Then spread the word on social media. Give an estimated price of how many photos you can do for a certain price. Ask your early clients to share something about how wonderful it feels to finally have photos organized and saved forever.
Hughes offers a self-paced online class called Disaster to Done for 7, which includes lifetime access to course materials. But she’s also sharing her tips with The Penny Hoarder.
Determine ahead of time how many photos you can scan in an hour. If you are sorting and scanning, that may be harder to estimate, but it probably adds another 30 minutes onto each hour of scanning. Say you can scan 40 photos an hour, then it would take you five hours to digitize 200 photos that don’t require sorting.
Sabrina Hughes is a photography historian who operates her business, PhotoXO, from her home in South Pasadena, Fla. She archives analogue photos using a method of scan, organize and share. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder
“Sometimes it’s easier for a third party to make the decisions in narrowing things down,” Hughes said. You can pick what you think is the best of the three or four repetitive photos.
It’s smart to charge by the hour when you start out, and give an estimate of how long the project will take.
Here’s how to make photo scanning and digitizing your new side hustle.
Well, anyone armed with a 9 scanner and a computer can make searchable digital files of photos and slides. To turn videos into digital files, it takes the original camera they were filmed with or a VCR, an adapter and a computer.
Then there are the videos filmed on various versions of clunky cameras over the decades.
Next, create a storage system for clients’ photos and video tapes while your work is in progress. Of course clear boxes that stack are great, but they come with a cost. Cardboard shipping boxes work just as well. Place white adhesive labels on the ends with the name of the client and the date the work started. You can place new labels over these when one project is done and the next client’s photos go into the boxes.
The first step to starting your photo scanning business is setting aside a space in your home. It can be as small as a corner of your bedroom or a desktop if an actual office or spare room isn’t possible.
Five years ago, professional photo curator Sabrina Hughes decided she could make a business out of helping people organize their photos, videos and slides. Her company, PhotoXO, has a compelling slogan: “Show your photos the love they deserve.”
A college student or really anyone could do this to make extra money.
As simple as it sounds — and actually is — most people are overwhelmed by the thought of taking hundreds or even thousands of photos and organizing them into searchable, digital files.
Perhaps the most daunting version of unorganized photographic memories are slides. Once the butt of so many jokes about boring dinner parties, now they are covered in dust with no hope of ever seeing the light of a projector again.
To organize and select from loose photos overflowing shoe boxes or laundry baskets, Hughes hand sorts them into piles based on the clothes people are wearing, the backgrounds and the time of year.
To digitize photos and slides, scan each one with the scanner to upload it to your computer. Make files for certain years or topics such as “1970s beach trips” or “kids’ birthday parties.” Drag and drop the photos into the appropriate file.