The following is a list of my favorite tools to use as a Photo Detective. Many of these are affiliate links in full disclosure, which means I get a small amount back if you purchase from using my links. I only promote products that I personally use and love, so even if these weren’t affiliate links I would still recommend them. You can read my full Disclosure Statement
Scanners and Portable Studio
This is the number one question I’m asked. It’s no secret that I own several scanners. Each one is a little bit different.
I’ve had an Epson scanner since they were first being made. LOVE them and don’t feel the need to change. A flat-bed scanner offers flexibility–prints, documents, negatives, slides, and even cased images. You can scan at preservation quality 1200 dpi Tiff.
The V600 scans a variety of image formats including slides and negatives.
If you want another device for scanning all those slides and negatives a good tool to have on hand is a portable scanner to do just that. NOTE: You can scan films too, but make sure the film is in good condition, the base medium has a tendency to shrink over time and become brittle. Click here.
Late 20th Century Snapshots with a ScanSnap
Perhaps you have a lot of late twentieth-century snapshots in good condition and you’re looking for a quick way to scan them. Look no further than the ScanSnap. It’s typically used to scan office receipts and paperwork you want to save but you can use it to scan snapshots (not the ones from the early twentieth century or heritage photos on card stock).
If you want to photograph artifacts, albums, and other oversize images, look no further than a SHOTBOX. It’s a portable photo studio. Save $30. with Maureen30
I use two different tools to label photographs.
A soft lead 8B pencil on heritage images . I purchase a box at a time so I have what I need.
A photo signature pen for resin-coated pictures. Never write on your images with a Sharpie, ballpoint pen, or gel pen.
You’ve probably heard me talk about acid and lignin free card stock and non-pvc sleeves and wondered where you can purchase them.
Archival Suppliers like Gaylord work with libraries and archives and run regular specials. You can use their microfilm boxes for storage of cased images.
The Container Store has a line intended for long term storage of various types of heirlooms too.
I order materials from art supply stores like Blick’s too
You can use pages or individual sleeves. I don’t care for the ones with self-adhesive flaps that could possibly stick to a photo. The individual sleeves can be purchased in a variety of sizes. Polyester sleeves on Amazon.com
Acid and Lignin-free boxes are best. The Pioneer woman has a series of boxes in two sizes. One is for scrapbooks.
Iris makes a line of storage boxes in inert plastic perfect for snapshots. Click here.
SSD Portable Hard Drives
It only takes one portable hard drive fail to make you wish you’d bought the right kind. While no portable hard drive is perfect SSDI drives are more stable. Do not store images on a flash drive. Those are for temporary storage only. Click here
You’ve probably heard me talk about MemoryWeb, the digital photo organizer created by genealogists for genealogists. It’s all I use. There are a lot of options on the market, but none with this collection of tools from back/front linking, powerful metadata, and bulk tagging (and a family tree function). You can purchase either a 3 month, or one-year subscription
Do you have family history online, on your computer, and a lot of links you’re trying to keep track of? “With Collectionaire.com, you’ll have one secure site where all your family’s keepsake memories and mementos will be organized then easily found and viewed by anyone in the family, to become a living and lasting Family Legacy Collection for years to come.” Save 50% on 2 years with PDCOLLECT at Collectionaire.com