Emily Henderson

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Digitizing Our Memories with Legacybox

How To Digitize Film Photos Legacy Box

I have a serious memory hoarding problem and I am all but convinced that unless a photo or video is taken I may not remember an occasion. This has led to me having 22,000 photos ON MY PHONE. This is a manageable problem now because everything is digital and I have backups, dropboxes, clouds and even straight to photo book systems in place. But my high school days, my 20’s, and my college years were all pre cell phone cameras, and so I enlisted Legacybox to help me with these memories. Back then we actually used film cameras to capture our lives and would frame photos as gifts. THANK GOD I was an active memory hoarder even then and I do have a lot of photos of those very important 15 years.

Emily Henderson Legacy Box Photo Digitizing

The problem with having them in a box is that a.) only I can see them (my friends/family that don’t live in LA can’t), and b.) if something happened to that box I’d be devastated. Kim Kardashian ugly cry version. I even started taking photos of some of my favorite pictures with my iPhone so that they are digitized somewhere. But, the quality is bad, they are usually distorted and blurry, and it would take days to get through a stack and get them online somewhere for safekeeping.

Well, now there is a company that will do this digitizing for you, and do a much better job than you would do yourself. Legacybox, the sponsor of the post, is an awesome company that takes your negatives, VHS family videos, photos, slides – ANY form of old memorabilia, and digitizes them so you have them all on CD’s and a flashdrive.

Emily Henderson Family Photos Legacy Box

Here is how it works – they send you a pretty box in the mail and you fill that box with photos/videos of your loved ones that you want digitized and send it back. Four to five weeks later you get all your original photos/tapes back PLUS the CD’s and flashdrive that they now are safely copied onto. It’s simply amazing.

The service takes a lot of man hours by some lovely people, so you can’t do EVERY SINGLE photo that you’ve ever taken or it will be really expensive. I had to sort through all my photos and just send through the top 250 that really meant something to me. It was a really good exercise on editing and figuring out why a good photo is a good photo.

Emily Henderson Saving Old Photos
Emily Henderson Legacy Box

My own wedding wasn’t digitized because I got married in 2007, where literally a year later Facebook was launched (or maybe that year?), and then digitizing of the world quickly followed. That is why I have never blogged about my wedding (an experience you will soon get to witness, since our 10 year anniversary is approaching and it’s time to talk about what we did, why we did it, and what we would do differently now).

Also Robyn, one of my best friends since we were 10 probably hasn’t seen this picture in probably 15 years. It was when we went to New York in junior high together on a school field trip. It’s a printed out photo and one that I love because we were all dressed up to go to a Broadway play, and I had even sewn that dress. It has princess sleeves and is hot pink. Shocking.

Emily Henderson Digitizing Family Photos

So you put in all your photos and send them off in confidence. I’m generally a very un-paranoid person, so I wasn’t too worried about the process, but I’ve mentioned this to other people and they were a bit scared. Don’t be. It’s like being more scared to get on a plane than in a car. You have MUCH higher risk of your photos/memories being destroyed in your own house (fire, flood, toddler water gun fight) than in the mail with their insurance and tracking. Just because it’s out of your hands doesn’t mean that it’s not being taken care of. Often it’s actually the exact opposite and they understand the fear of your precious memories being lost or damaged. That’s why they’ve built safety into every step, with heavy duty crush-proof boxes, packing materials, FedEx round-trip shipping with tracking, barcoding, and much more to ensure your precious items get to them, and back to you in one piece. Plus, they have over a decade of experience digitizing treasures, and have done so for over 150,000 families across the country, creating over 1 million photo filled DVD’s. Those are some hard facts I can stand behind.

Emily Henderson Preserving Family Photos With Legacy Box

There I was, right before sending them off. I did the family sized box which can accommodate up to 10 sets of 25 photos or 10 videos/tapes. That box would typically cost you $250 but they do have options for smaller boxes, or closet sized boxes for all of you photo hoarders out there. Turn around time for the boxes is between 4-5 weeks depending on the size of the box, and you can always track the progress of it online as soon as you ship it back to them.

Three weeks later this is just a small portion of what I got back:

That footage is from a family trip we took when I was 7. SIX WEEKS IN A MOTORHOME. So amazing. None of my family has seen the whole disk before and it’s family footage GOLD. So cute.

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Henderson Prom

Now that I’ve got everything digitized I can put it on FB, and if I wanted to, on the blog easily. I found three more albums from college that I’m dying to do now, so I’m going to send them to Legacybox once more so that it’s all done. Everything pre-iPhone cameras will be in a safe spot for my more frequent trips down memory lanes.

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I highly encourage doing this you guys. It feels really good to finally have it done, it was totally painless, and for anyone who doesn’t have an extra 25 hours to spare, it’s actually really affordable. So get out there and go digitize your favorite memories so that you can start to enjoy them again. Legacybox has been kind enough to give 40% off the first 25 people to order using the code EMILY at check out.

**Photos of me with Legacybox by Stephanie Todaro, and a big thanks to Legacybox for sponsoring this post. Thank you for support the brands that support us, which allow us to continue to bring original content to you every day. 

