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.
flatbed image scanner graphic

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.

image editor software on screen graphic

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
Epson Scan 2 — Will It Work With My Scanner?

Epson Scan 2 — Will It Work With My Scanner?

Epson quietly released a new version of their popular scanning software “Epson Scan” that comes bundled with their document and flatbed photo scanners. But, there's already been confusion as to which scanners and operating systems it supports. Could it be possible that “Epson Scan 2” won't even run in the latest versions of Microsoft Windows?

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 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

As I have been watching your membership video lessons this week (which is a luxury and unintended consequence of having to stay home due to the Covid-19 pandemic), I am realizing I need all the help I can get! I appreciate so much how well you break down each lesson so that even I can understand.

Had I not discovered your lifeline, I would most likely have already abandoned the project out of frustration. Even though I read the scanner manual all the way through a couple of times, the information just wasn't clicking. Epson should be paying you for your thorough instructions!

Time to close and get to work! Thanks so much for being out there. I think I can do this!

Nancy Golliher
Peculiar, Missouri
Member

You are a truly noble person for all of the people you help without charging them. You help tremendously. Thank you so much!!!

Janique Petit

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

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'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

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

Having worked with computers and technology for over 30 years, I felt pretty confident when starting my scanning project. I quickly realized I needed help. Learning through the SYEL training course was the solution I needed.

Now I know what my options are, I scan with confidence, and my scans are literally 100% better. I would not have figured this out on my own. Creating high-quality professional-looking scans is easy … when you know what you're doing. Thank you, Curtis!

Beth A.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Founding 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 want to thank you for putting up this AWESOME website! Seriously, a lot of your archiving tips really helped me out.

Dan Keiper

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

“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 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 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

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

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

“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.

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

I really enjoyed all the membership videos – very well done! I feel much more prepared to tackle the daunting task of digitizing the family photo collection now and have recommended your membership to several others.

Corey Callahan
Lancaster, Ohio
Member

The Membership course content is just what I needed for my scanning project. The videos and texts are so well done, entertaining but also very professional and easy to understand.

I’ve watched the videos and read through all the lessons twice and have been picking up more info through blog entries. I think I’m ready for my first scan this week!

Judith Franz
Portland, Oregon
Member
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