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Like many people, my wife and I have boxes and boxes of photos and slides. And they have been sitting in these boxes for way too many years, forgotten, dusty, and fading. We finally went through the effort of paring down the volumes of photos, tossing the duplicate photos, the blurry photos, and the photos with someone’s thumb over the lens (you know who you are - grandma). Along with many photos from my parents, we had them scanned and stored. You may wonder once you go through the effort of scanning your photos, then what do you do with them. Are you just moving them from one type of storage to another? Well, I can tell you after you have scanned your photos and documents, this is when the fun really begins.


The first benefit for our effort was just being able to browse through the photos on my computer. I can hardly express what it was like to see old photos that I didn’t even remember that I had. Pictures of friends from long ago, places I worked, long deceased relatives, and many other great memories. I immediately emailed some photos to friends and family, which made their day too!


The next thing to do was to put many of these favorites photos on the digital frame we keep in our kitchen. It’s a great feeling to have ‘rescued’ these cherished photos from the dusty attic (literally and figuratively). There are many easy to use digital frames available at many prices ranges. A digital frame located at a prominent location will make your current photos and your cherished memories now a part of your daily life.


Then I thought of another way to make use of my scanned photos. I decided to make a 2017 calendar for my mother. Thanks to my scanning effort, I now had a huge library of digital photos to choose from. And with such a vast number of photos to pick from I decided on a theme and created a custom calendar for my 90-year-old mother; with photos from her childhood to her early days of motherhood (ergo my childhood). This included lots of photos of her relatives, in-laws, children, holidays, vacations, and many special events. Once again, thanks to the initial scanning effort, many long-forgotten photos have found new life, as a custom made a personal gift. I even made a second calendar for myself. (There are several websites that let you easily create your own calendars, cards, photo books, mugs, pillow case… using your own photos and imagination.  I.e.. Snapfish, Shutterfly, Mixbook…)


Next year I think I’ll create another calendar – but with a different theme... or maybe a wall photo, perhaps a photo book, or even a mug??? The initial reason for scanning in the many, many photos was to preserve, save, and organize our family photos and documents. But I soon learned that having all those wonderful photos digitally scanned was just a first step that opened the door to a variety of ways to enjoy, reuse, and share all these recovered pictures. It’s kind of funny that with all the different technologies and media forms that are now part of our daily lives, a simple photograph is still a priceless treasure.


Author:  David Bujold


What I got out of scanning my thousands of photos      

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