How to Chose Which Photos to Scan
We know it is hard to go through old photos in timely fashion. Here is a set of observations we have made after having scanned more than 100,000 photos for customers.
- The most important photographs seem to always include people. Great scenery seemed important to capture at the time, but over time the importance of those photos diminishes. The most important photos elicit memories from the past, and our emotions are highly tuned to the people we have encountered in our lives.
- People sometimes take multiple versions of the same scene, trying to get one that is best. These "not quite duplicates" are usually very close together in the collection of prints. Use this time to lay out the duplicates and choose which one is best.
- Photo prints are a lot easier to organize, view and compare when they are in digital form. Free programs like Picasa allow you to view a lot of photos and make arrangements and choices. Once your photos are scanned, it is a lot easier to sort, compare and decide which ones are best.
Your time is valuable and you should consider "paying" yourself for the time it takes to go through all of your photos making choices. In Massachusetts, the minimum wage is $9/hour. I suspect you would value your time much more than this -- say by a factor of 3 or more, to at least $30/hour. At the highest volume discount (above 1000 photos) scanning 115 photos costs $30. Finding those 115 rejects, especially when you don't know what other photos you might encounter takes time -- not to mention the mental exhaustion of deciding whether you want to discard that out of focus picture of Aunt Gertrude that may be the only photograph of her.
So one way to look at this is place a value your time and make your selections much more efficiently after your prints have been scanned in a free program like Picasa.