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

Now let's 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.

Home-Top-FF12-1A

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 the confidence to make all the right scanning choices.

Featured In

Kiplinger's Personal Finance Logo
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 on perfecting 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.

Topics Covered Here

Organizing Originals

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

Scanning Photos

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

Storing Originals

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

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.

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.

Backup Digitals

Learning how to have a backup process in place to ensure all of your scanned photos will live on forever.

Latest Blog Posts

Is Sorting and Organizing Your Photos After Scanning Actually Better?

Is Sorting and Organizing Your Photos After Scanning Actually Better?

Whether you have yet to start scanning them or began the project long ago but paused for various reasons, now is the perfect time to revisit your collection of old family photos. This is particularly true if you reside in a colder climate and find yourself spending more time indoors. One of the biggest hurdles…

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 want to thank you for putting up this AWESOME website! Seriously, a lot of your archiving tips really helped me out.

Dan Keiper

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

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 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

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

Huma
Wadood, TX

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've learned a ton from watching your excellent videos. Your videos gave me courage and motivation to start the huge project I have been putting off because of not knowing where to start. So THANK YOU so much!

Beth Chun
Olathe, Kansas
Member

Your membership course is by far the best structured and organised online teaching resource (on any topic) that I have ever encountered. Across three decades I worked as a senior manager in large UK High Schools – so I'm qualified to discern and commend a well-developed and well-delivered teaching resource!

I followed every element of the course faithfully – every video lesson and every article. I scanned the Community forum dialogues and absorbed the shared information from several exchanges relevant to me.

Your exhaustive attention to detail can only be admired and the presentation quality of the graphics and videos is highly polished. Distinctively, a compelling spark of humour creeps in, as a throw-away aside in the video narration and in your answers to online questions. That personal dimension adds enormously, by making the lessons ENGAGING – a precious commodity lifting your course above the daunting jargon and intimidating numerical data.

Your course is an enormous help to me – firstly, by defining some anchor point settings to use and secondly, by widening the scope of the parameters I needed to first think through in approaching my own family heritage scanning project, beginning with 6000 slides (mounted transparencies).

Thank you.

Jonathan Hatton
Walton Warrington, United Kingdom
Member

I just wanted to say, yes, glad you did create this site. You have obviously helped many people and from little I have read, you are very clear and personable. So many videos and classes will go on and on and then rush right through the important stuff.

I am making a new push to get pictures scanned and organized, so I have been looking for good advice and am glad to have found a kindred spirit. Keep it up and Thanks!

Joe Radomski

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 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 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

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 just wanted to say, yes, glad you did create this site. You have obviously helped many people and from little I have read, you are very clear and personable. So many videos and classes will go on and on and then rush right through the important stuff.

I am making a new push to get pictures scanned and organized, so I have been looking for good advice and am glad to have found a kindred spirit. Keep it up and Thanks!

Joe Radomski

Curtis, I just actually wanted to say thanks again for taking the time to respond with such detail and clear passion for this subject! Most people do not do that these days, and though it's not expected, it's always appreciated. 🙂

I have just joined your membership program and have gotten through half of the lessons. Fun stuff! I can't wait to get some hands on practice.

I think your website is the best resource of collected material on scanning, and removes all the clutter of random, unhelpful, outdated information that one can Google.

Thanks again for your guidance, and I imagine I'll see you inside your Community!

Danica Yamasato
Sydney, Australia
Member

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!

Mikki

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

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 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 now been scanning my old photos actively for about 2-3 weeks. And I'm happy to report that with your guidance I have managed to scan over 400 paper prints already! It seemed such a daunting task but after learning the basics from your videos, it's been pretty smooth sailing.

Your training course videos are, by the way, very professional and easy to follow! So huge credit to you in putting the effort in making these!

Paula Simon
Melbourne, Australia
Founding Member
Home-Bottom-FF8-1A

Join Our Mailing List  📬

Join 10,500+ people enjoying the exclusive newsletter, tutorials, occasional blog updates, and tips and tricks you won't find anywhere else on this website sent right to your inbox.