how to “scan” memorabilia

Through our various moves, I found myself continuously forced to down size in order to fit into smaller spaces. One thing that I struggled with was childhood memorabilia- it was taking up valuable storage space, but if I was being honest, it wasn’t valuable enough to me to display or frequently look through the storage box.

What I decided to do with many of these items, was PHOTOGRAPH them and then throw them away. The digital copy of the item or memory was sufficient for me and allowed me to say goodbye without guilt. The SPACE those items were taking up was more valuable than the ITEM itself. (Just call me Marie Kondo).

how to scan memorabilia

For memorabilia that won’t fit on a flatbed scanner, I ‘scan’ them by taking a photograph with my camera. I have the most success using natural light (see below for my setup) and a plain piece of white posterboard as the background.  I set the posterboard on the floor, next to a large window or door and take the photo from above.

My favorite part about photographing memorabilia is that usually I feel comfortable throwing the items away after I’ve captured a digital copy. 

If you inherit items that you’re not sure what to do with… you feel too guilty to throw them away, but if you’re being honest you don’t want to keep them… consider photographing it and then donate/toss.  (It’s not for everyone, but it works for me!)

Another tip:  if you’re unhappy with your results when photographing in natural light, you can purchase a light box from Amazon.  It’s a little ‘photo studio’ with built-in lighting that will make photographing your memorabilia super easy (but it’s a bit of an investment).

Are your photos a mess? 

Do you want to create photo books for your family, but things feel like too much of a mess to know where to begin? Do you carry a constant worry that you could lose ALL your photos? (sure, you're paying for iCloud, but do you understand how it works?) 

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