The Mess to Success Method

A Semi-D.I.Y. Photo Scanning Plus Organizing Service

An Economical Photo Scanning Plus Organizing Service

The Mess to Success Method is a semi do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) service.

Service Includes:
  • Detailed instructions for sorting, dating, and labeling your photos before delivering them for scanning. That's the D.I.Y. part.
  • Scanning with professional-quality Kodak photo scanners.
  • Enhancing the digital photos - colour improvement, dust and scratch reduction
  • Working with me using my Facial Recognition software name people in your photos.
  • And more...
Do you have the time? Do you have the patience? Are you willing to follow the instructions?

Are you willing to read the information below to learn more about what's involved? If you're not, you should consider the full-service option!
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About The Mess to Success Method Instructions

The Goals

It's all about adding value and meaning to your photo collection. When a photo is scanned, a digital photo is created. In order to make your digital photo collection sortable and searchable, I add dates and other information - keywords - to those digital photos.

The D.I.Y. Part

Before I can add dates and keywords, I need to get that information from you! That's the D.I Y part. You'll need to follow the instructions, suggestions and tips in seven different sections of the document you'll receive (PDF file). The more time and effort you devote to the project, the more organized, searchable, and enjoyable your digital photos will be.
4: Dating and Sorting Your Photos
Dates are important! People want to know when a photo was taken. The date of a digital photo can be changed to match the date it was actually taken - or your best guess! Some dates will be known, but many will be unknown.

This section includes photo dating guidelines and resources. It's up to you how precise to be. When a date is unknown, will you be content to date by decade only? Or will you try to figure out the year? Because the dates will be read by computers, they must be written in a specific way. Detailed instructions and examples are included.
5: Creating and Using a Keywords List
Keywords are words or combinations of words that give information about photos: events, celebrations, activities, location and more. Keywords are added to the digital photos and are searchable. Adding well-thought-out keywords to your photos will enable you to find and enjoy specific photos.

Creating a good, useful keywords list requires thought and planning. People's names are keywords too, but that's a separate topic. Everyone's keywords list is different because everyone enjoys different activities and visits different places. Consistency is important too. For example, a keyword I use is 'biking'. Always 'biking', not 'cycling' or 'mountain biking'.
6: Naming People in Your Photos
After your photos have been scanned, I'l work with you (side-by-side or remotely) and use Facial Recognition software to identify and name people in your photos. The names are added as keywords to your digital photos.

Before we start Facial Recognition, you'll need to decide who you want to name - it's not possible to name everyone! This section includes lot's of advice for naming such as what to do when more than one person in your family has the same name, and why you shouldn't use terms like 'Grandma'.
7: Creating Scanning Sets
A Scanning Set is made up of photos you group together that will be given the same date and keywords. An index card is placed on top of the photos. The date and keywords for the photos in that group must be written on the index card. Example: 1978-07-01 Florida, vacation.

The index card and photos are scanned in sequence. When I view the photos on my computer screen (with many visible at once) I read the date and keywords on the index card and add that information to the digital photo. You'll need to read this carefully to know how to deal with single photos, and also how to package Scanning Sets so things don't get mixed up.

Instructions Outline
  • Project Preparation
  • Project Supplies

  • Gathering Your Photos
  • Items That Can Be Scanned
  • Protecting Date Information
  • Recording Photo Information
  • Preserving Chronological Order
  • Removing Photos from Albums

  • Culling Your Photo Collection
  • Culling with the ABCD Method
  • What To Do With Unwanted Photos

  • Dating and Sorting Your Photos
  • Dating Precision - It's Up To You
  • Listing Known Dates
  • Sorting Photos into Containers
  • Sorting Photos by Date
  • Determining Photo Dates
  • Writing Photo Dates

  • Creating Scanning Sets
  • Scanning Set Components
  • Grouping Photos into Scanning Sets

  • Creating and Using a Keywords List
  • Number of Keywords
  • Keyword Facts & Rules
  • Keyword Best Practices
  • Choosing Keywords
  • Keyword Categories

  • Naming People in Your Photos
  • Who Should Be Named?
  • Creating a List of Names
  • Naming Guidelines
  • Need help with your photos? 416-616-1025
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    Photo Scanning Plus Organizing