How to Copy Old Photographs

By Chris Newton

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Original photo

  • Scanner

i Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Digital photography has taken over the industry these days, but before digital cameras were invented, people had to get their photos the old fashioned way: using a film camera and getting the negatives developed into prints. Many old photos are still around, residing in shoe boxes, frames, or albums. It is always a good idea to make copies of old photos in case something happens to the originals, so that the memories will never be lost.

Place the original photo on the scanner glass.

Scan the original photo using the scanner.

Obtain the digital copy of the scanned photo from the scanner. You can e-mail it to yourself from the scanner (if the scanner has that capability), or save the digital file using a USB drive, media card, or another form of digital media storage.

Send the digital file to your local photofinisher to print. Bring the digital copy of the photo into the store and print it on a kiosk, or by uploading the digital photo to the photofinisher's website and ordering prints online.


Always back up all of your digital photos somewhere other than your computer, such as an online back up service, in case your computer crashes or is damaged.

If you do not have access to a scanner, call your local photofinisher. Most camera or printing shops have a scanner that you can use to scan your old photos and create digital versions of them.


Be careful handling original photos, especially if they are quite old. Once you have the digital version, store the original photos safely to avoid damage.