thin coats of Mod Podge on photos, waiting 15 minutes between each coat. Once fully dry, hang with hooks.

Photo & idea:

Making your family tree

I sometimes wonder whether the idea of family trees comes from us descending from apes descending from trees. Luckily, most family trees go back only a few generations, and making those is hard enough. The longest family tree in the world, according to Wikipedia, is that of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BC), a descendant of King Tang (1675–1646 BC). This tree spans some 80 generations, and includes more than 2 million members.

If you haven’t ever made your family tree, try it. It’s a lot of fun. Start with your siblings, parents and grandparents’ names, birth, marriage and death dates.

It gets harder as you progress to older generations. Older relatives may have information about ancestors. See if anyone else had made a family tree earlier, and collaborate. Online resources such as Ancestry, FamilySearch, RootsChat, MyHeritage, FindMyPast and census records contain valuable clues. Parish records and obituaries also offer reliable information. Marriages, divorces, remarriages and adoptions add complexity in family trees.

Once you have the basic outline going back a few generations, comes the fun part. Use one of the many online family tree maker tools to convert your data into a graphical representation. Share it with relatives, asking them to add other details and chip in with photographs. Set up a family photos folder on Flickr, Picasa, Dropbox or any such website, where family members can share scanned photos. Scanning old photos is incredibly easy and fast with Pic Scanner app for iPhone and iPad. Digitizing not only helps preserve those one-of-a-kind, heirloom photos, it also makes them shareable.

After scanning, you may want to give all the photos a uniform look. This is done easily by using filters. Pic Scanner has a small but useful set of retro-themed filters: B&W, sepia, montage, vignette etc. Also, crop, adjust sizes and aspect ratios if you wish – then print.

What do you do once you have your family tree and a folder full of scanned, sharable photos?

If you want to make a pictorial family tree wall, the easy way is to buy a self-adhesive tree (or branches and leaves) decal. Search on Amazon and Etsy – both offer plenty of designs.

You could also make family history books, personalized greeting cards for special occasions, family tree posters. Or try craft projects and activities for family gatherings (Our Facebook and Pinterest pages have lots of ideas and tutorials.)

Here’s an example of something you could make quite easily:


And here’s a century-old example of a family tree gone nuts:



Pic Scanner on Facebook


So how many kings does it take to bury one? The answer (and the pic that raised the question) appeared on our Facebook page a couple of years ago. Do check it out – we post loads of interesting stuff – scanning tips and tricks, photo crafts ideas and tutorials, quirky things we have scanned, old (and not so old) photographs, and other fun stuff.

‘Like’ our Facebook page to receive a weekly dose of historic photos and creative inspiration.

A recent post from our Facebook page: