The Holiday Season is a time of gathering. This year makes it difficult or unreasonable for families to reunite, so you might not have the opportunity to all sit next to the fireplace to browse old photo albums together. But these early winter nights might give you some time to digitize your old paper photographs and share them with those who, unfortunately, can’t celebrate this special moment with you.

Scanning your paper photographs

Genius Scan is a scanner app that lets you create a high-quality, digital copy of paper photographs. With this app, you first take a photo of the picture you want to digitize. Genius Scan crops the background out to only leave what matters: the picture! Genius Scan then applies a powerful image filter that tunes the photo’s colors to make sure it renders well on screen. Last, you can quickly export your document to a shared photo album so that all your family can benefit from your initiative.

We’ve put together a short video tutorial to show you how easy this is:

A couple of tips for high-quality scans

You will find that following these tips will result in better pictures.

To optimize the automatic cropping:

  • It’s better to avoid having interfering content visible in the camera preview. Keep a single picture in the frame.
  • Hold the camera close enough to the document, and leave a part of the background apparent on all four document edges.
  • Make sure that there is sufficient contrast between the background and the photograph. In our video above, a white tabletop provided the best contrast.

To ensure great image quality:

  • Snap your photo in a bright environment. Dim light will make it harder to get a sharp picture.
  • Be as stable as possible when taking the picture to avoid blur. It’s the same when using any camera.
  • Choose the highest resolution setting (Actual) when exporting your scans.
  • To avoid glare on the photograph, prefer a diffuse light rather than a strong spotlight. Experimenting with different locations in your house is the best way to find the right place.
  • Genius Scan tries to automatically detect the best filter to apply to the scanned document. For scanning photos, you’re likely always to want to use the Photo filter. You can force it as a default filter: under Settings > General > Default filter >, choose the Photo filter.

Sharing a digital photo album with your family

There are many ways to share files online. If you have Dropbox, a quick and easy solution is to create a shared Dropbox folder:

  1. In Genius Scan, to export your photos to a Dropbox folder: Open your document > Tap the Export icon > Select Dropbox > [Log in to your Dropbox account if necessary] > Choose a folder > Tap Send.
  2. Go to the Dropbox website or mobile app and share this folder with your family. As soon as you share a folder, the recipient receives an email with a link to the folder. The good news is that your family members don’t need a Dropbox account to access these files! You can admire our family photo album!

If you’re not into Dropbox, other cloud services can help you share your photo albums: iCloud Photos on iOS or Google Photos on Android. And of course, sharing by email is still efficient. You’ll only need to verify the maximum email size capacity of your email provider.

Now, it’s time to send your loved ones, near or far away from you, souvenirs from your childhood and cherished moments of your life.

Happy Holidays!