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.

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

A 70-Year-Old Silver Surfer Scans Her Entire Life!

A 70-Year-Old Silver Surfer Scans Her Entire Life!

Being a man of action as well as words, my son Mark bought me a slide scanner and taught me how to use it. I scanned in the slides of the Holy Land without much difficulty. I was delighted to be able to view them on my computer with the same ease as I could view the digital photographs that I had started taking in 1999.

The remainder of the slides came first. Then I started work on the prints in the photograph albums that I had lovingly curated over the decades. The physical albums had started to deteriorate to the extent that some of them were falling apart. Scanning the prints was an ideal way to remedy this. I also scanned in all the prints that had not made the cut for the photograph albums but I had kept nevertheless. I also spent several months scanning in approximately 4,000 negatives. All in all I must have scanned nearly ten thousand photographs in one form or another.

read more
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

WE DON'T CARE HOW GOOD YOU ARE WITH COMPUTERS,
JUST HOW MUCH YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR PHOTO COLLECTION.

What People Are Saying About…

This is a fantastic site. I have been wrestling with all these issues and your site is by far the best of any information that I have found – you are answering exactly the same questions that I have. Thank you!

Peter Fuller
Karori, Wellington, New Zealand

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

Dear Curtis, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I thought I had lost all my photos – but with your help, it was really simple to get them back into my iPhoto! Thanks again!

Marie-Louise

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 happy to find your site since it fills a very real need many have.

Cesar

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

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

Dave Black

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

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

Dan Keiper

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.)

I love your blog. You do such a nice job explaining complex topics in a clear conversational tone.

I work at an advertising agency and my last client was working so hard to explain banking topics in this same exact manner. If you were an expert in banking they would have wanted to scoop you right up! (And they're a big bank!)

I just wanted you to know that you're nailing this blog.

Regina
Massachusetts

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

I love your website, and find it incredibly useful!!

I have a constant annoying worry, that I might lose every picture I have taken…they are the story of my life and my 4 daughter's life too.

Sophia Oris de Roa

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

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!

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

Huma
Wadood, TX

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

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

Your website ROCKS!!!

Rick Ballantyne
Seattle, WA

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