How to Preserve Your Photo Memories by Choosing the Right Photo Digitization Service

How to Preserve Your Photo Memories by Choosing the Right Photo Digitization Service

Do you have shoeboxes, photo albums, and file cabinets full of old photos? Physical photographs are difficult to share, especially if you only have a single copy. Plus, they are susceptible to water damage and fading. 

To ensure your photos are never lost, Capture archivists with 20+ years of experience put together this guide to help you choose the best digitization service that will not only create high-quality digital images but keep your memories safe throughout the process. 

Keep reading to understand why it’s important to digitize photos, learn about digitize photos services including pros and cons, evaluate different factors, and ultimately make the best choice for your precious memories. 

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Understanding the Need for Digitizing Photos

Photos capture those special moments in our lives, but unfortunately, they rarely preserve those Kodak moments forever. That’s because they start to fade just like your memories and can become water-damaged, scratched, or lost. 

That’s why it’s critical to preserve your old photos as digital files like jpeg files or other formats. With digital downloads and virtual images, you prevent physical damage and ensure they last for future generations to enjoy. 

Not only that, but instead of having shoeboxes full of photos taking up space, you can use cloud storage, USB drives, SD cards, hard drives, or other digital devices to store your entire library of photographs. Storing and organizing photos will be easier than ever before. 

Plus, there are tons of other great benefits of digital photo preservation. You’ll be able to easily share digital copies with loved ones around the globe via email or social media, create virtual scrapbooks, or even use enhancement tools to brighten the colors, add sepia tones, or restore pictures that are already damaged. 

As you can see, there are tons of reasons to convert photos to digital format, so what types of photos can a photo digitizing service preserve for you?

Types of Photos That Can Be Digitized

The types of photos that you can digitize will depend on the bulk photo scanning service you choose. However, most can accept all reasonably sized print photos, Polaroid pictures, and vintage photographs. Additionally, many photo preservation solutions can also accept photos of slide film as well as negatives.

That means you can preserve all your family photos, vintage photo heirlooms, and special event photos from weddings, graduations, holidays, vacations, and more. You can even preserve progressional photography or artistic photos. 

What about your photo albums? Well, with most services you’ll have to remove all the photos before drop-off, which can be a tedious process. However, Capture offers the world’s first touchless photo album scanning service, which means you send us the albums and we digitize the photos without anyone ever having to remove them from albums or scrapbooks. 

Now that you know that an online photo digitization service can preserve your photos, keep reading to compare some of the top options and examine some factors for making the best choice. 

Overview of Digitization Services

There are a variety of professional photo scanning services to choose from as well as DIY digitization options that you might want to consider. We provided an overview, pros, and cons of all the professional digitization services and DIY options to help you make the best decision for your family memories and photo books. 

Professional Digitization Services 

There are several popular photo scanning services available online including Capture, ScanCafe, LegacyBox, and ScanMyPhotos. Additionally, there are local in-store services at various stores in the USA like Walgreens or local options. In fact, Capture fulfills orders for some of the top companies including Walmart, CVS Pharmacy, and Sam’s Club! 

The benefits of using a professional service include high-quality results, no painstaking DIY scanning process, and protection for your original photos. However, it’s important to note that not all companies have a solid reputation so it’s important to check LegacyBox reviews, ScanCafe complaints, and Capture feedback.  

Go to the “How to Choose the Right Digitization Service” section for a more in-depth comparison and factors that you should consider before making your choice. 

DIY Digitization Options 

In addition to professional digital photo restoration and digitization, there are also DIY options. Photomyne is one DIY option that’s quite affordable and uses your phone’s camera. While the quality will not be great, it’s easy, cheap, and convenient. 

Another DIY option that’s more expensive, but higher quality, is to use a flatbed photo scanner or photo scanning machine. It’s time-consuming but will create fairly decent quality. There are also slide scanning machines, negative scanning machines, and other options that you could consider. 

DIY digitization offers advantages like affordability and the fact that you’ll be able to go through each photo as you scan them, leading to some nostalgic days. Not only that, but the more expensive options offer decent quality, though it’s not as high quality as professional high-resolution photo scanning. 

How to Choose the Right Digitization Service

Your photos are priceless, which is why you must pick the right digitization service that will not only create high-quality results, but also take good care of your original copies and offer above-and-beyond customer support. Here are some factors that you’ll want to consider during the search for a digitize photos service. 

Quality and Resolution

When creating digital copies of your photo prints, negatives, photo slides, and film rolls, you don’t want to be left with blurry, pixelated, or discolored digital images. Make sure the service you choose has a good track record of high DPI resolution scanned images. 

Additionally, some services, like Capture, offer minor glare removal, cropping, and color correction to ensure great results. Others even offer complete photo restoration for an additional fee. 


