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.
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.
box of 35mm slides graphic

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 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'm afraid I haven't worked up the courage to get started yet! The job still looks overwhelming to me. But I read your advice, and imagine I will begin one day.

Thanks for your great website. You are the only reason I'm even considering scanning my ton of photos.

George Sumner

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 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

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

Dan Keiper

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

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

Dave Black

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.

“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 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

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

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 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 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

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

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 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

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

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
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