Can you scan old photos to create a photo book?
We all have a treasure trove of old photos. Images that tell your family history or capture unique moments on life's journey. Your granddad in his uniform going off to war. Your mum paddling in the sea on her first holiday. You, as a baby, riding high on your dad's shoulders.
As photos begin to fade, so do memories — so why not scan your old photos to create them into a unique photo book gift? From custom mugs, to personalised cushions, and acrylic prints - there’s a photo gift to cherish every timeless moment.
The benefits of scanning old photos for a photo book
Scanning your old photos is the best way to preserve them. Even with good storage, low quality prints fade over time, and so the first goal when you scan old photos is to protect those memories.
Digitising your images means that you have them forever, and they're easier to share online with friends and family. Who knows, you may find out fascinating stories about your family history. Of course, you'll still need to store the original somewhere dry and cool but if the worst happens, you'll have a backup copy.
Additionally, scanned photos can be restored to their former glory. You can sharpen the image and eliminate any blemishes without losing the character of the original, and then upload your scans to us and create your photo book. It's an epic way of preserving those unforgettable moments for years to come.
Choosing your photos
Start with the images that spark an emotion or capture a moment. The photos that mean the most to your family and that really stand out, or those shots that capture the action or those essential details. Those quintessential life moments — weddings, birthdays, anniversaries - are packed with memorable moments.
Whatever the image, avoid dark or low-resolution photos. Instead, aim for pics with 300 ppi resolution and clear definition, and adjust the contrast if your shots look murky. For example, if you have two similar photos, always choose the one with a higher resolution. Otherwise, you could regret grainy or hard-to-see images that spoil the overall look of your photo book.
What’s the best way to scan old photos?
So what's the best way to scan old photos? We recommend you use a traditional scanner or your phone. Aim for 300 ppi resolution, lay the image as flat as possible, and make sure to scan the entire print (editing or cropping it later is best). Master the art of preserving your family photos, and you're on the way to creating an incredible photo book.
Using a traditional scanner
The first option is to use a traditional flatbed scanner. Once scanned, you should be able to retouch and even colourise your old photos. Take your time to get the look you want before saving and uploading.
Using your phone
Need a scanner but don't want to buy one? You can also scan old photos successfully from your smartphone.
Android users can download various scanning apps, like Google PhotoScan or Microsoft Lens. Both are packed with helpful features for great results. iPhone users running iOS11 and later have the option to use the Notes app.
Once you've scanned everything, start organising. First, it's a good idea to rename all your files thematically.
- Use names and brief descriptions for a narrative theme — "Mum Dad anniversary" or "Our first holiday".
- Use dates for a chronological theme like a family tree.
- Combining descriptions and dates where you know them — “Mum First Birthday 07-01-1960.”
Designing your photo book
Once you’ve chosen images that speak volumes, and you’ve scanned them and restored them to their former glory - you're ready to design your photo book. But don’t be daunted, by using myFUJIFILM and our creative inspo, you’ll soon be flicking through the pages of your family history.
How to make a photobook with myFUJIFILM
- Choose the style of photo book you want and click the Create Now button.
- Upload your photos from your computer using our easy drag-and-drop interface.
- Next, select the number of pages you need. You can add or remove pages later.
- Choose a layout. If you’re feeling creative, select Create Your Own for complete customisation. Otherwise, we can supply a layout and even autofill with your pictures.
- Next, it's time to get creative. Add backgrounds, choose a different layout, or add text to personalise your book.
- When you're happy with the way everything looks, click Add to Cart. Or click Save to come back to your project another time.
Themes and layout inspiration
A great way to get started with your photo book layout is to categorise your memories into themes.
Milestone albums are a beautiful way to capture a moment in time, so why not show life through significant birthdays? Use your two-page layouts to tell your story. You could balance posed portraits with candid snaps, or set the scene with atmospheric location shots and capture the cake-cutting and the conversations. Remember to focus on the details - a favourite gift or a historical headline, and bookend your premium photo book with portraits of then and now.
Document your travels
Travel is another satisfying theme for your next family photo book. So scan old photos, postcards, and holiday ephemera to set the scene, and try playing with colour to capture the feeling of everlasting sun. Use your layouts to highlight new foods, cultural highlights, spectacular vistas, and family fun - then, show off your adventures in a contemporary square photo book.
Create a family tree
Creating a family tree is a meaningful way to show off old photos. Select a blank layout and add your pictures from oldest to youngest, framing each image in a box, and then add text with name, birth date and relationship. It's a beautiful gift and a way to learn about your family history.
Why not celebrate their love in a photo book for a special anniversary? Alongside old photos, scan in love notes, cards and newspaper announcements - you could then use the layout to tell the story of their love, from their first date to today.