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.

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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.

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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…

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, 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

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

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

What you are contributing to the photography community with your membership is unique. I hope you feel good about that and are energized, knowing you are helping people achieve goals. God bless!

E. Miller
Crossville, Tennessee
Member

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

Cesar

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

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

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

Your website ROCKS!!!

Rick Ballantyne
Seattle, WA

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 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

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

Dan Keiper

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

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

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 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
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