You know those super special snapshots that you’ve put in frames and scattered around your home. I bet those ones on the mantel are your favorites. I bet you’d be heartbroken if something happened to the ones on your dresser. I bet you look at the ones on your foyer table every day and smile. I also bet that most of your framed photos have never been digitized. Am I right? It’s time to get those super special photos scanned.
My Framed Photo Story
Last week was Valentine’s Day. As I am apt to do, I wanted to post some old photos of my husband and me. I found what I think is the first photo of us together about a month after we started dating. My mom had put it in a scrapbook and I digitized the scrapbook for her a few years ago. It’s not a great copy but at least I have a digital version.
The second photo I wanted to share was taken the moment after my husband proposed to me and I said “Yes!” way back in 1991.
Let me set the stage for you. At the time I was a Junior at the College of William and Mary and my boyfriend Troy had come up from North Carolina State University to go to an end of the semester party for my sorority. My friend Kristen and I were going to meet Troy after we finished our classes to have a celebratory lunch at The Trellis, a favorite restaurant that poor college students could only afford at lunch about once a year.
When I returned to my room to drop off my bag, I had a message that Kristen couldn’t meet us, so off I headed to Merchant Square to meet my man. When I got about 50 yards from the restaurant, I got suspicious. Troy was sitting on a planter outside the restaurant holding a rose. What’s that about? When I plopped down beside him, he swung around and got down on one knee. I think you can imagine what happened next…he asked…I said yes…and almost 24 years of marriage later here we are.
Ok, you might be saying, that’s a nice story but what does that have to do with my framed pictures? Well, I’ll tell you. Unbeknownst to us, a man was watching us, not in a creepy way, just in a curious Colonial Williamsburg tourist with a camera kind of way. After we finished hugging and kissing and celebrating, he came up to us. He told us that he wondered why this guy in duct-taped high tops and a long trench coat was sitting there with a rose so he stood by to see what would unfold. And don’t you know, he took our picture! Remember this was back before every instance of a proposal was captured on video and in photos. The man took my address and in about a month he mailed me the actual photo. (Yes, it was the stone age of printed photos and snail mail. We didn’t even have cell phones. Heck we barely had computers and internet.)
Flash forward again to Valentine’s Day 2017 when I wanted to share this image. Surely, I have it scanned. I am a certified professional photo organizer after all, I organize and scan other people’s photos for a living. Many searches later, I realized that I DON’T have one of my absolute favorite photos digitized because it was IN A FRAME! To post it quickly I had to take a photo of the picture in the frame. Not ideal, but it worked in the pinch.
Why You Need To Get Your Framed Photos Scanned
What would happen if my house burned down? My favorite photo of your engagement would be gone forever because the frame has held me back from scanning it. I would be devastated.
What if the water heater in the attic leaked? It’s situated directly above the bookshelf where this frame lives. The photo would likely be ruined.
See where I’m going with this? Our framed photos are usually our most treasured pictures. They are the ones we would truly be heartbroken to lose.
How to Get Your Framed Photos Scanned
Have I convinced you that you need to do something about getting your favorite framed photos scanned quickly? If so there’s a few ways you can handle it:
- Hire a photo organizer to help with the scanning.
- Buy a photo scanner like the Epson V550 or the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner and scan them yourself. In a pinch a traditional 4-in-1 printer/scanner/fax/copier would work as well.
- Take them to a photo store (or even the drug store) and have them scanned
- Take a good quality digital photo of the picture in the frame. If a photo has been professionally framed, it may be nearly impossible to unframe it. This may be your only option.
For more information on my favorite photo organizing tools, check out my list here.
Now, keep in mind that this advice is only for photos that you or family members have taken. If you have formal shots taken by professional photographers, you need to make sure you have permission to make a copy of the photo. My colleague Caroline Guntur, The Swedish Organizer, has written a very good article on the subject Can I Scan That Photo – Legally? Understanding Copyright and Fair Use.
Another bonus of having your favorite photos scanned is that you can now share them with others. You can make a calendar, use it in a slide show or as the screen saver on your computer. The options are limitless.
It’s time to protect your favorite framed photos scanned! Please don’t wait.