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  1. I got my Dad the family sized Legacy Box for Christmas since he has stacks of VHS tapes that are now completely worthless. We actually just mailed it off this week, so I can’t wait to get it back! We actually have no idea what was on the tapes (besides the super helpful labels of Family Video #1, #2, etc) so it will definitely be a surprise.

    ALSO, I’m currently planning my wedding for this fall so I’d appreciate that wedding post sooner rather than later. ;) We want to keep it fairly low key and fun, but I’m definitely interested in any advice about what totally was or wasn’t worth it!

    1. It probably opened up to non-college kids around 2007. When I joined in 2004 you still needed a university issued email address… and I don’t even think it was available to every school. OH THE MEMORIES.

  2. Emily you ALMOST owed me a new laptop. I practically spit my coffee all over it when that blue monster appeared with you in its clutches. And the video is super sweet. What a great concept; can’t wait to try this myself.

  3. Thanks Emily! I have 100s of print pictures for my step son and this will make a great gift for my husband on father’s day!

  4. I’ve thought about doing this as a present for extended family/cousins! It would be a nice holiday gift for them. Or, I could see how other families could maybe divy up the cost to keep it lower for everyone involved? Like, a few siblings could split the cost? I’m an only child, so maybe I’m making assumptions everyone could agree on which photos! ;) It is a great idea though! And your childhood pictures are adorable!

    http://danielleandco.com

  5. Oh, that video! What parenting! No video games, no smart phones, no fancy stuff…but thirty states?! I’m so envious! I’m from Europe where there’s very little open space like the middle of America here. Anyway, I think your parents did a wonderful thing: exposing you to “stuff.”

  6. I REALLY need to do this with all my kids old VHS tapes of school performances and dance recitals! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Such a fun idea. Whenever I try and clean out my closets it always turns into a 2 hour rabbit hole of sitting on the floor looking through the old boxes of photos and memories.

  8. I hope I’m not too late to use that coupon code! This sounds like exactly what I need to do with all my grandparents, and parents wedding/family photos.

  9. Was just thinking about what to do for my mom and this is the PERFECT gift. I will definitely be ordering a box to digitize all of our old memories together. This is such a fun idea.

  10. Those old pictures of you and your family are too cute. I cannot wait to digitize some of our old negatives and files and start enjoying them again. Thanks so much for the intro to such a great resource.

  11. Hi Emily…this is your cousin Lisa (Starke) Stratton and I love following your blog!!! I was LOVED seeing the picture of Grandma and Grandpa Starke with you and your family in this post. You have a beautiful family!

  12. Hi Emily, can you dish the details on the ‘even straight to photo book systems in place’ comment? Pretty pretty please. I am currently doing my family’s 2015 photobook and it is KILLING me :-/
    Would love to have a system in place to make 2016 photobook less painful!! Thank you xo

    1. Try blurb.com they have an easy to use software.
      I save my photos month by month in iPhoto and I do page by page whole entire year. That way is not so exhausting:) I’ve done it as a business and still do it for myself. Blurb is most cost effective and amazing quality. Good luck:)

    2. I agree!! Back in the day when you printed photos I was on top of printing them AND putting them in books. Not I just have a ton of digital photos and no books… and of course, no time. Can you do a post about what you do? Love the idea of photos straight to books!

  13. That’s so great! I’m glad to hear there are still businesses that do that! I had digitizing business/photo book design back in 2009. I saved them on dvd and printed photo books for clients. It’s a lot of work and not appreciated by many.
    I still every year created photo year books for my family. It’s so much better then photo on your phone or computer. I use blurb.com as my printer and they are amazing quality.

  14. I would love to know more about how you have tackled your digital photos too. The “straight to photo book” is exactly what I need.

  15. Does anyone have any experience using scanmyphotos.com? I’m just wondering which service is better, considering the large price difference. Thanks!

  16. I used a service to scan all of my father’s slides for my parents 50th wedding anniversary. There were several services that did this and I found a great article highlighting the pro’s and con’s of each, comparing things like turnaround time, quality, customer service and price . I used FotoBridge and felt they were wonderful in all of the above.

  17. I have boxes for photos and since my wedding was in 1993, I have a VHS tape that would be great to convert. I ordered the Family Box and thanks for the 40% coupon! Looking forward to organizing my kid’s childhood photos.

  18. Thank you so much from the very bottom of my heart; all my decades old family slides are currently fading away in storage under my bed. Now I can pick the essentials and get them digitized/restored. Choosing will be hard as I have hundreds of slides (my quarter-share of the family stash) but at last I can have those memories back in my sticky little paws.

  19. Thanks Emily for this post. I just ordered a Legacybox and can’t wait to get the box. It’ll be so much fun breaking out the old pictures boxes with family to decide what to send to them.

  20. This post came at a perfect time! My grandpa has been bugging the family about getting prints of the glass slides from his wedding in 1954. My grandma passed away 3 years ago and he has been getting more and more sentimental. I know he will love being able to see these photos that were never printed.