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.

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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

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…

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

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

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

Dave Black

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 would like to compliment you on your website. It provides a lot of useful information all in one place. Great Job!

Greg Pierce
Sanford, North Carolina

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

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

Your website ROCKS!!!

Rick Ballantyne
Seattle, WA

Curtis, you’ve been a true inspiration. I was totally intimidated by the idea of doing it myself, but after visiting your website I decided to give it a try. Not only is it going much faster than I thought but it is an extremely enjoyable trip through the history of my family. 

I still have many boxes to go but think I will have everything done within a year. Thanks for many great ideas and most of all for the encouragement.

‎Anne Schnoebelen

I’ve been trying to convince myself to scan my old negatives. I’ve read all sorts but this has been the best I’ve read.

Jason Egerton

“Thank you so much for taking the time to share your photo management experiences online.

I’m just starting a family photo digitizing project and the info here has been really helpful to me.

I know how much effort it takes to put this all down in a sharable form and I’m very grateful to you!”

Chris N.

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

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

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!

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

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

Your site is GENIUS. Your approaches are the most thorough I have seen. Thank you for this invaluable information.

Huma
Wadood, TX

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

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

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