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

three photo albums stacked vertically graphic

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.

computer monitor with 6 picture icons graphic

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

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
Announcing the Scan Your Entire Life Membership and Training Course!

Announcing the Scan Your Entire Life Membership and Training Course!

Today is the big day! This is easily the biggest day for Scan Your Entire Life since July 5, 2010, when I had finally built up enough confidence to post the first article on this brand new website.

Now, almost 8 years later, I’m extremely excited to finally make the first public announcement on this website of my brand new membership and training course.

This online training course with professionally-produced video lessons, and some that are text-only when most appropriate, 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.

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…

Hello Curtis, I've been looking for you without knowing it!

Was thrilled to discover your website and recognize that there is a name for what I have been trying to do. Beyond that, you have seven distinct phases that I can access to name and tame my efforts. I have spent time in each of them without a cohesive plan so I recognize them all.

I've been working away hit and miss on my images since I retired in 2010. Luckily for me, my own photos and my inherited ones were never put into albums so scanning is an easier handling task. My first motivation was collection and back-up and then I became obsessed with tagging to create a searchable database, and then I tried consistent naming, and then, and then, and so on.

What's changed those efforts to compel me to push your I'm Serious button? I'm now a granny and have become motivated to tell the family story in a permanent way as a chronicler.

So I anticipate the next step in the journey with guidance from your experiences.

Kudos for a very well-done site and service.

Sandra

I ran across your site last weekend while searching for some information on best file formats and resolutions to scan photos at.

First I just want to thank you for all of the great information you have compiled into this wonderful website. I am preparing to embark on my own scanning journey after starting / stopping it several times over the past several years.

I'm 52 and in possession of many of our family's photos. My parents are deceased and most of my aunts and uncles are as well. I have a couple of grandchildren that I hope will enjoy the fruits of my labor as well as a niece and nephew.

Anyway, your website has answered many of my questions and given me inspiration to start scanning. Thank you again for all of the time, effort, and great information you have provided to the world.

Roger Hammond
Grand Island, NE

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 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 are the most genuinely humble person I have come across in a very long time… your website is a blessed OASIS to those of us who are panic stricken as we face 1000s of family photos that need archiving.

I am amazed by your benevolent spirit and the gift of the time you take to give us precise details as you empower us to tackle these overwhelming photo collections with a wonderful master plan!

You are a very, very generous man… I don't think you realize the impact you have on so many of us who want to properly honor our family legacies. Thank you.  

Elizabeth Mayhall Simoneaux

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 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

Your website ROCKS!!!

Rick Ballantyne
Seattle, WA

I am so elated I found this 3-part series of assist articles before continuing the scanning process for my family. I am easily becoming the family ‘Archivist’ at this rate, and I have only just begun the scanning process.

Thanks for the process review, I needed it, and will likely use a similar naming method. (I’m only about 130 photos into the fray, too.)

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

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

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

My story is that I'm 57 and most of my life is analog. It's time to save it all from fading away, else my kids will not know where they come from.

Santo Spinali
Montreal, Canada

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

Tracie

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

Thank you for a very informative detour while I was browsing for a solution to posting comments in Facebook.

Your URL name was interesting so I came by and your content was so nicely laid out I stayed for awhile. You made me think about our family photo collections and their preservation and gave such practical tips!

Thing is, I am wondering why you have not monetized your site more. I mean, it is refreshingly clear of ads and such. Perhaps the email subscription list provides the financial support or you are simply an altruistic expert? If so, thank you for that! But, if you should choose, I do think your stuff is great and you could do more to monetize (even asking for paypal donations) if/when you need to.

I really liked your content and style.

Thanks for making me think about the importance of doing this all. Who knows? Maybe I will even return some day to start a project. I have enjoyed sharing your passion for a bit and I definitely learned something about scanning and some apps!

Brett
Oak Park, IL

Wow, all the questions and issues I've had regarding scanning and archiving my photo collection on one website! What a find!

Dave Black

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

Kaci Pierce

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