You probably don’t want to overpay for bulk photo digitization, so make sure you compare pricing structures. LegacyBox costs a lot, especially for photos, while iMemories, Capture, and ScanCafe prices are more affordable. 

Still, the differences in pricing even between the competitively priced options could end up being $100 or more, especially if you have a lot of photos to digitize. Don’t forget to consider the add-on pricing of DVD, USB flash drive, or other physical copies. 

Turnaround Time

Getting your original photos and digital copies back within a reasonable time period is an important factor, especially if you want them for Christmas gift pictures or a birthday present. Turnaround time can vary greatly from 12+ weeks with LegacyBox to 30 days or less with Capture. 

That’s because Capture always processes orders in the USA while ScanCafe and others send your memories to India or other foreign countries for scanning. iMemories also offers fast turnaround time because they offer app access, though for long-term access you’ll have to pay an additional fee. 

Safety and Security 

If your memories are lost during the transfer service, they could be gone forever. That’s why it’s critical to choose a company that will take care of your photos. Some offer satisfaction guarantees, barcode scanning, and email updates to monitor your memories throughout the digitization process. 

Capture offers an advanced, multi-million-dollar tracking and security system that monitors your photo and digital memories every step of the way, through every hand, and back to you. That way, you can have peace of mind that your photos are in good hands. Plus, we offer automatic integration with Google Photos! 


One of the best ways to learn about a film scanning service is to look at their reviews. Try comparing Capture, ScanCafe, iMemories, and LegacyBox complaints to see if there are any alarming or repetitive issues like slow turnaround time, lost media, or terrible quality results. 

You should also make sure there are plenty of good reviews that highlight all of the things you care about like high resolution, customer support, and affordable pricing. 

The Digitization Process Explained

The photo scanning process involves a few steps whether you are using a professional digitize photos service or doing it yourself. First, the photos will be prepared for digitization. If they are dirty, this might involve cleaning them and if you do it yourself or choose any service besides Capture it means removing them from photo albums. 

Then, each photo will be scanned to create a separate image. Professional services will use top-tier equipment for fantastic resolution. Additionally, you might have the option of different file formats like JPEG, TIFF, or others. 

After the images are scanned, many services will perform cropping, alignment, color correction, glare removal, red eye removal, and restoration, though some offer more of these than others. Additionally, you can do this yourself as well with the right software. 

Finally, the photos will be uploaded to cloud storage for digital download or to your computer, a USB flash drive, DVD copy, Blu-Ray, or other storage devices. After that process, what do you do with your newly digitized memories? 

After Digitization - What Next?

Once you receive your digital files, the sky is the limit to what you can do. You can use them to create scrapbooks or digital photo albums. Additionally, after digitization, you can use either the physical or digital images to make fantastic photo gifts for him or her.

Whatever you plan to do with your photos, we strongly suggest creating backups and saving them on multiple devices or cloud storage options. That way, no matter what happens your memories are safe. 

You can also add metadata to your photos to make them easier to organize. This also allows you to auto-organize using some apps and search for photos based on more than just the exact title. 

As far as organization goes, chronological is probably the most popular option, but you can organize them based on the type of photo, who is in them, or the event where the photos were taken. 

There are some privacy and ethical considerations you should make when digitizing photos or uploading them to public websites like Facebook or Twitter. First, if they are professional photographers’ pictures or creative photos that you didn’t take yourself, they might have a copyright or intellectual property restriction, meaning you can’t use them without permission. 

Even if they don’t have those types of legal protections, it’s always good to make sure the people in the photos are okay with your sharing them online or on social media. While it might not be illegal to post them without permission, it’s courteous and could protect someone’s privacy. 

As scanning quality gets better, photo digitization will continue to progress. AI is already being implemented for automated photo restoration, glare removal, and more. Photos can even be brought to life with animations and life-like movements. 

Capture recently advanced the industry with the first-ever touchless photo album scanning service, allowing us to scan each image without anyone having to remove them from albums and photo books. That means less risk of damage or smudges! 

It’s hard to tell where the industry will go next, but we would expect AI to be used more and the resolution to continue to increase. High-resolution DIY scanners will also get more affordable while providing better results, but for now, professional services offer the highest quality results. 


As you can see, a digitize photos service or DIY scanning can preserve your memories forever. However, it’s important to choose the right method or service to ensure good results and security for your most precious memories. 

If you want to choose the best option, Capture offers touchless photo album scanning, guaranteed satisfaction, glare removal and color correction, and a state-of-the-art tracking and security system. Plus, we can digitize all of your analog media including home movies and videotapes like VHS tapes, VHS-C, and MiniDV as well as Super 8 film reels and more.

Click here to start your photo scanning order today! 




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