Living photo director Ryan Mesina has a few ideas.

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vintage family photographs
Credit: SetsukoN / Getty Images

Chances are you've thought about bringing your old paper photos into the digital age—and that would be a good idea. If your spring cleaning surfaced a trove of precious pictures, digitize them for safekeeping and single-click sharing. Once digitized, these photographs will no longer fade over time in scrapbook albums, boxes, or dusty frames. Instead, they can be organized and easily searched for on a device or in an online cloud, and you can share them with friends and family over social media. They can even be downloaded for memorykeeping projects and personalized handmade gifts. It's not as laborious as it sounds—and you have options. Here's a snap-shot from Living photo director Ryan Mesina.

The Low-Cost DIY

Tap the power of your smartphone camera with the Photo Scan app by Photomyne ($60 for a two-year account with cloud storage, photomyne.com). Frame a print in a shot—aim for natural light, says Mesina—and it'll detect edges, auto-rotate, and capture.

The Easy Outsource

Send a batch to ScanMyPhotos.com in a prepaid box. Use this service and you'll get a download link within a couple of days, and the originals back within three weeks (from $170 for up to about 1,800 photos, scanmyphotos.com).

The Smart Splurge

Batch-scan up to 35 photos at once with the Epson FastFoto FF-680W scanner ($600, epson.com). It also processes both sides (a genius way to preserve a loved one's handwriting, says Mesina), whizzing high-resolution versions to a computer in seconds, and offers color restoration, cropping, and editing, too.

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