There are multiple ways to turn your print photo memories into digital files. However, some steps are more time-consuming than others. While phone photo scanning apps offer free and affordable options for digitizing files, you are often stuck uploading photos one at a time. It doesn’t make sense to manually scan single photos when you have decades of print memories in various boxes. 

Should you use an app to scan photos or should you box up your memories and let a professional photo scanning company take on the work? Learn what both processes entail and how you can avoid getting overwhelmed with an unexpectedly large DIY project.

How do Photo Scanning Apps Work?  

Before you can decide whether you want to use an app to scan photos or reach out to professionals, get to know the scanning process. There are several photo scanning apps you can download to your smartphone or tablet. Many are free but offer paid upgrade options with additional features. In general, there are four steps to scan a photo with your smartphone:

  1. Lay the photo you plan to scan on a plain white or dark background, otherwise the app will try to scan the pattern behind the image. 
  2. Use the scanning app to line up the image and take a photo. Some scanning apps will ask you to take multiple photos of the same image. 
  3. Edit and crop the image. This could mean removing edges from the photo or removing any glare from the light in your room. 
  4. Name and save the image. 

This process on its own isn’t complicated and it doesn’t take too long for a few photos. But what are you supposed to do if you have thousands of printed memories that you kept over the years? Even if it only takes two minutes to scan each photo, it would take you an hour to scan a single roll of film with 30 pictures.

How do Scanning Services by Memory Fortress Work? 

You don’t have to use a phone app to scan photos if you lack the time or energy to go through this whole project yourself. You can easily ship your photos to a trusted source like Memory Fortress which can digitize your memories for you. 

Using a professional photo scanning service is also a four-step process, but it is much less labor-intensive than scanning images on your own. Here is how it works:

  1. Collect all of your photos, VHS tapes, rolls of film, and other analog memories that you want digitized. 
  2. Organize your memories so we can place them in different files. For example, you can sort your images by the date they were taken, the event you attended, or the people in the pictures. Place different categories in separate Ziploc bags so we know they belong together.
  3. Let our team know to expect your memories through our online order form. Give us an estimate for the number of photos, tapes, and videos you plan to send. 
  4. Pack these memories tightly in a box. Use packing insulation to make sure your photos and videos won’t get jostled in transit. Then ship your photos to our office – we will take it from there.

Once your photos are shipped, your part of the project is over. We will receive your photos, scan them, send you digital copies, and then return all of your original memories back to you. Within less than 10 business days your entire photo scanning project will be complete. 

When Should You Use an App to Scan Photos?

There are pros and cons to both of these options. So when is it best to use an app to scan photos versus hiring a professional photo scanning service? Phone photo scanning apps are ideal for small projects. If you find a couple of prints tucked away in your office desk or dresser that you want to scan, you can use a tool to scan these on your own in only a few minutes. 

At Memory Fortress, we encourage our customers to carefully look throughout their house for all of their print photos and VHS tapes so they can complete their scanning project all at once. However, it’s not uncommon for people to find a few straggling photos hidden away a few weeks or months after they hire us. If you only have a few photos to scan, it might be faster and easier to use an app. 

You should also only use an app to scan photos if you feel comfortable with the technology. However, if you are worried about lining up the photos evenly and taking scans that aren’t blurry, then you may want to hand the project off to professionals. 

When Should You Hire a Photo Scanning Service?  

Even if you feel confident in using an app to scan photos, you might want to hire a professional scanning service. Our team uses industry-leading technology to scan images, which ensures they are digitized in the highest quality possible. Even if your photos are curled, folded, or printed on glossy paper, our scanners can retain the quality of the images

Hire a photo scanning service if you have multiple boxes of photos you need scanned. Even smaller projects with just a few rolls of film can become time-consuming and frustrating if you have to scan one photo at a time with an app. You don’t have to spend hours hunched over your phone trying to make sure each photo looks good.

You should also work with a professional service if you have multiple media types. Your traditional photo scanning app can’t handle negatives or 35 mm slides. If you have VHS tapes and other camcorder recordings, you will also want to digitize those files before the footage breaks down. By hiring a professional service, you can complete your entire digitization project all at once.

Start Your Order With Memory Fortress 

If you are looking for alternative options to using a phone app to scan photos, contact Memory Fortress‘ professional photo scanning service and tell us how many photos and tapes you need digitized We don’t need the exact number of prints that you are sending us, but an estimate is appreciated.

To start the process, click the Order Now button. For only $29 down, you can alert our team to the future arrival of your memories. We will scan, save, and return your print photos while also sending your digital copies in the cloud or in whatever format you need. 

Learn more about our process and start your scanning project today. 

We digitize everything right here at our facility in metro Atlanta, processed by US citizens.

2180 Satellite Blvd Suite 400 Duluth, GA 30097
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, Sundayclosed

Local Atlanta walk-in customers MUST have an appointment for prompt service. This applies to both dropping off materials, and picking up materials as well.