You need to ‘back up’ your old print photographs

There are a lot of things that probably don’t matter all that much in your office or home. If a fire or flood destroys everything, you can get a new desk, printer, or bookcase. There are things, however, that are irreplaceable–at least if you haven’t taken steps to safeguard them–like print photographs. It is more of an issue for home disasters, but there are also plenty of businesses that have archives of print photographs that need to be preserved and protected. I recently used a service called ScanMyPhotos that can streamline the tedious process of scanning all of those old print photographs so you can back them up in the cloud or on external drives to make sure they survive any catastrophe. Here is what I wrote about the service on

It’s been more than 10 years since I’ve taken a picture using actual film, or bothered to have a photograph turned into a print—it’s all digital now. However, I still have thousands of print photographs from all of the years prior, and it occurred to me that in the event of a fire, flood, or other disaster in my home those would all be lost forever. Many businesses rely on or use photographs for a variety of reasons, and are in the same boat as I am when it comes to protecting them.

Professional photographers are an obvious business likely to have tons of archived photographs (or at least the negatives for the photographs) stored on the premises. There are many other businesses, though, such as insurance adjustors, real estate agencies, home inspectors, and more that make regular and extensive use of photographs. Most, if not all, of those businesses have probably made the switch to digital photography by now, but those older photos are still at risk.

Scanners are cheap. Even a relatively good scanner isn’t a major investment. The task of scanning and saving photographs one at a time is slow and tedious, though. Take my word for it. If you have thousands of old print photographs that you want to scan, it could be a full-time job for weeks.

I did some digging for my own personal needs, and found The company offers a variety of scanning services, including scanning of slides or negatives, but the service that caught my attention is the Prepaid Photo Scanning Box. For $99, ScanMyPhotos will scan up to 1,800 print photographs at a resolution of 300dpi and put them on a DVD for you. If you want higher resolution digital images, you can opt for 600dpi scans for $189.

The process is pretty simple. ScanMyPhotos sends you a flat, prepaid USPS Priority Mail box to ship your photos. You’re expected to group photos in bundles—preferably bundles of a consistent size to make it easier for ScanMyPhotos workers to feed them in to the scanner—and fill the box to the max. ScanMyPhotos estimates that the box will hold roughly 1,800 standard print photographs.

Read the complete post on the Minimal Risk blog: You need to ‘back up’ your old photographs.

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