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December 09, 2021

Scan Those Old Photos — And Create The Best Gift You'll Ever Give

Somewhere in your parents' spare bedroom, up on a closet shelf — or in your grandmother's attic, in a dusty cardboard box — is your life.

The shot of you, your little brother and the world's best pup in a sea-green fishing boat.

The photographic proof that your grandpa once sat on the floor with you and your brother and played Tiddlywinks. 

The picture of you winning a beauty contest. (True, in my case it was winning "Miss Laurel Drive" when I was 9 years old. And the crown was made from aluminum foil. But still.)

Of course, those memories become increasingly fuzzy as the years go by, as that beloved Grandpa passes away, as your own child or grandchild enters first grade, as you try to remember, "Did we go to the Grand Canyon before or after we got the dog?"

When my parents entrusted me with three metal boxes full of slides a number of years ago, I carefully put them on a closet shelf — and then worried about them from time to time. If we had a fire, hundreds of family memories would be gone. Poof.

Plus, we really weren't enjoying the photos. Who had time to look at them, one by one, in my crummy little slide viewer? And who has a slide projector these days?

So there they sat.

Then I discovered a wonderful El Segundo, Calif. company, ScanDigital. They scanned my slides on their state-of-the art equipment, and created a DVD containing beautiful .jpg photos.

What a treasure it is to have these digital photos! In fact, my husband, son and I got to bed waaay too late last night because we couldn't stop looking at the photos. (And certain people had entirely too much fun having a giggle over my fashion choices at age 13.)

It's easy to do. Just gather your photos, slides or negatives. Organize, pack and ship them to ScanDigital. (They will send you shipping materials and instructions.)

They'll scan, crop and color-correct the photos. Then they'll create a CD or DVD containing your photos at no additional cost and they'll ship your original photos back to you. (In the Los Angeles area, you can drop them off or have them picked up.)

You can also purchase additional CDs or DVDs for family and friends. (By the way, in this photo, that's me in the yellow dress and white sweater, boarding the school bus for the first day of first grade. Thanks, Mom, for taking that picture!)

Prices start at $0.48 each for 300-dpi paper photos. Negatives and slides are slightly higher. The quality is terrific, especially when you're talking about starting off with slides or photos that have, in many cases, been sitting around for decades.

ScanDigital also creates an online gallery for your photos at no extra charge. I love the idea that there's an electronic copy of my photos securely stored somewhere outside my home. (For free!)

You can also organize photos online, create albums, share them with friends and family, and purchase reprints and other photo items like t-shirts, mousepads, calendars and photo books.

If you want to do this for the holidays, you'll need to move quickly. The deadline for holiday orders is Dec. 15. You can also give ScanDigital gift cards. The deadline for those Dec. 19.

I'm hoping my parents don't read this post... because this Christmas they'll be getting two kids in a boat with one very happy dog, a little girl riding her first bike, a trip to the Grand Canyon, and a hot game of Tiddlywinks — all courtesy of Miss Laurel Drive.

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