6 Things You Must Know About Preserving Your Photos

Organize, digitize, preserve and share your family pictures.

1. Prepare to share.

Family members may want their own copies of Grandma’s wedding album. You can scan and digitize prints and slides at home (a photo scanner starts at about $200), but if you have a lot of pics, send them to a serv­ice such as FotoBridge or ScanCafe. Ask for 600 dpi (dots per inch) resolution for prints and at least 3,000 dpi for slides so that recipients can enlarge the images later. You’ll pay 22 to 33 cents each for files saved in JPEG format, which is good enough to post, say, on Facebook. But for archival purposes, ask for files saved as uncompressed TIFFs (which include all the image’s original data); at ScanCafe, you’ll pay an extra 24 cents apiece.

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Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.