From Bricks in the Basement to a True Legacy

Most people have at least a few family photos, and most of those who do have photos have a lot of photos. How are your family’s stored? If you’re like a lot of people, well…

Bob Walker via Creative Commons

But don’t worry—even if an apple box is the beginning and end of your archival methodology, you’re at least holding on to those memories. Wouldn’t it be nice if those photos were more available to enjoy, though? You’re keeping them around for the history and emotion they preserve, after all, not because you measure your worth by the girth of the boxes you store.

Right now at Mike’s Camera we’re running our perennially-popular Spring-cleaning sale on Gather Boxes—the snappy name we give to providing a complete digital archive of all the loose photos you can fit in one of our boxes. In my 7+ years working in photo labs, I’ve scanned thousands and thousands of photos, and I can tell you that the high level of labor involved always pays off in the joy provided to the customer. Stop by your local store and pick up a box today, then fill it at your convenience with all the photos you’d love to preserve—and use!—digitally. The longest gap between getting a box and bringing it in to scan that I’ve seen was about three years, so don’t worry about adding another deadline to your life. Here are a few cool ways to use the images after you’ve gotten them digitized:


I don’t normally use all-caps, but this one is important enough to merit it. When you get your images put onto disc, not only can you make additional prints as needed, you can (and should) make copies for friends/family/the fire safe/etc. After the Colorado floods of 2013, we worked extensively with those affected to recover what could be recovered from their photo collections, and it was heartbreaking how often it was too late.

2. Give stunning form to your most precious memories

Documentary photography is great. I love being able to look back at a trip and have hundreds of photos of every small detail encountered. However, there is a time for the exhaustive and a time for focused presentation. My wife put together a gorgeous book summarizing our wedding, and it’s exactly the right size to relive the experience without feeling overwhelmed. Books and DVD slideshows are a great way to distill the essence of life’s highlights.

3. Give your favorite photos ever the wall-space they deserve

Got a picture that gives you joy every time you see it? Why not make it easy to see it more often? With the 600 ppi scans you get with the Gold Gather Box, you should be able to print your photo 2-4 times the size it is already. For nice crisp shots, metal and acrylic can make for a breath-taking presentation. For those photos whose emotional value outweighs their technical quality, canvas and wood prints can mask a lot to allow you to focus on the image itself (and they look great with high-quality photos, too!). Check out or complete wall art selection here.

4. Restore damaged prints

The airbrush artists of days gone by were/are people of incredible talent, but today’s digital tools make it easy to do basic restoration at home. Fix the color of those ’70s prints that have gone all yellow, or even paint color onto old black and white photos (examples here). If you’re not up to it yourself, our custom imaging specialists would be more than happy to help.

5. Dominate #throwbackthursday

I’ll just leave this here.

Ultimately, what scanning and the Gather Box allow is easy access to and easy preservation of all your physical images. Have you used our services? If you have any fun stories about how you used the images you liberated from their box storage, let me know in the comments!


    1. Yes, absolutely! They are not part of the Gather Box service, but we offer special deals on scanning whole carousels of 35mm slides.

      1. Thank you. I have several (probably 20) carousel trays from my Japan living 1982/83 time. Do I bring them into the store? What would be an approxinate cost? Thanks

      2. Yes, ideally you would bring them in to the store. Our carousel scanning service is high-resolution and priced by the carousel (and they must be Kodak carousels, or compatible). 80-slide carousels are scanned for $80, and 140-slide carousels are scanned for $140. We would ask that the slides are all loaded horizontally and with the “front” facing forward when at the left side of the carousel (that is, backwards from how they would be loaded for a projector). Feel free to call or visit any of our stores to get hands-on help with your project. Sounds like you’ve got some great stories in those slides!

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