Here's How to Repair, Revive and Back Up Your Old Photos

Spring cleaning is upon us and perhaps you'll be tackling the closet, basement or attic in the coming weeks. When you come across an old box of family photos, don't just look through them and throw them back into the box! Old family photos are keepsakes, passed down from generation to generation. But photos can't withstand the elements forever. Before your photos get damaged beyond repair or lost, take action by converting them to a digital file. You'll breathe new life into the photos and feel good knowing they are backed up. We came across a New York Times article that includes some good options and tips for repairing and reviving your old photos.

If you're short on time or don't feel like tackling something like this yourself, you can ship off your photos to a professional scanning company who will convert the photos to digital files for you. You'll pay for this service, of course, but it's easy and painless. Look into Memories Renewed, DigMyPics and ScanMyPhotos if this sounds like the route you'd like to go.

Don't feel like spending the cash or worried about sending your precious photos away? They could get lost in the mail or damaged. Although unlikely, it's probably happened before. Below are some good DIY options.

Most printers with a scanner will work on photographic prints. But if you're scanning negatives or slides, you'll need a scanner with backlighting, such as the Kodak Scanza or the Epson Perfection V600 Photo Scanner.

Have a smartphone? Then you can scan your photos using an app like Google PhotoScan (free) and Photomyne. If you're scanning slides or negatives, then Helmut Film Scanner for Android or the $6 FilmLab for iOS are two options.

If you're only concerned with scanning your photos so that you have a digital back up of the original, then you're done! If you want to go a step further, you can use a program to repair your photos. You can fix scratches, blemishes, brighten faded colors and such with full-featured free apps, like Photos from Apple, Google Photos or Microsoft Photos.

Once you have fixed your photos, back them up to an online gallery like Google Photos, iCloud or OneDrive so that you can share with friends and family and keep them safe from floods, fires etc. Also print them out so you have an additional hard copy. Use acid-free archival photo paper for safekeeping.

Hopefully these tips will motivate and help you in backing up your cherished memories so that your family will be able to enjoy them for years to come.



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