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.

Scan Like a Pro

From Home

Our online video training course will teach even the most technologically-challenged person the basic steps for scanning their photos and documents.

Gain confidence to make all the right scanning choices.

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.

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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
Aiming for the Stars to Hit a Cowpie — My Enlightening Scanning Journey

Aiming for the Stars to Hit a Cowpie — My Enlightening Scanning Journey

As a Wyoming farm gal, I was raised with the phrase “It’s better to aim for the stars and miss than to aim for a cowpie and hit.” Well, that’s great advice … unless your goal actually is to hit the cowpie.

My scanning goal really was that simple, but for some reason, aiming at the cowpie just wasn’t working. So I changed strategies and aimed for the stars. The result? Read on to find out. And hopefully, by sharing my scanning journey, it will help you on your scanning journey.

read more
Scanning All of Our Family Photos … What's the Actual Point?

Scanning All of Our Family Photos … What's the Actual Point?

For anyone with children, or with other family members such as nieces or nephews, the answer to whether or not we should scan our old family prints, slides and negatives may seem quite obvious.

But, when I received this email from Jennie, asking me why she should go through all the trouble of taking on such a big scanning and organizing project when she doesn't have younger family to pass it on to, I was struck with the thought that many of you might be asking yourselves the same question. Maybe even for some of you who actually do have family to pass your scanned collections on to!

If you don't have or know anyone that will truly cherish your scanned photo collection once you've passed, is there even a single reason to scan any of your old family photos?

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 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

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

Kaci Pierce

Your website ROCKS!!!

Rick Ballantyne
Seattle, WA

I am so thankful to have come across your website. I considered buying a scanner about 2 years ago but the more I read the more difficult it seemed to be able to scan my old print photos.

I know so much more now thanks to your website and emails. Thank you so much for your time and the energy you put into your blogs etc to help people like me.

Carolyn Kerridge
Sunshine Coast, Australia

I've been fascinated by the articles on your web site. They are spot on. I rarely read something and keep saying ‘YES!' ‘YES!' every few paragraphs.

Well done, and you must think exactly like I do!

Brad Price

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

Yours is truly an interesting, readable, and useful blog. Congratulations on it. It has almost kicked my butt enough to start my own blog.

Art Taylor
Canada

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!

You had a great idea when you started this website. There are many like us who realize the great things we can do for future generations, while also having a great time ourselves.

Tom B.
Milwaukee, WI

AHHH! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’ve been trying to recover my ‘lost' photos for almost a year now. I’ve read many ‘fix-it' strategies on other websites, but this is the first one that actually FOUND my photos!

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

Thanks for your help and guidance. Now that I know of your site, I will start here when I have such a question.

Jodi P.

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

AHHH! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’ve been trying to recover my ‘lost' photos for almost a year now. I’ve read many ‘fix-it' strategies on other websites, but this is the first one that actually FOUND my photos!

Firstly and foremost – brilliant work Curtis. A well prepared site, bristling with information!

I had actually just started scanning the hundreds (thousands) of prints we have when I came across your website.

Your information is so clear and valuable that I have actually started over. Scanning prints, no worries now thanks to you.

Nik Frame
Sydney, Australia

Thanks for your help and guidance. Now that I know of your site, I will start here when I have such a question.

Jodi P.

I was really busy the last days due to spending all of my free time reading ‘Scan Your Entire Life'. I really enjoy it.

It has been really good for me to learn from you how to systematize, to scan and organize my old photos and negatives. You really gave me the confidence and courage.

Friadon Kader
Aarhus, Denmark

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

Thank you so much, what a fun website to read, your articles had me chuckling, as I too have zillions of questions as I start a project.

It's a joy to see others think the same way. :-)  Perhaps I can consider this day 1 in the scanning process!

Lorie

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
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