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.
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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.

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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.

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
Aiming for the Stars to Hit a Cowpie — My Enlightening Scanning Journey

Aiming for the Stars to Hit a Cowpie — My Enlightening Scanning Journey

As a Wyoming farm gal, I was raised with the phrase “It’s better to aim for the stars and miss than to aim for a cowpie and hit.” Well, that’s great advice … unless your goal actually is to hit the cowpie.

My scanning goal really was that simple, but for some reason, aiming at the cowpie just wasn’t working. So I changed strategies and aimed for the stars. The result? Read on to find out. And hopefully, by sharing my scanning journey, it will help you on your scanning journey.

read more
Scanning All of Our Family Photos … What's the Actual Point?

Scanning All of Our Family Photos … What's the Actual Point?

For anyone with children, or with other family members such as nieces or nephews, the answer to whether or not we should scan our old family prints, slides and negatives may seem quite obvious.

But, when I received this email from Jennie, asking me why she should go through all the trouble of taking on such a big scanning and organizing project when she doesn't have younger family to pass it on to, I was struck with the thought that many of you might be asking yourselves the same question. Maybe even for some of you who actually do have family to pass your scanned collections on to!

If you don't have or know anyone that will truly cherish your scanned photo collection once you've passed, is there even a single reason to scan any of your old family photos?

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…

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

Huma
Wadood, TX

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

Cesar

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

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME AND THANKS!!! I watch a TON of YouTube How To's and you are without a doubt one of the best teachers/facilitators of DIY videos I've seen here on YouTube! Much appreciated…

Matthew Fox

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

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'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

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

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

“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

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 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

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

Your website ROCKS!!!

Rick Ballantyne
Seattle, WA

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

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

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 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

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