A Guide to Scanning Old Photos at Home

Shannon Osborne
25th May 2020

A great way to make your photo books original to you and your family is to use not just the photos that are on your camera roll but also the ones from years’ worth of family albums. 

Much like my own family, my grandparents and parents have hundreds of photos taken on film, and these are the history of my family. There are black and white photographs of my grandparents' childhood, of their wedding and of my mother growing up. These images are so important to each family's history, and it's a great gift idea

There are now so many wonderful ways to get these photographs onto your phone, computer and eventually into a photo book. Within this article I will address a few free apps you can download and use on your phone to scan old photos, as well as some more advanced home set ups if you’re looking to invest.


The first app to acknowledge is Photoscan by Google. This app allows you to hover your phone camera over old photographs one at a time and they will then save to your camera roll. It takes some time, but if you only have a few favourites to choose from, and you want to cut costs, then this is a great example of how to do it.


Another app to mention is the photo scan app by Photomyne. Used for both Apple and Android devices, this app allows you to scan your photos and gives you the option to add dates in order to organise your camera roll too. Both of these apps are available in your app stores when you search the names, and cost nothing.

Epson scanners 

If you’re looking to organise quite a few photographs and you have a bit more money to invest, you may want to consider looking at the Epson scanners. They have a range of photo scanners at various prices. Epson Fastfoto scanner allows you to batch scan your photos by selecting a year or month the photos were all taken in, and then just feeding them through. They will also not only scan the original photo, but also give you an auto enhanced version to help with colour correction and dust. 

Whatever option is for you, it’s worth seeing your collection of photographs come to life digitally and enable you to make a photo book with these images included. Your family history photo book can be an overwhelming project, but having the photos on your computer is the first and most important step to starting it.

Get Organised!

One of the main reasons we don't get round to making these type of photo books is because we don't have enough time to look through them all. A simple way to get started is to go one album at a time, label with dates or occasions so you can start your project somewhere - whether that's birthdays or weddings it's good to have a theme.

Making a photo book is a great gift idea, why not make a book which focuses on going through the archives and making your grandparents and book of their life, or of all the birthdays celebrated together as a family. Get started on your special gift today.

Try out our bob books app, import your images from your camera roll straight into a photo book!

Read our blog which gives you 50+ photo book ideas to help inspire your next photo book project. If you want to have a look at some books made by our customers, head over to our bookshop.