Digitizing old photos

A friend who took a mountain of photos in the last century (1950s-90s) recently asked me how to get all his old analog photos digitized, cataloged, online, and printed. Here is what I told him: I get all my old stuff (slides, negatives, prints) scanned at ScanCafe because the price is right. They have the cheapest yet most reliable scanning service. I box them up quickly and sort them after they are scanned. The files are returned on a DVD or a thumb drive. But you need time, several months, since they send them overseas (with incredible care and safety). For faster service, when needed, I use Costco. They scan at 600 dpi which is more than enough for most purposes. Costco is fast, but they don’t scan negatives any more. Only slides and prints. And they save to DVD, but not everyone has a DVD reader these days. If you need mild retouching on the old photos, Wirecutter makes some good recommendations of scanners who retouch. To manage and organize all my scanned photo files I use Lightroom. It’s standard issue for any serious photographer; I couldn’t work without it. (I currently have 230,000 photos in Lightroom.) Its image processing interface is better than Photoshop 99% of the time. You don’t need the subscription cloud version; the standalone version of Lightroom is still available and fine. — KK

PhotoClaudia Dawson