Family photos seem to add up quickly ‒ a birthday party here, a weekend getaway there ‒ and you have thousands of photos you had printed a long time ago that are taking up space and not ageing well.

So how to store those family photos in your Inner West home without losing them? By going digital.

From prints to digital: saving room in your Inner West home

Especially if you are looking at selling and downsizing, converting your photos from prints to digital will save a lot of space.

There are several ways to digitise your old photos; you can manage methods at home in your own time but if the task seems overwhelming, professionals are on hand to do the heavy lifting.

One of the biggest downsides to going digital is that nothing lasts forever and losing digital copies of your photos happens in just seconds; hard drives fail, phones and computers are stolen, online storage services shut down or Mother Nature wreaks havoc.

To ensure that your photos are safe for years to come, you should have more than one copy stored in more than one location. If using hard drives, you may like to consider having two or three drives and keeping one “off site” at a friend’s place or stored in a weather-proof safe.

Writable Blu-ray disks are another storage option, and a write-once disk cannot be deleted or written over, so they are a safe storage method for your photos; it’s just a matter of keeping them from getting scratched, stolen or lost over the years.

Cloud storage for photos is another option and there are plenty of picks out there from dedicated photo storage on sites like Flickr through to Google, Amazon, Microsoft and iCloud. The risks are losing your log-in details, not paying your monthly fee, or the storage company shutting down.

Digitising photos

If you already have the photos printed and at home, it’s easy to get them converted and stored onto an external hard drive or to the cloud.

The first option would be to use your scanner and simply scan them into your computer. More modern scanners should have a photo scanning mode, which makes this a relatively easy way to get your photos digital. However, trust us when we tell you that if you’re over 55 years of age with hundreds of photos, the job can be tedious and time-consuming, especially as you’ll likely want to edit most photos.

Google Photoscan, an app that isn’t highly publicised, uses your phone’s camera to scan photos and turn them into digital copies. You’ll find it works better with older photos that may have faded over time.

If you have the photos but don’t have the time, you can hire a professional to scan the photos for you. The cost will vary depending on how many photos you have and whether you choose bulk scanning (for photos of similar size that aren’t so precious) and hand scanning services like Scanpix that not only scan precious photos but will do the retouching for you where needed.

Once you have your library of digital photos on your laptop or computer, you can sort them and create albums about special events, trips or family history. You’ll find many applications, from Momento and Canva to the built-in album creator tool in Apple laptops. All have beautiful, easy-to-use templates that make album creation a breeze. You can even go online to Kmart and have your book ready the next day.

Digitising from negatives

If you used an old film camera, you’ll remember getting the negatives from the shop when you picked up your printed images. If you’ve lost your printed images but still have the negatives, you can get them scanned; however, the process isn’t as easy. The good news is you’ll likely end with better-quality images. Again, there is a professional option for scanning negatives; we suggest that unless you have too much time on your hands, it’s worth spending the money to get the job done all at once instead of it taking weeks or months.

Can we help with your Inner West home?

Whether you’re ready to sell or need help to rent your investment property, we have the experience and local knowledge to make your property journey easier.

Looking for help selling your home or renting your investment property? Our team at Belle Property Balmain support homeowners across Balmain, Balmain East, Birchgrove, Rozelle and Lilyfield. Feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation discussion or property appraisal.

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