You have your entire family’s LIFE in photos. SOMEWHERE.

Now lets get them all organized in just

ONE PLACE.

Join us and I’ll show you how to get all of your fading prints, slides and negatives into your computer and then combine them with your newer digital camera photographs to make one perfect collection you’ll be proud to hand down.

Hi there!  Welcome to Scan Your Entire Life.

I’m Curtis Bisel — the overly serious looking guy in the photo.

Since August 8th of 2001, I’ve been working to perfect a workflow to scan and organize my family’s 10,000+ analog photo collection made up of prints, slides and various negatives.

From this website and my email list which I encourage you to sign up for, I release insights, tips, and best practices for doing the same with your own photo collection.

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Topics Covered Here

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Organizing Originals

Bringing all of your original photos together in one place. And if desired, creating a suitable order for them before being scanned.

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Scanning Photos

Scanning your original prints, slides and film negatives with a photo scanner and scanning software suited to your own goals.

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Storing Originals

Best methods how and where to store your original prints, slides and film negatives so they are archival safe.

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Organizing Digitals

Learning how to label and organize your digital masters either manually in organized folders, or using the best photo managing software for your needs.

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Restoring Digitals

Learning the easiest ways to bring your images back to life, by correcting shifted and faded colors, scratches and dust using your photo editing software of choice.

three photo albums stacked vertically graphic

Backup Digitals

Bringing all of your original photos together in one place. And if desired, creating a suitable order for them before being scanned.

Latest Blog Posts

The Scan Your Entire Life Holiday Gift Guide – 2017

The Scan Your Entire Life Holiday Gift Guide – 2017

Welcome to my first annual Holiday Gift Guide!

Whether you need something techie for your Dad, meaningful for your mom, big for yourself, fun for your close friend, or a gift card idea for someone you know is going to send you a gift card, Scan Your Entire life is here to help.

My Holiday Gift Guide is full of ideas handpicked by yours truly, all for those who have a love or an appreciation of scanning analog photos and the close topics to it —such as digital photography and genealogy.

read more
His Journey to Scan 1,978 Photos Began By Just Taking the First Step

His Journey to Scan 1,978 Photos Began By Just Taking the First Step

A success story from a Scan Your Entire Life reader who offered to share with us his experience and workflow scanning and labeling his personal photo collection.

“It can be done. I know because I’ve done it. Anyone could be forgiven for feeling intimidated when confronted by the prospect of digitising an accumulation of multiple lifetimes’ worth of prints, negatives and slides. However, I recently successfully completed a project to digitise nearly two thousand items despite working a demanding full-time job. In this article we’ll look at why I did it, how I did it and how you can do it too.”

read more

WE DON’T CARE HOW GOOD YOU ARE WITH COMPUTERS,
JUST HOW MUCH YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR PHOTO COLLECTION.

What People Are Saying About…

I love your blog. You do such a nice job explaining complex topics in a clear conversational tone.

I work at an advertising agency and my last client was working so hard to explain banking topics in this same exact manner. If you were an expert in banking they would have wanted to scoop you right up! (And they’re a big bank!)

I just wanted you to know that you’re nailing this blog.

Regina
Massachusetts

Your website ROCKS!!!

Rick Ballantyne
Seattle, WA

Thanks for making my life better. I love you dearly.

Gaston Dorcazberro

Curtis, Love your site! What really sets yours apart from other sites that cover scanning, is that you always weigh the effort and future proofing of things.

Ronald McCarty

I have been wanting to scan all the family photos for my kids but just didn’t have a system. I know I’ve got to categorize or have an archival system before doing the tedious work.

Thanks so much for your useful 3 part [file naming] series, really enjoyed it. Most helpful too!

Winston

Curtis, THANK YOU!! You saved my photos!! So happy!!

Kaci Pierce

“Curtis, I am so excited to have found your website at just the right time. I have been thinking about scanning my old family photos for years and every time I am about to begin I hit the naming problem and put it off. I have pursued my family history on Ancestry.com, and obtained many digital photos to add to my collection. Just reading the 3 steps of organizing has been of great value!

I also have intended to buy a new scanner for this purpose which is how I found your website. You helped guide me on that purchase and the other supplies that I needed for that. Thanks so much!! I look forward to more wonderful information as I go along.

