Estimating Your Photo Count

While attempting to organize your printed photos, you finally decided to digitize them. Congratulations on taking the first step to preserve these priceless memories! However, gauging the scope of the project can be overwhelming. How can you easily estimate your photo count?


The One Inch Rule

Simply stack your photos and measure the height of each pile. There are approximately 100 photos for every inch.  For example, a 5-inch stack contains approximately 500 photos. This One Inch rule applies to most sizes of photos, including 4"x6", 5"x7", and 8"x10" pictures.


An Excellent Estimate

The One Inch measuring rule is not perfect. It would be faster to actually count your photos stuck in albums than risk removing them from adhesive pages. Polaroid photos have an awkward thickness that is inconsistent to measure.  (They also jam up in most automatic feed scanners.) Different styles of photo paper, temperature, and humidity can also affect the thickness of your photos.  However, this estimate is almost always within 10% of the actual count.


Prepare to Digitize

You know it's time to copy these photos as JPG digital images. Should you buy a good scanner and Do It Yourself (DIY), or use a professional digitizer? Whatever you decide, make sure to scan to the highest resolution that's practical. For instance, once captured as a 300 dots per inch (dpi) image, it's not possible to digitally upgrade the quality to 600 dpi. Your photo count helps determine your best course of action.


Heirloom scans photos to JPG for only $0.25 each.

Written by Geoff Weber

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