Organising Your Family History Photographs – Part 3

Apologies for the slight delay between these blogs, family issues kind of got in the way of this project.

I hope that are enjoying my Family History Photograph reorganisation series of blogs and if you missed the first two parts, they can be found here;

Part 1

Part 2

We are now ready to scan, record and document our first image. I have decided to start with my smallest family collection of photos first, that way I can address any issues at the earliest stage, before moving onto my bigger family collections.

The photos have been visually sorted by B & W, Colour, size, appx date, to at least give a logical sequence to the images.

My very first scan immediately highlights a problem, my scanner scans a whole A4 page no matter what the photograph size is and I end up with a finished scan that looks like this.




Now I can of course crop the image to suit, which is ok for a small batch of scans, but this is not ideal when you want to digitise a whole photo collection! Now you can of course manage this with various pieces of software, but I didn’t necessarily want the excessive cost of expensive software, that is where is literally stumbled across great new piece of software called “SnipTag’.


Now some of you will already own suitable pieces of software that will solve all your problems, so the old adage is, if it works for you and you’re comfortable with how the software works, then stick with it.

Having read some online reviews I decided to make the purchase and give it a try. This wonderful piece of software will perform two essential tasks for me, to make my scanning project work both speedily and seamlessly. SnipTag will give me the ability to scan multiple images at the same time, by recognising the edges of the photos and will also remove the need to crop the images after they have been scanned and it will even add metadata to the image. I should also add at this point that this is solely a Mac product and I am using a MacBook for my project.

If you want to find out more about the software, how it works and what MetaData is (Metadata is the digital equivalent of writing on the back of your photo), take a look at Caroline’s review here;

SnipTag Review Plus Metadata

So lets see what the first batch of scans look like, front and back and lets also look at the entries into the database.




The Database entries look like this;

Screen Shot 2020-05-23 at 13.07.23

The Snip Tag album import looks like this, includes a TIFF copy and JPEG copy of each image

Screen Shot 2020-05-23 at 13.17.31

The Metadata details look like this;

Screen Shot 2020-05-23 at 13.15.40

There is one last step to complete and that is the upload to Flickr and Family Tree Maker, so watch this space for the next instalment of my Photo Scanning journey……….then just several hundred images left to scan!!!!

I am also extremely grateful for the wonderful help from Linda Yip a writer, photographer, and storyteller, as well as being a genealogist, who has scanned, stored, and archived over 30,000 Images in her collection, her very helpful blog and guide can be found here.

How to Digitise 3000 Images


All My Blogs For Family Tree Magazine in one Handy Place


20 thoughts on “Organising Your Family History Photographs – Part 3

  1. You’re doing better than I am! I just put whatever photos on the scanner, scan, then put in a book! I did separate between my mom’s side and dad’s side however.
    As I had literally thousands of photos to digitize and store, this was the best option for me…at the time. Some photos date back to the late 1800’s! When I want to find a specific photo, I look on my external hard drive.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! I’ve always like the idea of genealogy. My father’s cousin did much with ours. It seems there is a biological link to the last welsh prince of Wales up in Anglesey! 😊 though I have not scanned through her research! A lovely lady 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you are well underway! I like that you’re scanning to .tif and .jpg at the same time. And glad to see you found good software to help you right off the bat – I hate seeing people try to save a few dollars and end up adding hundreds of hours to their workflow. As I advise people: you have only two resources. It’s time or money. Pick one.

    My scanning software (Epson) did batch scanning right away, else I’d have been looking for software the same as you. Now I’ve got VueScan Pro and Adobe Lightroom, the two together do all that I need or want (and then some) for my burgeoning archive.

    Many thanks for the lovely mention, and very glad to help. I love what you’re doing, and great work so far!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and you have been so helpful and forthcoming and extremely encouraging which is greatly appreciated. I am sure afterwards that I will wish I had done something differently but with all projects like this, you have to accept that hindsight is a wonderful thing. I accepted at the start that there would be some costs involved, but I also agree it’s a balance between time and money. Once I am more into the swing of the whole process I will become slicker, the intention being to batch process photos in a production line way, in theory anyway. I have still a long way to go and I am hopeful that I will not have to make too many changes to my system. Thanks again for your help and support.


  3. Hi Paul

    As I’ve finally got round to starting to sort out photos to scan, I thought I’d re-read your blogs on the subject and boy have you been a help – and I haven’t even begun yet!

    My cousin kindly sent me photos she’d taken on her phone, of the pages of a scrapbook of old family photos belonging to my aunt. Although the Photo app that comes on a Mac has been adequate for my purposes to date, I was really struggling to separate out the photos on each page so I could tag and use them individually but I read the review of SnipTag that you suggested and decided to try the free trial to see if it would do the trick. Well, it’s not perfect but wow, it’s saved me so much time and frustration!

    Thank you so much for the suggestion and your other tips will, without doubt, also be an enormous help when I get that far!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nicola I’m so glad that my blogs have been a help to you. I struggled to find something that would do what I needed on my Mac and stumbled across snip tag and like you say, it doesn’t tick every single box, but it’s by far the best tool that I have seen. Good luck with your project!

      Liked by 1 person

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