The best thing about your website is how it is organized and communicated by answering the questions that a new scanner has and giving suggestions for those in different circumstances! Thanks again!!”

Donna Tarver

I love your website, and find it incredibly useful!!

I have a constant annoying worry, that I might lose every picture I have taken…they are the story of my life and my 4 daughter’s life too.

Sophia Oris de Roa

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME AND THANKS!!! I watch a TON of YouTube How To’s and you are without a doubt one of the best teachers/facilitators of DIY videos I’ve seen here on YouTube! Much appreciated…

Matthew Fox

I lost my photos in iPhoto and I was so sad as my sons just left for college and I thought the photos were lost or gone for good. Then I followed your advice step-by-step and fortunately recovered my photos in just a few key strokes.

Honestly, your directions were very easy to follow and it worked! Thank You!

I am so relieved because the photos bring me so much joy. Thank You Again.

Nancy C

I’m afraid I haven’t worked up the courage to get started yet! The job still looks overwhelming to me. But I read your advice, and imagine I will begin one day.

Thanks for your great website. You are the only reason I’m even considering scanning my ton of photos.

George Sumner

Thank you again! You are so much more pleasant, good natured, and knowledgable than ANY tech support I’ve ever used!

Tracie

I was at the Apple Store meeting with the Mac Genius and he told me how to create a new [iPhoto] library but not how to look and see the old one! I panicked when I couldn’t find it. Luckily people like you have the answers on line.

Your presentation was professional, educational and precise. Thank you so much!

Thank you so much for your series of articles. I’ve read them all. I started out knowing practically nothing about this. But now I’m ready to review the articles and get started scanning.

You have helped a LOT of folks. And with the baby boomers hitting 65 by the thousands each week the demand for your articles can only go way up.

Clay
Southern California

I found your website and after a few days of reading the various articles. I signed up for your newsletter and took out the boxes of unnamed and unsorted family photos.

Armed with your naming convention and dpi setting recommendations, I jumped in with both feet and the old family photos are finally getting organized and scanned.

I now know the joy and satisfaction of actually being able to replace an ‘x’ with a numeral! Thank you so much!!

Rishawbre Rice

You are an absolute lifesaver!!! I cannot thank you enough for posting this solution. I had ‘lost’ ALL of my photos dating back to 2001 until 15 seconds ago!!

I have been searching everywhere (including more ‘iPhoto recovery software packages’ than you can imagine!!) for the last 3 years, basically I had given up finding them until today when I need to transfer my files to my new MacBook.

Everything has been restored and you have saved me from losing the memories from the last 13 years … If I could hug you I would! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!!

Olivia Tyler

YOU ARE A SAINT. You just saved me from a total mental breakdown! Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of this.

Harriet

I love your blog. You do such a nice job explaining complex topics in a clear conversational tone.

I work at an advertising agency and my last client was working so hard to explain banking topics in this same exact manner. If you were an expert in banking they would have wanted to scoop you right up! (And they’re a big bank!)

I just wanted you to know that you’re nailing this blog.

Regina
Massachusetts

I truly enjoy all of your helpful advice. My sister made a large booklet on the genealogy of my family going back to the 500s. I’m adding a part of it for our daughter on my life with her dad! Plus trying to organize all of the pictures we have. Your advice has been so helpful!!!!!

Mary Federico

I am 74, a former Air Force (AF) pilot, and only recently got my first camera, so I never captured most of my life on film.

Consequently, I have begun seeking photos from my past to digitize and I have managed to solicit some images by email from AF friends that document our careers in the Air Force. I recently visited my sister and convinced her to relinquish most of her print albums and loose prints and negatives.

Curtis, I read nearly all your posts at least twice if not three times. I learn more each time I read them. You are doing ground breaking work never done before. Maybe one day there will be a standardized naming convention called the ‘Bisel Standard’.

You give us all the incentive to overcome that inertia that prevents us from ever tackling a complicated task such as this. I’m better for having discovered your web site. Thank you again.

Will Rudd
Shalimar, FL

Aren't you tired of putting this project off?

Do this for your family.

Before you are out of time...

pile of paper prints ready to fall off the table